What Does God Say About Pride?

This Bible Study answers the question - What Does God Say About Pride?

This Bible study is suitable for individual study or weekly group reviews. It offers you a great opportunity for personal growth.  This study presents you with a tremendous opportunity for thoughtful reflection and spiritual growth.

So What Does God Say About Pride? 

In the first lesson we discussed what pride is and we saw that it revolved around the ideas that: we were more important than God, a reliance on self more than God, or a placing of self before God.

We learned:

  • Pride relies on competition and without competition there is no pride (I Corinthians 4:6, Galatians 6:4, James 1:9-10).
  • Pride is sometimes deep within the innermost thoughts of the heart (Luke 1:51).
  • Pride is opposite God’s concept of agape love (I Corinthians 13:4).
  • Pride in another is not necessarily evil and that we should be proud of those who are steadfastly in God’s will (I Corinthians 5:12, II Corinthians 7:4, 8:24).
  • Finally, we concluded that pride is most often sin.

Before we go on, ask yourself this question:

Can a proud man or woman be saved?

Now, let’s take a look at some of the passages in the Bible that talk about pride and to answer the question - What does God say about pride?

Let’s see if there's a verse in the Bible that says "pride is sin."


  • 138:6 Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.


  • 8:12  I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • 16:5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
  • 18:12 Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
  • 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!
  • 21:24 The proud and arrogant man--"Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.

Mark 7

  • 14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'"
  • 17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19 For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")
  • 20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"


  • 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

2 Timothy

  • 3:1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.


  • 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

1 John

  • 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Did You See a Verse that Says Pride is Sin?

Proverbs Chapter 21, verse 4 clearly says a proud heart is sin.
Therefore, pride is sin.

In Luke Chapter 22 a story takes place the night Jesus was betrayed and occurs just after he reveals this future fact to his Apostles.

Let’s read verses 22 through 30:

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him."

23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. 24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (NIV, 1984)

This wasn’t the only occurrence of this problem, let’s look at 2 others:

Luke 9:46-48 46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-he is the greatest." (NIV, 1984)

Mark 9:33-34 33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. (NIV, 1984)

Isn’t it remarkable that the disciples would argue about who would be the greatest?

Why do you think this occurred, and considering who these men had for a teacher or personal spiritual trainer for 3 years, what does it say about mankind in general?

Now let’s go to Luke Chapter 7. Let’s read verses 1 through 10.

Luke 71 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6 So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well. (NIV, 1984)

Compare the behavior of the Apostles to that of the Centurion.

The idea of pride occurs in many different places and nuances in the Bible. Let’s take a look at some uses of pride in the Old Testament. Here is a table of nine different uses of the English phrase “pride of ____” as translated in the King James and New International Versions.

Pride of . . .

  • Of Power  --  Leviticus 26:19, Ezekiel 30:6, 30:18, 33:28
  • Of the Heart  --  Deuteronomy 8:14, II Chronicles 32:26, Psalm 101:5, Proverbs 16:15, 18:12, 21:4, Isaiah 9:9, Jeremiah 49:16, Ezekiel 28:5, 17, Obadiah 3
  • Of Evil Men --  Job 35:12
  • Of Countenance  --  Psalm 10:4, Ezekiel 28:17
  • Of Man  --  Psalm 31:10
  • A Nation or People  --  II Chronicles 25:19 (Judah), Isaiah 16:6 (Moab), Jeremiah 13:9 (Judah), 48:29 (Moab), 49:16 (Edom), Zechariah 9:6 (Philistines), 10:11 (Assyria), 11:3 (Jordan)
  • Of Wealth  --  Isaiah 23:9, Ezekiel 7:20, 28:5
  • In Accomplishment  --  Ezekiel 31:10
  • In Self-sufficiency  --  Hosea 13:6

Pride is portrayed in many colorful ways in the Old Testament:

The word pride is personified in the following 4 scriptures:

  • Persecutes (Psalm 10:2)
  • Testifies (Hosea 5:5)
  • Deceives (Obadiah 3)
  • Brings low (Proverbs 29:23)

Pride is described in the following Scriptures as:

  • A Necklace (Psalm 73:6)
  • A Crown (Isaiah 28:1-3)
  • Fruit (Ezekiel 7:10)

Let’s close our study in the New Testament in the Book of John Chapter 13.

Here we find the story we studied just moments ago, and remarkably, just before the disciples were arguing about who would be greatest, we learn in this account that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of Mankind, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and God himself in the flesh - is demonstrating a remarkable lesson to these disciples with a very graphic and shocking teaching aid. Let’s begin in verse one.
Gospel of John Chapter 13

1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."

9 "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"

10 Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Do you think the disciples got the lesson?

What prevents the world from getting the lesson of pride versus humility today?

Here's the Point of this Lesson:

To Understand the Question - What Does God Say About Pride?

Philippians 2

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.