The Rev. G. David Henderson: The sinfulness of religious, ministerial conceit and self-boasting

"... and man did eat angels' food."

— Psalms 78:25

I don't like to be in the presence of religious leaders and people who are always boasting about themselves and their achievements. All the many Scripture references in this devotional reveal God also doesn't like to be in the presence of those who are always boasting about themselves. The apostle James condemns such prideful, boastful people as "evil" in James 4:16.

The apostle Paul warns followers of Jesus in Romans 3:27 that there is no room for self-boasting within the religion of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That great apostle also said in 2 Timothy 3:2 that boasters are "lovers of themselves" (conceited — Greek), "proud" (and God hates any form of pride from anyone).

The author of our Bible (the Holy Spirit) compares self-"boasters" alongside with sinful "backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, inventors of evil things," even "disobedient to parents" (Romans 1: 30).

2 Chronicles 25:19 shows God's anger and disgust concerning those who boasted about their military victory over a godless, alien military.

Psalms 10:3 likewise shows God's disgust against those who boasted against their military enemy. God hates any form of self-boasting against anything or anybody.

Psalms 94:4 especially exposes God's disdain against those who boast of themselves about their sins that God hates. God's anger especially explodes against those who project they have a ministerial gift that the Holy Spirit really hasn't given them. Such is easily seen in our generation where people go to ministries, and ministers boasting themselves as having power to heal and perform miracles, and the pitiful afflicted leave such worship services as sick as when they entered the church, auditorium or tent. Such doesn't mean I don't believe in miracles, or healings.

Such fruitless ministries remind me of the Florida dark clouds that looked to be forthcoming scary rainstorms, but when the clouds came and left, such was only wind.

The apostle Paul even warned and condemned in 2 Corinthians 10:12-17 that ministers of Jesus Christ are not to even boast about our salvation as if we saved ourselves, or we saved others, as warned in Ephesians 2:9. That great apostle condemned every form of religious or ministerial boasting.

James 4:16 condemns religious boasting within the religion of Jesus Christ. Our only boasting is to be about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and their miraculous work on our lives and ministries as taught in Psalms 34:2, Psalms 44:8 and 2 Corinthians 10:8 and 13 and 11:16.

Wherever there is religious pride and conceit, deception will also be their partner.

The Rev. G. David Henderson is the pastor of Temple of the Lord at 611 S. Green St. in Dalton. You can reach him at angelsfood@optilink.us. His column typically appears on the first Friday of the month.

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