See you a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
Nothing renders a man so unmanageable, in the common concerns of life as self-conceit. But show the application of this passage in a spiritual sense.
I. EXPLAIN THE STATEMENT OF THE TEXT. Wisdom in this book is another name for religion. Foolishness is irreligion. Then the man who is "wise in his own conceit" is religious in his own conceits. All men are naturally subject to pride and vanity. A supposed superiority in religion will furnish ground for the exercise of this disposition as readily as any other fancied distinction. A man may be vain of his religion. Such persons very possibly have knowledge, and feeling, and what they call religious attainments. But they are destitute of self-knowledge: they have no real humiliation of heart, and they are greatly wanting in charity as to their judgment of the religious state and character of others. They have no notion of rendering to God a spiritual service. There is more hope of a fool, an irreligious person, than of such an one.
II. SHOW THE GROUNDS AND REASONS OF THE TEXT. Such persons as described totally mistake the nature of true religion. To be religious is to be spiritually-minded. To advance in religion is to grow in grace. They pervert the very design and end of religion. It is designed to make men humble; it makes these persons proud. They have closed up the door to their own improvement. Use this subject for self-examination. By it try our own religion, and see what is our own spiritual state.
Parallel VersesKJV: Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.