Righteous And Self-Righteous

Righteous And Self-Righteous
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In God's eyes, you are holy and righteous. You really are! When He looks at you, He sees His beloved child.

You are a precious child of God! What could be more awesome?

Yet some people hesitate to own this identity. I think they fear coming across as self-righteous. It makes sense. We often confuse "holy and righteous" with "self-righteous." We just need to 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 include: sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, self-satisfied, smug, priggish, pious, moralizing, preachy, superior, and hypocritical. Self-righteous is the opposite of humble.

The Bible describes the Sadducees as pretty self-righteous. Not "holy and righteous," but "self-righteous." The Sadducees believed they were holy and righteous, because they were very strict about keeping the law. As a result they came across as self-righteous, because they judged others by their works. 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, no matter what you do. It's God's kingdom. He invites you in.

You don't go to your neighbor's home and say, "Here, I paid my taxes. Now I get to live in your house." Of course not! You can't live there unless they invite you.

It's the same with God's kingdom. You don't decide when you are holy and righteous, because you can't earn it. It has nothing to do with what you do. Nothing at all!

The Bible describes the Sadducees as self-righteous, and self-righteousness is actually just being full of yourself. The Bible says to boast in nothing. Salvation is a gift from God.

A prince cannot make himself a prince. He is born a prince. 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 to become God's precious child. He created you! That's it! And isn't it enough?

So if you boast about anything, boast about 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, not because of anything you do.

The Bible says, "you in Me, and I in you." 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 the people around you, believers and non-believers, and in them you will see the image of God. You'll love them for who they are. You'll want to treat them lovingly. And you will.

That's a natural result of salvation -- not the reason for salvation.

You can't save them any more than you can save yourself. 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. Heaven is God's kingdom. He invites you in.

All you can do is speak the Good News. Tell everyone what Jesus did. Tell them about His grace. Help them see how awesome it is that He allows us to come into His throne room. All you have to do is receive Him. Simply receive Him. Confess what His blood has done for you, making you holy and righteous. You are beloved. God says you are!

Once your heart connects to this, you will worship Jesus because of what He did. He set you free! His door is open! You will become part of the kingdom of Heaven and receive all its benefits. All of them!

When you accept His sacrifice, you feast!

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Jeremy Affeldt is a former pitcher with the three-time World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. He is a humanitarian, author, public speaker,broadcaster, family man and a believer. Follow him on Instagram, twitter and facebook @JeremyAffeldt.

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