Philippians 4:8 - Putting Off Thoughts of Lust

January 20, 1996 Philippians 4:8

- this morning we're returning to our expanded study of Phil. 4:8
- this verse gives us criteria for the kinds of things we ought to
   allow to go through our minds
    - of course the purpose of the criteria is to evaluate what we're
      thinking...and to get rid of (put off) thoughts that don't MEET
      THE CRITERIA and replace it with THOUGHTS THAT DO.

- the last few weeks, we've been studying different categories of
   thinking that we must be working at putting off.
     1) retaliatory thoughts
     2) woe is me thinking
     3) worry and fear
     4) and lust

- now, that’s a very significant list, and I trust that this emphasis is
   helping us become better stewards of our minds.
- one other thing we might say about what we've studied so far is that:
    - in and of itself, that list may look pretty negative, and pretty
        discouraging
    - but please remember the other side: "Biblical Living" and
      "Biblical Christianity" is not a matter of just "harping on
       what's wrong"
         - the Scriptures always also tell us what is right, and what
            we can replace sinful thinking with.

- cf. argument of II Tim. 3:16-17  (not just reproof...)

- this morning, we're going to add to this list of wrong kinds of
   thinking the matter of pride.
- we're calling this:

    "Putting Off Proud Thinking."

- we're going to divide our time into:

I. What Is Pride?
II. (Selected) Examples In Scripture
III. Results of Pride

I. What Is Pride?

    A. Bible dictionary definition

        - we've given you a page out of "The Illustrated Bible
          Dictionary" put out by Tyndale.

        - this is a very good article (resources like this are good to
            have in your home)

        - let's just highlight a couple of things that are especially
          important:

        - (ARTICLE)

    B. Illustration of pride - Savanorola

        - cf. story in Vandergriff - p. 55

        - (emphasize -- pride being worship of self)


    C. Tony Campolo - "arrogant self-worship"


    D. John Vandergriff - "wanting to be somebody" (in order to exalt
          self)
            - "pride is wanting to rise above my fellows" (in order to
               promote self)


- another important way of understanding this sin is to 'see it in
   action."
- we can't look at all the passages, but let's look at some select ones
   to pull out the "nuances of pride" that these passages illustrate.

II. Examples In Scripture

    - I'm going to ask you to work with 3-4 people sitting around you.
    - Please choose one of the following three passages and answer the
       following question:

       INPUT - What specific facet of pride does this passage
               especially illustrate?

    A. People building the Tower of Babel

        Genesis 11:1-9


    B. The Pharisee and the tax collector

        Luke 18:9-14


    C. Those plotting to kill Jesus

        John 8:31-59  (esp. v. 37)


INPUT - Go over answers:


- now, at this point, I'd like to ask you to shift (if you haven't
   already)
     - from our definition of pride
     - and the facets of pride we've seen in some of these examples...
        - to how this kind of thinking might be occurring in your life.

- let's spend the rest of our time thinking about some of the results
    of pride.
- in other words, if we don't work at overcoming this, what might
   be happening now, and what might be happening down the line?

III. Results of Pride

    A. Excuse and rationalize sin

        1) Adam, after he was confronted with his sin in the Garden,
            should have been grieved.
              - but instead, in his pride, he looked for someone to
                  blame.

              - and of course that tendency didn't end with Adam.
              - in would be wise for each of us to ask how often we
                 refuse to admit sin simply because of our prideful
                 thinking.

        2) Vandergriff - "It might be interesting for you to count the
             number of times you excuse yourself, or shift the blame,
             in one day.  How often I have gone over situations in my
             mind and mentally defended myself.  This is proud
             thinking!  The worse time for me is when I have had an
             argument.  It's passed, but I go over and over it trying
             to sharpen what I could have said.  Why, that's nothing
             but uncrucified, unadulterated pride.  Not only that, it
             is a complete waste of time, a totally unproductive use of
             the mind."

        3) Psalm 36:1-4 -- (NIV) "An oracle is within my heart
             concerning the sinfulness of the wicked.  There is no fear
             of God before his eyes.  For in his own eyes he flatters
             himself too much to detect or hate his sin.  The words of
             his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be
             wise and to do good.  Even on his bed he plots evil; he
             commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject
             what is wrong."

        4) Tony Campolo - "Many people who consider themselves
             Christians remain at odds with each other because their
             pride will not allow them to make the confessions
             necessary for reconciliation.  There is the father who in
             an angry tirade orders his son out of the house, and then
             anguishes over what he has done.  But pride prevents him
             from going back to his son to say that he is sorry..."

INPUT - If this is true (that pride causes us to excuse and rationalize
          our sin), then why is it so important to be working hard on
          this area?

              (our growth is dependent on it)

    B. Hurt others

        - an important theme that is emphasized in Scripture is the
          relationship between proud thoughts and actions that hurt
          others.

        1) Micah 2:1-3

        2) Psalm 140:5


        INPUT - How might proud thinking cause a person to hurt
                another?

                (develop the issue of rape---also contrast to the
                 secular idea that a rapist doesn't think enough of
                 himself to develop a normal relationship---thus he
                 needs to think more highly of himself)

    C. Hurt self

        - one of the key OT verses on pride is Prov. 16:18

        - INPUT - What are some ways this verse could "come true"?
                  (How might a person destroy himself because of proud
                   thinking?)


    D. Arguing and fighting

        Proverbs 13:10

        - This passage says that contention and strife find its source
          in pride.

        - Practically everyone would say - "I'd like to have less
          strife and contention in my life."
            - If that’s the case, the route to that goal is often paved
              by growing in humility and putting off pride.

        - let's think about this verse from the perspective of child-
          rearing.
            - if you have children, you may know a little bit about
               arguing and fighting.
            - how is a child's bickering (etc) an example of pride, and
               how can we help them overcome it?

    E. Foundation for other sinful thinking

        - Vandergriff points out that often, proud thinking leads to,
           or is related to, other sorts of sinful thinking.

          1) Fearful thinking - "What's going to happen to me?" (pride)

          2) Lustful thinking - "I want this for myself." (pride"

          3) Self pity - "I don't deserve this." (pride)


    F. Hinder ministry to others

       - Isn't it true that "pride turns people off"

       - you and I may be gifted in a lot of other ways, and might be a
          potential help to others---but if we're not working on this
          area, those gifts may be wasted.

       - cf. (Vandergriff, p. 63 re: runaways)


       - Discuss issue of having convictions//believing things strongly
          - yet not presenting/holding those ideas in a proud way.