Isaiah 64.6,7 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Without a doubt, Scripture declares that the entire human race has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God declares that there is none good, no, not one. But here on planet earth, mankind is constantly comparing ourselves with one another. None can compare himself or herself to Jesus Christ and walk away feeling pretty good about themselves. However, there are probably a great percentage of us that can compare themselves to Ray Viola, and walk away feeling feeling pretty good about themselves.
You see beloved, apart from the revelation of God and conviction of The Holy Spirit, mankind is self righteous and is always seeking to justify their failures with excuses. There are many people who are “doing good” and noble things without God. They are hard working, without God. They are good husbands or wives without God. The list can go on and on. Fallen man is right now going about their daily routine seeking to be as good as they can. That is not a bad thing. But when a “good person” is confronted with the blinding light of Scripture regarding their natural born state, and does not believe that they need to repent and trust in Christ because they are “good people”, that is nothing more than self-righteousness, which in God’s sight is unrighteousness.
Sad to say, the behavior of a follower of Christ can be at times worse than that of a non-Christian, leading the non-Christian to say that the follower of Jesus is a hypocrite (which may be the case at times), or not as good as them (which humanly-speaking may be true as well). So did Jesus die on the cross to confirm our goodness, or to atone for our inability to be good before a holy God? How does The Almighty look at a person who sees no need for faith in Christ’s holy sacrifice to atone for their sin because they are “good people”? How does The Almighty look at the person who believes that he or she is better than or holier than any other human being because they are “good people”? Answer: They are self righteous to the core.
While good deeds are important if a society is going to function properly and live in harmony, all the good deeds that we do can never take away our sin debt and make us right with God. Only Christ’s goodness is acceptable to God. Being good without being in Christ is eternal jeopardy.