Self-righteousness

We are naturally prone to account ourselves very good. Our own opinion of ourselves is seldom too low; most generally it is a rather high one. But just as a stern pedagogue would say to a boy who was getting a little proud, “Come along, sir; I must take you down a little;” so the Law takes us down. It says, “Look at that precept; you have not kept that; and consider this other precept, for you appear to have forgotten it.” “Look,” says the Law, “you talk about your holiness, but have you loved the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your might? And have you loved your neighbor as yourself?” And then, when consience, which is a great friend of this pedagogue, replies, “Indeed, I have done nothing of the kind,” the conviction of sin comes home to the soul, and sadness reigns. You will tell me, “This is very unpleasant, – to be made to feel that you are sinful.” Ay, but it is very necessary. There is no getting to Christ in any other way. Christ died for sinners, and if you are not sinners, what interest can you have in his death? Why should you think that He died for you? You must be convinced of your sinfulness before you can possibly realize the value and need of salvation. It is the business of the Law to lay before you the straight line, that you may see your crooks, and put before you the pure gold, that you may discern the humbling fact that what you thought to be pure metal is only so much worthless dross. It is the part of this pedagogue to bring you down, to humble you, and make you feel how sinful you have been.

Nothing can damn a man but his own righteousness; nothing can save him but the righteousness of Christ.

– Charles Spurgeon

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