Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
‘God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.’
for ‘God resists
The word “resists” is a military term. Secular Greek used “resists” of an army drawn up for battle. Pride calls for God to line up his forces against it. He will draw on his resources against the proud believer. The Lord will set himself as an adversary and block the proud person.
“Resists” means to set against, to stand against. The word comes from the same root as the word “submit.” In other words, “resist” is a play on the word “submit” earlier in this verse. “Submit” means to fall in line under. “Resists” means God sets himself in rank against proud people and combats those who reject the authority of the leadership of the local church.
Paul uses this same Greek word “resists” of Peter, the author of this epistle in the book of Galatians,
Gal 2:11, “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed.”
“Proud” comes from two words: above and to appear. The term “proud” means to show above, appear over. He appears above others (Luke 1:51; Rom. 1:30; 2 Tim. 3:2; Jas. 4:6). He is arrogant, disdainful, and is overweening. This person is ostentatiously proud.
This person loves to play king of the mountain, gaining ascendancy over others. He is arrogant and haughty. He does not recognize that what he has, he has from God. Because of pride, he does not accept the authority of the leadership of the local church. He is anti-establishment in his sentiment.
A proud person is someone who shows himself above others. He views himself as pre-eminent. He feels he is personally above others. This individual is haughty (Rom. 1:30; 2 Tim. 3:2). God sets the arrogant attitude in opposition to the humble,
Jas 4:6, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
‘God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.’”
God will set himself against proud people who do not submit to leadership in the local church.
A proud person in this context cannot accept authority in the local church. God resists those who resist the leader of the local church. If you line up against the pastor, God will line up against you! Verses 1-4 show what God does with the pastor if he steps out of line.
There is a delayed-action fuse on the bomb of pride. When it goes off, we will know it. God opposes the proud not only in his psychological attitude but also in his corresponding behavior. God withstands and opposes the proud. He sets himself against the arrogance of people who do not accept authority in the local church.
Pride is the first on a list of things God hates:
Pr 6:16-19, “These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.”