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Pride, Selfishness, and Covetousness


God’s Estimate of Pride


How does the Lord regard pride?


“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush to evil, a false witness who pours out lies, a man who stirs up dissention among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19.  


What is God’s attitude toward the proud?


“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6. (See Psalms 40:4; 101:6; 1 Timothy 6:4.)


What Pride Is


Why should we not indulge in pride?


“Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.” Proverbs 21:4.


What is to be of the sins of the last days?


“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.” 2 Timothy 3:2.


The Results of Pride


Of what is pride a forerunner?


“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18.

(See Proverbs 29:23.)   


What was the cause of Satan’s downfall?


“Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom, because of your splendor.” Ezekiel 28:17.


How are the proud now generally regarded?


“Now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.” Malachi 3:15. 


What is to the fate of the proud in the Great Tribulation coming real soon?


“Surely the day coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 4:1. 


The Commandments and Selfishness


What great commandment, if kept, will exclude selfishness?


“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39.


What sin is forbidden by the tenth commandment?


“You shall not covet your neighbor house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17.


How are we admonished with regard to selfishness?


“Nobody should seek his own goods, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” Philippians 2:4. “Even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:33. “Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:2.    


Self-Seeking, Yesterday and Today


How prevalent is the sin of self-seeking?


“For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 2:21. 


What sins are to characterize the last days?


“People will be lovers of themselves.” 2 Timothy 3:2.  


The Cure for Selfishness


What does love not do?


“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.” 1 Corinthians 13:4,5.


What example of unselfishness did Christ leave for us?


“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9. 

“But even Christ did not please himself but, as it was written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” Romans 15:3. (See also 1 John 3:17.)


The Nature of Covetousness


What warning did Christ give concerning covetousness?


“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15.  


What commandment forbids this sin?


“You shall not covet.” Exodus 20:17. 


What does Paul call covetousness?


“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthy nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5. 


What do these sins bring upon mankind?


“Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” Verse 6.


What double service did Christ say is impossible.”


“You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13. 


Bible Examples of the Covetous


What showed this principle to have been strong in the rich man who already had abundance?


“Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grains and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”Luke 12:18,19.


What did God say to him?


“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded of you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Verse 20.  


What application of this parable did the Savior make?


“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” Verse 21.

Of what sin were the Pharisees guilty?


“The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all of this and were sneering at Jesus.

Luke 16:14.


What reply did Christ make?


 He said unto them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”

Verse 15.


What did this sin lead Achan to do?


“When I saw the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighting fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with silver underneath.” Joshua 7:21.


What did covetousness lead Judas to do?


“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.” Mark 14:10,11.


How does the Lord regard the covetous?


“He boast of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.”

Psalm 10:3.


False and True Ideas of Wealth


What parable did Christ give to correct the false idea of the Pharisees that wealth was a sign of special favor with God?


The parable of the rich man and Lazarus. (Luke 16:19-31.)


What did He point out as one of the dangers of possession of wealth?


“Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, How hard it is for the rich man to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! Mark 10:23,24.


As a rule, what class generally accepts the gospel?


“Listen my dear brother: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom promised those who love him?” James 2:5.

How difficult did Christ say it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?


“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25.


Why was the rich young man desiring salvation unwilling to sell what he had and give alms, as Christ told him to do?


“When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Matthew 19:22.


What is the love of money declared to be?


“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wondered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s.”

1 Timothy 6:10.


What evils befall those who are determined to be rich?


“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” Verse 9.


Who gives man the power to get wealth?


“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives the ability to produce wealth.”

Deuteronomy 8:18. 


How many all, rich and poor, honor God?


“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.” Proverbs 3:9.


What caution is given concerning riches?


“Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.” Psalm 62:10.


Can riches be retained to men’s hurt?


“I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner.”

Ecclesiastes 5:13.


What charge is given to the rich?


“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this sway they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19.   


What makes rich without adding sorrow?


The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.” Proverbs 10:22.


How are true riches obtained?


Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4.


How did Moses esteem the reproach of Christ?


“He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” Hebrews 11:26.


What are the two classes of rich men are mentioned in the Bible?


“One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” Proverbs 13:7.


Note – In Luke 12:16-20 is an example of the first class; in Acts 4:34-37 are examples of the second.


Man’s Last Golden Opportunity


Why are the last days to be perilous?


“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.” 2 Timothy 3:1,2.


What solemn warning is addressed to the rich who, in the last days, have heaped up treasure and oppressed the poor?


“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you have failed to pay the workman who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourself in the day of slaughter. James 5:1-5. 


Will silver or gold be able to deliver in the day of wrath?


“Neither their silver or gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth.” Zephaniah 1:18. (See also Proverbs 11:4.)


What will the rich men do with their money then?


They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be unclean thing. Their silver and gold will not be able to save them in the day of the Lord’s wrath. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it, for it has made them stumble into sin.”

Ezekiel 7:19.


As stewards of God’s gifts, what are we told to do?


“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Luke 16:9.  “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10.   



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