Faithlife Sermons

Self-righteousness and the gospel

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1 John 2:16

1 John 2:16 NLT
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
Self-righteousness is an obstacle to the gospel, which insists that true righteousness can only be found in Jesus Christ.
The real issue of righteousness
Job 9:2 NLT
“Yes, I know all this is true in principle. But how can a person be declared innocent in God’s sight?
1 Samuel 6:20 NLT
“Who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God?” they cried out. “Where can we send the Ark from here?”
Job 4:17 NLT
‘Can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’
Job 32:2 NLT
Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him.
Job 40:8 NLT
“Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right?
True righteousness is not the result of human effort
Romans 3:20 NLT
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Romans 9:31 NLT
But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded.
Galatians 2:16 NLT
Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
Galatians 3:11 NLT
So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
Titus 3:5 NLT
he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
1 John 2:16 NLT
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
Self-righteousness is a contradiction in terms
2 Chronicles 6:36 NLT
“If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land far away or near.
Isaiah 64:6 NLT
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Ezra 9:15 NLT
O Lord, God of Israel, you are just. We come before you in our guilt as nothing but an escaped remnant, though in such a condition none of us can stand in your presence.”
Psalm 14:3 NLT
But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!
Ecclesiastes 7:20 NLT
Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
Romans 3:23 NLT
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
God calls people from their pretended self-righteousness
Isaiah 2:22 NLT
Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?
Psalm 75:2–4 NLT
God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked. When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists!
Jeremiah 17:5 NLT
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
Matthew 5:20 NLT
“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
True righteousness
It comes from God
Romans 10:3 NLT
For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.
Psalm 98:2 NLT
The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
Isaiah 46:13 NLT
For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save Jerusalem and show my glory to Israel.
Isaiah 51:5 NLT
My mercy and justice are coming soon. My salvation is on the way. My strong arm will bring justice to the nations. All distant lands will look to me and wait in hope for my powerful arm.
Jeremiah 9:23–24 NLT
This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!
Romans 1:17 NLT
This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
It is grounded in Jesus Christ
Acts 13:39 NLT
Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do.
1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
It comes about by faith
Romans 5:1 NLT
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
Galatians 5:5 NLT
But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.
Ephesians 2:8 NLT
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
It is received in humility
Luke 18:13–14 NLT
“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
1 Corinthians 1:31 NLT
Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 11:30 NLT
If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.
In Conclusion:
Galatians 6:13–14 NLT
And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples. As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.
Ephesians 2:9 NLT
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Philippians 3:7–9 NLT
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
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