“O thou Father, thankest thee for making me holier than the rest
For I hold my head high, no one can contest
I’m not like rest of the wretched kin
I am perfect and holy and without sin”
So you say; “Thou art holier than thou O self righteous one”?
as you lookest down on those who are as undone
Far far away are those around thee
You say “For I am without sin and blemish free-
oh how they wish they could be like me”
You pray,”O dear God, thank you, for making me great
I know all the prayers and to mass, I am never late
I know of no sin in my life, for I see none
I am as perfect and holy as the righteous Son”
“”Blasphemy!” I hear others say,
Oh dear, I pity them today”
“For you don’t see my perfectness”
Oh self righteous one, you don’t see your nakedness
You are needy and poor
And no longer hear Him knocking at your door
Your own tongue has condemned and shown thy sin,
You can proclaim all you want, but you will not win
Judgment day awaits you and I
To say we are without sin is proclaiming a lie
Stop, consider, search your heart
So your walk with the Lord will not fall apart
But you still stand aloof and content
But today I warn you – bow down and repent
For a man who says he is without sin
Is wretched and poor and naked thin.
If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me:
if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.”
EVER since man became a sinner he has been self-righteous.. We can overcome lust itself, and anger, and the fierce passions of the will better than we can ever master the proud boastfulness which rises in our hearts and tempts us to think ourselves rich and increased in goods, while God knoweth we are naked, and poor, and miserable. Tens of thousands of sermons have been preached against self-righteousness, and yet it is as necessary to turn the great guns of the law against its walls to-day as ever it was. Martin Luther said he scarcely ever preached a sermon without inveighing against the righteousness of man, and yet, he said, “I find that still I cannot preach it down. Still men will boast in what they can do, and mistake the path to heaven to be a road paved by their own merits, and not a way besprinkled by the blood of the atonement of Jesus Christ.” My dear hearers, I cannot compliment you by imagining that all of you have been delivered from the great delusion of trusting in yourselves. The godly, those who are righteous through faith in Christ, still have to mourn that this infirmity clings to them; while as to the unconverted themselves, their besetting sin is to deny their guiltiness, to plead that they are as good as others, and to indulge still the vain and foolish hope that they shall enter into heaven from some doings, sufferings, or weepings of their own. The sermon of this morning is intended to be another blow against our self-righteousness. If it will not die, at least let us spare no arrows against it; let us draw the bow, and if the shaft cannot penetrate its heart, it may at least stick in its flesh and help to worry it to its grave.
“If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me.” “I say that I have no need of a salvation by the blood and righteousness of another, for I believe that I have kept the commands of God from my youth up, and I do not think that I am guilty in his sight, but I hope that I may be able in my own right to claim a seat in paradise.” Now, sir, your plea and this declaration of yours is in itself a condemnation of you, because upon its very surface it is apparent that you are committing sin while you are pleading that you have no sin. For the very plea itself is a piece of high and arrogant presumption. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” “There is none good, save one, that is God.” We are told by the mouth of a prophet sent from God, that “all we like wandering sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” And thou, in saying that thou art righteous, dost commit the sin of calling God a liar. The moment that a man saith, “I have no sin,” he commits a sin in the saying of it,—the sin of contradicting his Maker, and making God a false accuser of his creatures. Besides, dost thou not see, thou vain and foolish creature, that thou hast been guilty of pride in the very language thou hast used? Who but a proud man would stand up and commend himself? Who, but one who was proud as Lucifer, would in the face of God’s declaration declare himself to be just and holy? “Why,” saith he, “I am no worse than my neighbours, in fact a great deal better; I do not drink, or swear; I do not commit fornication or adultery; I am no Sabbath breaker; I am no thief; the laws of my country do not accuse, much less condemn me; I am better than the most of men, and if I be not saved, God help those who are worse than I am; if I cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, then who can?” Just so, but then all that you claim is that you are righteous as compared with others.
Do you not see that this is a very vain and fatal plea, because you do in fact admit that you are not perfectly righteous;—that there is some sin in you, only you claim there is not so much in you as in another. You have sinned. Another man’s sins cannot excuse you; you must stand upon your own feet. At the day of judgment you must yourself make a personal appearance, and it will not be what another man has done that will condemn, or acquit you, but your own personal guilt. It is of no saving avail to you that you have not have committed ten thousand sins, for if you have committed one, you are a lost soul.
“Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the law to do them.” Oh! sinner, I cannot help turning aside from the subject for a moment to remind you that there is a way of salvation, and a way by which the law’s demands can be fully satisfied. Christ bore all the punishment of all believers, so that they cannot be punished. But you cannot keep the law, and if you bring up your self-rigtheousness the law condemns both it and you; Out of your own mouth it condemns you, inasmuch as you have not done all things and have not kept all the law. A great rock lies in your path to heaven; a mountain insurmountable; a gulf impassable; and by that road no man shall ever enter into eternal life.
Men know that they are guilty. The conscience of the proudest man, when it is allowed to speak, tells him that he deserves the wrath of God. He may brag in public, but the very loudness of his bragging proves that he has an uneasy conscience, and therefore he makes a mighty din in order to drown its voice. Whenever I hear an infidel saying hard things of Christ, it reminds me of the men of Moloch, who beat the drums that they might not hear the screams of their own children. Do not believe that these men are honest. I think all controversy with them is time thrown away
When men get alone, if in their loneliness the thought of death forces itself upon them, they boast no more of goodness. It is not easy for a man to lie on his bed seeing the naked face of death, not at a distance, but feeling that his breath is breathing upon the skeleton, and that he must soon pass through the iron gates of death—it is not easy for a man to plead his self-righteousness then. Ay, sinner, even while this sermon is being uttered, you may seek to refute it to yourself, and say, “Well, I believe I am as good as others, and that this fuss about a new birth, imputed righteousness, and being washed in blood, is all unnecessary,” but in the loneliness of your silent chamber, especially when death shall be your dread and grim companion, you shall not need me to state this, you shall see it clearly enough yourselves; see it with eyes of horror; and feel it with a heart of dismay, and despair, and perish because thou hast despised the righteousness of Christ.
A deaf man may declare that there is no such thing as music. A man who has never seen the stars, is very likely to say that there are no stars. But what does he prove? If thou dost to-day feel thyself to be guilty, and lost, and ruined, there is the richest hope for thee in the gospel; but if thou sayest, “I am good, I have merits,” the law condemns thee, and the gospel cannot comfort thee; thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, and thou art ignorant that all the while thou art talking thus, the wrath of God abideth on thee. A man may be a true Christian, and may fall into sin, but a man cannot be a true Christian and boast in his self-righteousness. Thus I know, there never was a man yet who was in a state of grace who did not know himself, in himself, to be in a state of ruin, a state of depravity and condemnation. If you do not know this, then I say your plea of self-righteousness condemns you for ignorance.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins;” “but if we say that we have no sins, we make God a liar, and the truth is not in us.” God will pardon all men who confess their iniquity. The thirsty are welcome; but those who think they are good, are welcome neither to Sinai nor to Calvary. They have no hope of heaven, no peace in this world, nor in that which is to come.
Now be it known unto you, that when Christ died, he took the sins of all his people upon his head, and there and then they all ceased to be. At the moment when Christ died, the sins of all his redeemed were blotted out. He did then suffer all they ought to have suffered; he paid all their debts; and their sins were actually and positively lifted that day from their shoulders to his shoulders, for “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” And now, if you believe in Jesus, there is not a sin remaining upon you, for your sin was laid on Christ; Christ was punished for your sins before they were committed, and as Kent says:
“Here’s pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their caste;
And oh! my soul with wonder view,
For sins to come here’s pardon too.”
Blessed privilege of the believer! But if you live and die unbelievers, know this, that all your sins lie on your own shoulders. You live and die in yourselves, lost; in yourselves, ruined; in yourselves, utterly destroyed. But believing—the moment you believe, you may know that you were chosen of God from before the foundation of the world. You do in fact, in the moment you believe, stand where Christ stood as God’s accepted Son; and Christ stands where you stood as the sinner, and suffers as if he had been the sinner, and dies as if he had been guilty—dies in your room, place, and stead.
Oh! Spirit of God, give faith. Win us all from self; knit us all to Christ; may we be saved now by his free grace, and be saved in eternity.
Related articles: Characteristics of the Self righteous
Self-righteousness is the devil’s masterpiece to make us think well of ourselves.- Charles Spurgeon
The self-righteous never apologize- Leonard Ravenhill
Self-righteousness is the largest idol of the human heart – the idol which man loves most and God hates most. Dearly beloved, you will always be going back to this idol. You are always trying to be something in yourself, to gain God’s favour by thinking little of your sin, or by looking to your repentance, tears, prayers ; or by looking to your religious exercises, your frames, etc; or by looking to your graces, the Spirit’s work in your heart. Beware of false Christs. Study sanctification to the utmost, but make not a Christ of it.: Adrian Rogers taken from: Self righteous quotes