Gal 5:25-26 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (26) Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
RASNs (Revilers, Abusers, Sociopaths, Narcissists) are driven by what the Apostle Paul calls, in the old term, “vain glory.” Pride. Selfish ambition. And he warns us against it more than once.
Php 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Those who walk in this evil sin, who are characterized by it, seek a glory for themselves that is a vain glory. Empty. Listen to John Calvin on it in a sermon on this text:
In Scripture, all glorying is seen as vain and perverse, if men are seeking esteem for themselves by it. Pagans use the term ‘vainglory’ to refer to a poor fool who is trying to pass for a clever man, or a poor rascal who is pretending to be a rich man – when a man who is neither dextrous, hard-working, nor hones to any degree, wants to be arrogant and to play at being a wise man. When people deform and disguise themselves to this extent to deceive others, the pagans call this kind of glory vain and foolish.
But the Holy Spirit goes even further than this. He says that even if we have intelligent minds, or abundant wealth, or great virtue, or all that is possible to have to gain renown, and we take the credit for it ourselves, then our boasting is vain. Why? Because it is sacrilegious to rob God of the honor that is rightfully his.John Calvin, Sermons on Galatians, Banner of Truth***
RASNs, for all of their counterfeit disguise as pious saints which so many of them wear, are astonishingly destructive. Why? Because they are driven by the foolish and evil craving to be exalted above others. It is, as Calvin says, “the deadliest plague that a person who is entrusted with the responsibility to teach others could ever have.” And he adds:
When people push themselves forward in society like this, and seek to be famous and to be applauded by men, it is impossible for them not to abandon themselves to all kinds of evil.Ibid
“…to all kinds of evil.” This is the RASN’s fruit. Evil of all kinds. But just try to warn such a person against the snare of this trap. What they really are will soon be evident. If you are dealing with a real Christian who is on the precipice of falling to this selfish ambition, they will be convicted, repent, and thank you. But most commonly what we see is fangs when we point out a person’s vain glorying. To the RASN, you are nothing more than a supply for their ego and if you dare cease to give them praise or to call them to accounts, you will be met with murderous hatred. This is why Scripture tells us:
Gal 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
It is all vanity, this evil selfish ambition. And one day every RASN is going to find out just how vain and empty his/her entire life has been. Standing before the Lord, the RASN will even attempt to use his Creator as a supply of praise for himself. It isn’t going to work.
Mat 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (23) And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
***By the way, if you would really come to know the real John Calvin, read his sermons. He is well-known for his commentaries on almost the entire Bible, but his sermons really reveal his heart and I have grown to appreciate him greatly. Start with his sermons on Ephesians. You can find that volume at Banner of Truth Trust online.