Repent of Idolatry and Pride
- Return to God in deep repentance of and brokenness over sin, denying self, and coming to God with complete humility.
- Repent of any and all sin that has prevented you from being fully used by our Lord in fulfilling the Great Commission, such as idolatry and pride.
Idolatry and pride are two sins that can hinder us “from being fully used by our Lord in fulfilling the Great Commission.” Idolatry prevents our evangelism because in idolatry, we are not worshiping the God of the Bible. How can we share God’s good news if we are serving a false god? Pride prevents our evangelism because pride fools us into thinking that we are better than the unsaved. Both idolatry and pride are dangerous sins that we should repent of.
To commit idolatry is to elevate something—anything—above God. Let us be careful not to commit idolatry. Paul warned the Corinthians against idolatry in 1 Corinthians 10:1-7.
For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”
When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they all “ate the same spiritual food.” But these Israelites committed idolatry and “God was not pleased” with them. In fact, God overthrew them “in the wilderness.” Of the Israelites who left Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land. Idolatry was not a new sin, nor did it stop with the Exodus. In fact, whenever we elevate something above God, we commit idolatry.
In carrying out the Great Commission through evangelism, discipleship, and everyday life, we must be careful to repent of idolatry whenever we commit it. Is there an idol in your life now that is preventing you from sharing the gospel? Are you rejoicing in something more than you are rejoicing in the Lord? If so, repent, in the confidence that God will forgive us of our confessed sins (1 John 1:9).
But at the heart of all idolatry is pride. Pride is the root sin; it is Satan’s first sin, and it is the sin with which Satan tempted Eve (“You will be like God”). Pride lies under all sin. Pride says, “I am sovereign in my own little universe. I deserve anything and everything I want because I don’t need God.” We simply cannot have this attitude if we are to faithfully fulfill the Great Commission! To evangelize lost sinners, we must always be wholly reliant upon God! We cannot save sinners—only God can! We can’t enliven dead hearts—only God can! We cannot have a spirit of pride if we are to truly evangelize the lost.
Not only does pride say, “I don’t need God,” but pride also says, “I’m better than other people.” This was the Pharisee’s problem in Matthew 9:10-13.
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
When Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, the Pharisees ridiculed him. In Matthew 11:19 the Pharisees would go even farther can call Jesus “a glutton and a drunkard.” The Pharisees thought highly of themselves and little of others. They were proud, arrogant. We as Christians, however, should be humble, even as our Lord was humble (Philippians 2:1-5). Therefore, as Christians, let us repent of pride whenever we notice it seep into our lives.
As we seek to live out the Great Commission, let us repent when necessary of the sins of idolatry and pride.