Romans 2:1-3 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou thatjudgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
James 2:10,11 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
Self righteousness runs deep in every human being. It is the “fig leaf” that condemns others for the same sins and failure that we too are guilty of. You may scream to me in protest, no way Pastor Ray! I am no thief! I am not a liar! I am no fornicator or drunkard! That may very well be true. But as we follow the “logic” of both Paul and James, we must realize that to disobey God in any way makes us guilty of total disobedience. Truth be told, the teaching of Jesus about the parable of the two men in the temple (Luke 18:10-14) is a revelation of the self righteousness that every one of us is guilty of. We scream out, “I fast, I tithe, I go to prayer meetings; I don’t watch television or listen to secular music.” That may be so.
Have you ever bragged or boasted about your ability to sing, build something, teach a bible study? Have you ever had a flash thought of lust or jealousy? Have you ever despised another person for one reason or another? How are you doing with that teaching on forgiving others from Matthew 18:21-35? Many of God’s people smugly read about the sexual perversion in Romans 1, but fail to read the other blistering sins of human depravity. Let’s take a look, shall we? “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” (Romans 1:29-31) Do you know who The Holy Spirit is talking about? The man or woman in the mirror.
When the glory and grace of God enters our souls, it drives the nails of crucifixion to self righteousness, and gives birth to a biblical understanding of how to deal with sin and conflict with others. A recipient of grace and mercy will be gracious and merciful. The plank in my eyes teaches me to be understanding of the speck in yours. Churches are split and relationships are severed over this matter. It’s self righteousness. It’s the flesh not getting what it thinks it “deserves.” Do we really want God to give us what we deserve? I think not. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:30-32) Selah