Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because He shows us both God and our own wretchedness.
The presence of the flesh is not, however, an excuse for walking in it. We are taught that "our old man is crucified with Christ"; that, in that sense, we "are dead," and we are called upon to make this a constant experience by mortifying ("making dead") our members which are upon the earth.
There is nothing into which the heart of man so easily falls as pride, and yet there is no more vice which is more frequently, more emphatically, and more eloquently condemned in Scripture. Pride is a thing which should be unnatural to us, for we have nothing to be proud of. In almost every other sin, we gather us ashes when the fire is gone. But here, what is left? The covetous man has his shining gold, but what does the proud man have? He has less than he would have had without pride, and is no gainer whatever. Pride wins no crown.
Pride comes from not knowing yourself and the world. The older you grow, and the more you see, the less reason you will find for being proud. Ignorance and inexperience are the pedestal of pride; once the pedestal is removed - pride will soon come down.
Let us watch against pride in every shape - pride of intellect, pride of wealth, pride in our own goodness, pride in our own deserts. Nothing is so likely to keep a man out of heaven, and prevent him seeing Christ, as pride. So long as we think we are something, we shall never be saved.