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The Arrogance Trap

Words of Faith Final

The Arrogance Trap
Words of Faith 7-21-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Romans 2
    [17] Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; [18] if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; [19] if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, [20] an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth-- [21] you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? [22] You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? [23] You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? [24] As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

         Are law enforcement officers immune to corruption?  Certainly not.  Knowing and working with the Law does not a lawful person make.  It is the same with religious Law.  Religious knowledge and position do not make a person lawful or holy.
         The seduction of religion probably begins with a pure heart.  Most religious people probably begin earnestly seeking to serve God and obey Him.  The problem arises as human pride sets in.  We begin to brag, even if in spiritual tones, about our relationship with God.  We feel some sense of attainment and then put on religious airs.  We become more concerned with appearances than with inner reality.  We begin to value form over reality.   
        In arrogance, we who are religious may begin to tell others what God's will is when He has not spoken.   We confuse our will for His.  As we descend into the pit of religion, we ascend its illusion of hierarchal supremacy.  We may even become an "instructor" in religion. Still, for all the trappings of holiness, a religious person is no more lawful than anyone else.
        So what is wrong with this picture?  The problem is that religion leaves us fundamentally unchanged.  The same sins lurk in the darkness of religious societies and systems.  Sin disguised in the robes of religion is still sin.  If the heart has not been transformed by the grace of God, it still harbors darkness.  
       It should be no surprise to us when religious people are found to be in sin.  We may gasp, shake our heads, and mutter about hypocrisy. Still, the reality is that if a person is not genuinely born again and walking in a living relationship with God, the darkness is still there.  Sadly, religion can offer the sinner a great opportunity in a place of trust to do great harm.  
       Don't be too quick to point out the places of integrity and those of corruption.  No one has the corner on spiritual integrity, and no one has the corner on hypocrisy, either.  Spiritual integrity that walks in grace day today can probably be found in almost any Christian denomination. Hypocrisy can be found in all corners as well.  
          The bottom line is that we can only be responsible for ourselves. We can choose not to be religious.  We can make a choice to walk in humility.  We can intentionally surrender to God and determine that we shall do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. We can choose to look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).  We can choose to walk with Christ and surrender to Him rather than walk as religious people.

          Lord, forgive me the sin of religious arrogance, the times I have thought myself better than others or closer to You.  Protect me from the traps of religion.  I surrender to the power of Your love and grace to transform me each day.  I desire to walk with You daily in a vital and real relationship free of religious pride.  In Jesus' name.  

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2021 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.