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Lately I have been emphasizing Kingdom identity. In God’s eyes, you are holy and righteous. That is how He sees you. But some people hesitate to own this identity. They are worried that it sounds arrogant. I think they are afraid of coming across as self-righteous. All they need to do is understand the difference.

According to Google, self-righteous means “having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior.” Self-righteousness is accompanied by “indignation and complacency.” Synonyms for self-righteousness are: sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, self-satisfied, smug, priggish, complacent, pious, moralizing, preachy, superior, hypocritical; and goody-goody.

Any of that sound familiar? The Bible describes the Sadducees as pretty self-righteous. They believed they were holy and righteous, but they also believed that it was because of what they did. That’s why Jesus didn’t really like them very much. They didn’t understand that you can’t get yourself into God’s Kingdom.

You can’t get yourself in! Holiness and righteousness have nothing to do with what you do. Nothing at all! Self-righteousness is actually just being full of yourself. The Bible says to boast in nothing. If you boast in anything, boast in what Christ did for you.

Through His blood, His righteousness is on you. Through His blood, His holiness is on you. You’re holy and righteous because of what He did. A prince cannot make himself a prince. He is born, he feeds from his mother the Queen’s bosom, and every day people tell him, “You’re the prince.” What makes him the prince? He didn’t do anything. The King’s his dad!

In the same way, you didn’t do anything! The King’s your dad! The Bible says, “I in you and you in me.” Anything apart from that is rubbish.

When you live out of the identity of holiness and righteousness, by grace and in grace, you will want to do good things. You will look at everybody, believers and non-believers, the same. They’re created in the image of God. You’ll love them for who they are. But you can’t save them. No matter what you do, you cannot walk up to someone and say, “Hey! I can get you into heaven!” You can’t get anybody into heaven.

You can only speak the Good News of grace and what Jesus did, and how awesome it is that He allows us to come into that throne room. All you have to do is simply accept Him. Realize that you are holy and righteous because that’s who God says you are.

Once your heart connects and worships Jesus because of what He did, you’re free. His door is open to you. You become part of the Kingdom of Heaven and you receive all of the benefits, the Bible says. All of them!

When you accept that, you feast!

2 thoughts on “Self-Righteous?

  1. What a platform for sharing the gospel and then you say, “all you have to do is simply accept Him.” I can’t tell you how many people, I and many other brothers and sisters, have come across while witnessing, that “accepted” Jesus and yet had no knowledge and wisdom of who Jesus is, what the Bible represents and were unmoved by the Cross. Jeremy, they were unmoved by the Cross because they didn’t see any need for a Savior or His work on the Cross. They describe themselves as a “good person” and believe themselves to be sufficient in and of themselves. Dangerous if we are leading false converts to believe they are heaven bound. Jeremy, what say you?

  2. I know what you’re trying to say. We’re God’s children and He absolutely loves us and sees us for whom we can be. But, as you’ve mentioned more in other posts, we have to act. We have to be changed by grace. You’re totally spot-on here that we can’t get where we want to go without Christ, but we have to do our part of truly wanting, working, and bettering ourselves to be more Christ-like. I think this post comes off a little as “say you believe, and all will be well” but I’m pretty sure that’s not quite what you intended.

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