The Problem of Man’s Pride: The Hypocritical Problem
God’s ultimate objective in the atonement was not rescuing souls from hell, but the restoration of a ruptured relationship. Jesus came to this earth to “seek and to save that which was lost.” What was lost? The intimate God-man relationship. From what were we lost? We were lost from the truth of God.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way … Isaiah 53:6 (NASB)
Humanity has left God and in the process has “become vain in (his) imaginations.” Apart from God, men lose all sense of proportion about their own importance. Their subjective and superficial opinions about themselves are grossly inflated. But this is no astonishing revelation; one need only look at the faces of the men and women who surround us exuding arrogance in every conceivable setting. The global megalomania of earthlings must stand out in conspicuous absurdity as the vast host of heavenly beings survey God’s handiwork.
How can God relate to man in intimate fellowship when man thinks he’s something more than he is? Can reconciliation occur while man is preoccupied with the false opinions he has created? The answer is, of course, no.
If God and man are going to get together, something must humble man so that he is willing to dispense with hypocritical facades. Before reconciliation can occur, we must come to the place where we see ourselves for what we really are.
I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment … Romans 12:3 (NASB)
As blessings tend to increase our concept of our own importance (i.e., salvation, gifts, ministries), God, in order that He not add to our moral delinquency, must humble us in order to bless us. He must reveal us to ourselves.