Posted tagged ‘self-righteousness’

Not Our Lack of Self-Righteousness, by Tianqi Wu

April 4, 2015

A line from a Taiwanese pop TV show several years ago, “if apology works, then what’s the point of police?” If your apology can move God to forgive you, then what’s the point of Christ’s death?

The prevailing idea is salvation is by “do what you can” – the requirement varies based on their assessment of human ability, the more optimistic ones require a close to perfect reform, and the more pessimistic ones require “faith alone” – we can’t do the law, but at least we can “believe”, and God being gracious will accept that…one such person says, “God looks for reasons (in us) to save us”.

But righteousness is never about what the unrighteous can do, just as life is never about what the dead can do.
God demands men to be righteous. Born in Adam, we are already unrighteous. Since we desire to have our unrighteousness covered, in our evil imagination (unless and until we are effectually called by God’s gospel) always buy into the lie that yes, we can cover our unrighteousness. Given that we are ALREADY guilty, this reaction of “yes, we can” is FURTHER defiance of God’s law, and COMPOUNDS our guilt.

It is not anything in us or proceeding from us that placed us under God’s wrath. We are ALREADY condemned by imputed guilt, before we are FURTHER condemned by our works of flesh, among which is our self-righteousness, i.e. our imagination that yes, we can cover our unrighteousness.

Our fundamental problem is not our self-righteousness, but our unrighteousness. We are not saved by our not being self-righteous. We are saved by Christ’s death for God’s elect, and one result of Christ’s death is that God causes those for whom Christ died to repent from their self-righteousness and believe in Christ’s righteousness(and not our repentance or belief)as the whole reason of our salvation.

It is self-righteousness to condition our justification on our not being self-righteous. It is unrepentant unbelief to condition the application of Christ’s death on our repentance and belief. The elect repent and believe as a result of Christ’s death for them.

Flesh is Self-righteousness, Because Being Embodied is Not the Problem

May 25, 2014

Self-sufficient and self-righteous people assume that they are going to live Somewhere, even if it’s without a physical body. These religious and “more moral” sinners think they are against the flesh, by assuming that they can continue to live even if they had no body and there were not earth. But Paul’s letter to the Philippians teaches the destruction of all who those who rely on their own righteousness instead of submitting to Christ’s outside righteousness.

1:28— not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their DESTRUCTION, but of your salvation, and that from God.

3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God[b] and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the FLESH—

8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

3:19— Their end is DESTRUCTION their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

According to Phil 3:18-19, those who remain enemies of the cross will perish, will be destroyed. Only God can save anybody, and God has not promised to save anybody without teaching that person the gospel. The promise of God is not to those who have a connection in the flesh to somebody else who is a Christian. The promise is to “as many as God will call”. Acts 2:39. God calls by the gospel. Not all who are externally called by the gospel are effectively called by God. But all who are effectually called by God are called by the gospel. (Romans 10:14-17).

The only way we can tell if our works are good fruit (instead of fruit unto death) is to make our calling and election sure. (II Peter 1) By what gospel were you called? Did the gospel you claim be called by talk about election? Did the gospel who claim to be called by talk about Christ’s outside righteousness, as opposed to some righteousness of your own which you are enabled to do. All of your morality and all of your “righteousness” is an abomination to God, if you think it adds to the equation by which God is not angry with you today.

if you think God is at peace with you today, because you think you have not sinned so seriously today, then you are still dominated by the “flesh”, which is your self-righteousness, which sin God hates more than any other, because it sets itself up in competition with Christ’s righteousness. And make no mistake, if you today are adding your own not sinning into the mix along with Christ’s righteousness, what you think is an addition to Christ’s righteousness IS IN COMPETITION WITH CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Philippians 3:8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

Galatians 2:21 for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for NO purpose.

Galatians 5: 2…. if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of NO advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law

Romans 10: 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness

Phil 3:18-19 is in contrast to 3:21. Their end is destruction; but our citizenship is already from heaven. Their end is destruction, but our end is transformation and immortality. When it says that they mind earthly things, this does not necessarily mean immoral things; it may only mean non-gospel things. It may mean somebody who thinks he used to be in this legalistic cult but is now focused on being a healthy and happy and productive member of normal society.

Having a citizenship from heaven does not mean that we are in heaven or that we are ever going to be in heaven. It means that those who are justified get their hopes and commands from Jesus Christ, who is in Heaven, who is our King, and who one day is coming to us on earth from Heaven.

I Corinthians 15: 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is FROM heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are OF heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[f] also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Again, being from heaven does not mean that we are in heaven or that we will ever be going to heaven. Being “of heaven” means that King Jesus tells us what to do on earth, and that our hope is for the resurrection when Jesus will come to earth from heaven. Being a citizen of heaven means that we cannot also at the same time be a citizen of the demonic powers which oppose Christ’s kingdom and which have been ‘disarmed” by Christ’s death and resurrection (Colossians 2:15) Satan offered Christ these kingdoms, and now Satan and the powers offer us a place as a citizen in these kingdoms, but we reject that offer, because we are already citizens of heaven. This we reject what the world calls strength in order to be found “weak in Christ”.

“Earthly things” cause those in the “flesh” to remain ignorant and not submitted to the gospel. The “earthly things” which are sinful are not the fact that we live on earth in physical bodies. The “earthly things” include the distraction of morality and religion as they come into competition with Christ’s completed work at the cross. The glutton is not the only person who worships his belly. The preacher or the editor who will not preach the gospel and expose the false gospel in order to “keep my ministry and still have influence” is also serving his belly. His flesh may not look like the flesh of the preacher who openly teaches freewill and losing your salvation. But it’s still flesh.

Phil 3:16 Let us walk by the same rule. Let’s not practice the ungodly practice of judging only by outward appearance or by our own standard of saved and lost. Without the imputed righteousness revealed in the gospel, the person who commits less immorality is no better off than the person who commits more sin, if that person who is “more moral” using that difference to find assurance or to think he is more blessed by God or more pleasing to God.

It is FLESH to boast that we are converted because other people are less moral than we think we are.

II Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves by themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.” Notice what the verse says: WE are NOT like THOSE people. THEY have an unrighteous standard of judgment.

Most commentators on Philippians 3:18-19 focus on the word “belly” and assume that it means greed, not only the desire for too much food but the lust for money and sinful pleasures. They do not connect “belly” to the desire to have one’s own righteousness from the law, even though that has been the topic of the entire chapter to that point. But the lust of the flesh is subtle.

The unlawful desires of the flesh are most subtle when it comes to self-righteousness. The law of God should not be blamed for the sin of self-righteousness, even though God has predestined the abuse of the law. When a person thinks that his not tasting and his not touching brings him blessing, that person is not only self-righteous but also an antinomian, because that person is thinking that God is satisfied with something less than perfect obedience to the law.

The only way that God can be (and IS) pleased with the good works of a Christian is that the Christian knows that these good works are blessings from Christ’s righteousness, not a supplement added to Christ’s righteousness. And this distinction is not only something that God knows, or only something that smart “Reformed theologians” know. Every Christian knows that Christ’s righteousness is the only reason for every love-gift from God.

The sin which deceives us all by nature is that WE DESIRE WHAT WE PRODUCE TO BE PART OF OUR SALVATION. We will give God’s “grace” the credit for helping us produce it. If asked about it, we would even say that “particular election” is the reason we produced it. But, like Cain, we want to take what we produced and offer it to God as some small part of what God will accept as our righteousness.

We don’t mind of God has to produce some righteousness also to “make up the difference”. But the one thing we want, the one thing which the people who killed Jesus wanted, is the one thing Cain wanted, and that is to have God accept what we have produced and what we sincerely (even if ignorantly) offered to God.

But God will NOT accept it. It’s either what we do in this life, or what God has already done in Christ. It’s either destruction or salvation.

Free Will? A Mean Doctrine Believed by Mean People

April 28, 2011

Some who agree that the Gospel shows that the cause of salvation is the effectual definite death of Christ do not preach this Gospel as they do not preach Christ and His death so as to expose all that people highly esteem.

The meaning and significance of Christ and His death, revealed in the Gospel, is the only thing that will expose to our minds the sin that deceives us. God uses the gospel to show us the pride that motivates us to try to establish our self-righteousness. John 3:19-20.

Without the Gospel, no lost sinner will ever come to faith in Christ and repent of dead works and idolatry .Rom. 10:9-17.

Many people have faith in a counterfeit Christ. They have faith in their faith. How can this be exposed so that they should not remain deceived and lost? Only through the Gospel preached, heard, and understood.


It is true that the Bible is a book with many topics. It contains doctrine, history, ethics, poetry, letters, etc., but the whole Bible is written in light of the great salvation God has provided for the elect by Christ. The whole Old Testament is written in light of God’s promise to send the Messiah to establish that righteousness that would entitle all who believe the Gospel to the whole inheritance of eternal life.

The whole Nnw Testament is written in light of the Christ who has come and fulfilled that righteousness by His obedience to death. If we remove this light, then the Bible is no better than any other religious history or book of ethics, poetry and letters.

Faith is believing God’s testimony in the Gospel. Ephesians. 2:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. Apart from the Gospel, we talk more about “faith alone” than we do about the object of faith.

True Godly repentance begins when we see that all our previous efforts to attain or maintain any part of salvation was no more than dead works, fruit unto death, evil deeds. The only way we could see this is by the Gospel. Apart from the Gospel all repentance is legal repentance! We need instruction in Godly sorrow over sin. 2 Cor. 7:9-10.

Godly love causes us to speak peace to those who believe the gospel as we desire their fellowship. Godly love causes us not speak peace to those with different false gospels as we pray for their salvation.

Without the Gospel, all judgment concerning saved and
lost, concerning spiritual matters is self-righteous judgment based on
ignorance and speculation 1 Cor. 2:13ff.

All acceptable obedience and good works are motivated by the certainty of salvation and final glory, of our being
fully entitled to the whole inheritance of eternal life, of our being completely qualified and fit to Worship god, all based on the obedient death of Christ. Without the Gospel, all attempts at obedience and works are no more than dead works, fruit unto death.John 3:21; Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 10:17-24.

Bill Parker