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Charity…Is Not Puffed Up
Victor M. Eskew
A. James and Peter make an identical statement in their epistles. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6; I Pet. 5:5).
B. These who are proud in heart cannot love. Paul tells us “charity…is not puffed up.”
1. Last week, we looked at pride on the outside, that is, one who brags.
2. This week, we will look at pride on the inside, that is, one who is puffed up.
C. Why the two different statements about pride? “A man may be very proud and vain, and not express it in the form of boasting” (e-sword, Barnes).
D. Let’s continue our study by looking at three points.
1. The definition of “not puffed up.”
2. Bible examples of “not puffed up.”
3. The application of “not puffed up.”
I. THE DEFINITION OF “NOT PUFFED UP”
A. Strong (5448): primary sense of blowing, to inflate, make proud, haughty
B. Thayer: to inflate, blow up, to cause to swell up, puff up, make proud, to bear oneself loftily, be proud
C. Robertson: to puff oneself like a pair of bellows
D. Vincent: of inward disposition, as the previous word denotes outward display
1. Proverbs 16:5
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord…
2. Proverbs 21:4
A high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked is sin.
E. Vincent: a preoccupation with one’s importance
1. KJV: is not puffed up
2. ASV: is not puffed up
3. NKJV: is not puffed up
4. NASV: is not arrogant
5. ESV: it is not arrogant
6. RSV: is not proud or arrogant
7. NIV: it is not proud
8. NLT: is not proud
9. Phillips: nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance
10. Message: does not have a swelled head
II. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF “NOT PUFFED UP”
A. The psalmist (Ps. 131:1)
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty, neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
B. Josiah (II Chron. 34:27)
Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humblest thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord.
III. APPLICATION OF “NOT PUFFED UP”
A. There are many things that can cause a person to be puffed up.
1. Knowledge (I Cor. 8:1) Ph.D.
3. Race (Mark 7:25-27)
4. Riches (I Tim. 6:17)
5. Social status
6. Religious positions: elder, preacher, instructor, director
8. Worldly wisdom and personal feelings
B. Being puffed up can be hard to detect at times.
1. A position can reveal it.
2. Familiarity can reveal it.
3. Intimacy can reveal it.
4. God’s commands can reveal it (See I Cor. 5:1-2).
C. Pride brings competition. “Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone with it” (Jeremiah, 46).
D. Being puffed up is spiritual bankruptcy. “It refuses God’s help, never praying for grace, pleading for mercy, or giving thanks to God” (Parrott & Parrott, 39).
E. The proud person becomes a law unto himself and usually exploits others.
F. To keep from being puffed up, we must:
1. Remember what we were before we were redeemed by Christ (ex., Paul, I Timothy 1:13).
2. Remember that man is always dependent upon the Lord. All that we have and are come from God (John 15:5; James 1:17).
3. Always do God’s will, even when it opposes our own thinking and feelings (Rom. 1:21-22).
4. Learn humility.
A. We must never be puffed up one against another (I Cor. 4:6).
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
B. Serious questions to answer before we get puffed up (I Cor. 4:7).
For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it.