No More Self- Righteousness (Part 2)

Jul. 8, 2017 | By Creflo Dollar

SUMMARY

Thinking that our self-efforts are necessary to make something happen in our lives comes from performance-based religion. This is the exact opposite of trusting God and what He has already done for us through His Son. Some people flip-flop between faith in God and faith in themselves, but trusting in ourselves instead of in Him amounts to self-righteousness. We do not have to “clean up our act” first to be good enough for God to love us. He already demonstrated how much He loves us by sending Jesus to die on the cross and be resurrected for us. Under the old covenant of the Law of Moses, the people worked hard to make themselves presentable to God, but this required constant effort. We could never make ourselves righteous based on our own merits, but now we do not have to anymore; Jesus Christ did everything that needed to be done to make us holy, righteous, and able to stand before God.

Our own righteousness can in no way outshine Jesus’ righteousness.
    1. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).
      1. We are in Christ as soon as we get born again.
      2. He is wise, sanctified, righteous, and redeemed; therefore, so are we. As he is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
    2. And in accordance with this will [of God], we have been made holy (consecrated and sanctified) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (the Anointed One)…For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy (Hebrews 10:10, 14, AMPC).
      1. The one-time offering of Jesus’ body settled the sin issue forever.
      2. When we get born again, we are immediately made righteous. This status is permanent. There are consequences for sin, but losing our righteousness is not one of them.
      3. The grace of God will teach us to live right (Titus 2:11, 12).
    3. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, having not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3).
      1. The righteousness of God is based on what Jesus has already done, not according to our own standards. Jesus is enough.
    4. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Philippians 3:9).
      1. Our own righteousness will always be based on our performance. Operating in self-righteousness brings up the pattern of the old covenant.
      2. Self-righteousness is the result of people striving to get right with God through their own efforts.
      3. The biggest mistake mankind ever made was trying to be like God, without God. Doing this causes us to fall from grace.
  1. It is dangerous to assume a self-righteous attitude. We are righteous by faith.
    1. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).
      1. No Christian wants to find themselves in this kind of situation. Self-righteousness brings us to this point.
    2. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (Galatians 2:16).
      1. We must make a decision to trust in Jesus, and not in ourselves. He did all that was necessary for us to be right with God.
      2. When we work to receive something from God, it is dead works. Trusting Him allows us to receive from Him by faith.
      3. The issue has never been whether our faith is big enough or strong enough, but whether we will continue to work our faith. We only need faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6).
    3. And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 18:9-14).
      1. Jesus was talking to self-righteous people. This type of person always looks down on others.
      2. Mercy is not receiving the bad we deserve.
      3. The publican submitted himself to God and believed.
      4. Unless we profess Jesus and have faith in Him, we will never get through the gates of heaven (Matthew 7:23).
      5. Religion and self-righteousness are one and the same. Religion operates through guilt and fear, and dependency on these emotions keeps it alive.
      6. Self-righteousness is the open door to works of the flesh, which is a way of thinking that opposes the Word of God.
  2. Sin, self-righteousness, and condemnation keep us out of rest.
    1. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless (Philippians 3:4-6).
      1. Before being born again, Paul was very religious. He admitted that no one trusted in the flesh more than he had.
      2. Taking into account his background, this was a significant testimony.
    2. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG).
      1. Sin is the result of self-righteousness. When we sin and try to fix ourselves, we fail. We then experience shame before sinning again, which traps us in a vicious cycle. This is the rhythm of the flesh, but we must operate in the rhythm of grace.
      2. Self-effort wears us out and makes us tired.
    3. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls] (Matthew 11:28, AMPC).
      1. A cycle of sin develops because of self-condemnation. Jesus broke that cycle when He forgave the woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-11). He gave her a free gift of no condemnation.
      2. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
      3. If we condemn ourselves, we cannot get out of the cycle of sin, because we have identified ourselves by our behavior instead of by our identity in Christ.
      4. When we sin, we must remind ourselves of who we are in Christ. His free gift of righteousness allows us to reign as kings in life (Romans 5:17, AMPC).
      5. We are the righteousness of God. We will act like who we believe we are.
      6. We cannot live the Christian life without Christ. We cannot pursue principles without God, or exalt them over Jesus. We must not pursue wealth when it is supposed to pursue us.
      7. g. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

1 Corinthians 1:30 1 John 4:17
Hebrews 10:10, 14, AMPC Titus 2:11, 12
Romans 10:3 Philippians 3:9
Galatians 5:4 Galatians 2:16
Matthew 17:20 Luke 17:6
Luke 18:9-14 Matthew 7:23
Philippians 3:4-6 Matthew 11:28-30, MSG
Matthew 11:28, AMPC John 8:3-11
Romans 8:1 Romans 5:17, AMPC
Matthew 6:33

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