Posts Tagged ‘self righteousness’


Under Gods Command

Time to conduct a self-evaluation.  I try to better myself everyday.  I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be.  If you need help with this, try speaking to that guy you see every morning when you are shaving or brushing your teeth in the morning.  What would you say to that guy.  We have a lot to say about others, but what about that guy in the mirror.  What Sins are we hiding?  What have we done to in the past where the Judge would have found us guilty as charge.  Well, remember that the Lord is our judge, and he differently knows we are not innocent.  Read the Scriptures below and lets do a Spiritual Cleansing.   

1 Corinthians 11:28

But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 

When you examine yourself, then you do not need to be judged of the Lord for this. If we try our own motives, then we will not take the communion so lightly. The unworthiness here, is speaking of someone taking communion not really believing. It would be as if you were mocking the communion.“Not discerning the Lord’s body”: When believers do not properly judge the holiness of the celebration of Communion, they treat with indifference the Lord Himself; His life, suffering and death.

Psalm 139:24

And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. 

“The way everlasting”: David expresses his desire/expectation of eternal life (see notes on Phil. 1:6).

The psalmist here, is asking for a spiritual house cleaning. The one who leads us and guides us and teaches us is the Holy Spirit of God. Every one of us have something in our life that could be improved upon. We need to join in with this psalmist and ask God to search our innermost being and to purge out those things which be not of God. The best way to get rid of any darkness that we might have hidden away, is to turn the Light on it. The Light does away with all darkness. 

Psalm 139.23

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

He had searched him, and knew his heart thoroughly.

“Try me, and know my thoughts”: He had tried him, and knew every thought in him (Psalm 139:1). This therefore is not said for the sake of God; who, though he is the trier of hearts, and the searcher of the reins, is indeed a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart at once. And knows immediately what is in man. And needs no testimony of him, nor to make use of any means in order to know him and what is within him. But David said this for his own sake, that God would search and make known to him what was in his heart. And try him by his word, as gold is tried in the fire. Or by anything difficult and self-denying, as he tried Abraham. Or by any afflictive providence; or in any way he thought fit to make him acquainted thoroughly with himself. His sense is this, that if he knew his own heart and thoughts, and the inward frame and disposition of his soul, it was as he had expressed it. That he was grieved with sinners, and hated those that hated the Lord. Even with a perfect hatred, and reckoned them as his enemies. But if it was otherwise, he desired to be searched and tried thoroughly, that it might be discovered. And he might say this also on account of others, who charged him falsely with things he was not conscious of. That never entered into his thoughts, and his heart knew nothing of, and could not accuse him with. And therefore he appeals to the heart searching God, that he would so lay open things that his integrity and innocence might appear to all. (see Gen. 22:1).

The psalmist (probably David), is assured that when God looks into his heart he will find nothing but love for God. Thoughts come from the heart. If our heart is right, then the thoughts that we have will be pure thoughts as well. One very good reason for a request like this would be, for God to find anything that needs to be changed and help him change.

Job 13.23

“How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.

“How many are mine iniquities and sins?” Job wanted to know how many so that he could determine if his measure of suffering matched the severity of his sin, and he could then repent for sins he was unaware of.

This was not a statement that he had no sin. This was a true statement, that if he had sinned he was unaware of what the specific sins were. Job truly did want to repent of any sin he had committed, and make it right with God. He just did not know what to change. 

Psalm 26:2

Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.

“Examine me … prove … try”: Theses 3 invitations to divine scrutiny are essentially synonymous ways of testing, refining, and purifying (compare Psalms 11:4-5; 12:6; 17:3; 66:10; Jer. 17:9-10).

God looks upon the heart of man, and not at the outward appearances. David is explaining here, that he wants God to look into his heart and see that it is not evil. This prayer that David prayed in the verse above, is like us saying purge me Lord. My prayer and your prayer should be like this, that God would judge us now and burn out all of the evil left in us. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?

Paul turned the tables on his accusers, Instead of presuming to evaluate his apostleship; they needed to test the genuineness of their faith. (James 2:14-26) He pointed out the incongruity of the Corinthians’ believing as they did, that their faith was genuine and his apostleship false.

Paul was their spiritual father and if his apostleship was counterfeit, so was their faith. The genuineness of their salvation was proof of the genuineness of his apostleship.

All true Christians have Jesus within them. The ones who fail the test totally reject Jesus as their Savior.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

This verse reiterates the “desperately” (incurable) wickedness of the human heart. The primary characteristic of being in the flesh is an absolute inability to please God (Gal. 5:19-21). Only surrender to the Holy Spirit can guarantee motives that will be pleasing to God.

The heart of man before he turns his heart over to God, is deceitful and wicked. The heart after God has written His laws on it, is a totally different thing. Only God knows the heart of man.

Psalm 4:4

Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

“Stand in awe and sin not”: In this context, the admonition means to tremble or shake in the fear of the Lord so as not to sin (compare Isa. 32:10-11; Hab. 3:16). This can be translated “come to your senses” or “be stirred, tremble”. Being in this state is not an excuse to surrender to emotions and “sin”. Anger and sin do not have to go hand in hand (Eph. 4:26).

To stand in awe is to reverence God. The fear, or reverence of God is the beginning of wisdom. If we truly fear God we will not sin, because we do not want to displease Him. Commune with your own heart means to think in your heart on God. Sometimes, in our bed, is the only quiet time that we can think in our heart about God. Let me give a Scripture that covers “be still”.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 77:6

I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders: 

“My song in the night”: The remembrance of happier times only deepened his depression.

“Spirit made diligent search”: His spirit continually meditated on possible solutions to his problems.

This appears to be saying that there were better times in the past. He even remembers a joyous time of singing in the night. He is talking to himself here. He is telling his broken heart to look back with him on better times. Then he says, the spirit within him is searching for better times to remember.

Lamentations 3:40

Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.

Seeing God does not grieve us willingly, nor delight to crush us, though we be his prisoners, and seeing the hand of God is in these things upon us. And that justly, to recompense our iniquities into our bosoms, instead of mourning and fretting against God, which is not reasonable, nor will be of any profit to us. Let us examine our thoughts, words, and actions, and consider what they have been, and reform, and turn again to the Lord, by apostatizing from whom we have brought these evils upon us.

This is something that everyone living should do, and not just these Israelites. We should all examine ourselves, and see whether we be of God or not. Just to say we are of God, is not enough. We must live the salvation that we have received every day. Christianity is no good, unless it is an everyday affair. Turn to the Lord while He can be found. He will help us stay on the narrow path after we get there.

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

He had searched him, and knew his heart thoroughly.

“Try me, and know my thoughts”: He had tried him, and knew every thought in him (Psalm 139:1). This therefore is not said for the sake of God; who, though he is the trier of hearts, and the searcher of the reins, is indeed a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart at once. And knows immediately what is in man. And needs no testimony of him, nor to make use of any means in order to know him and what is within him. But David said this for his own sake, that God would search and make known to him what was in his heart. And try him by his word, as gold is tried in the fire. Or by anything difficult and self-denying, as he tried Abraham. Or by any afflictive providence; or in any way he thought fit to make him acquainted thoroughly with himself. His sense is this, that if he knew his own heart and thoughts, and the inward frame and disposition of his soul, it was as he had expressed it. That he was grieved with sinners, and hated those that hated the Lord. Even with a perfect hatred, and reckoned them as his enemies. But if it was otherwise, he desired to be searched and tried thoroughly, that it might be discovered. And he might say this also on account of others, who charged him falsely with things he was not conscious of. That never entered into his thoughts, and his heart knew nothing of, and could not accuse him with. And therefore he appeals to the heart searching God, that he would so lay open things that his integrity and innocence might appear to all. (see Gen. 22:1).

The psalmist (probably David), is assured that when God looks into his heart he will find nothing but love for God. Thoughts come from the heart. If our heart is right, then the thoughts that we have will be pure thoughts as well. One very good reason for a request like this would be, for God to find anything that needs to be changed and help him change.

“The way everlasting”: David expresses his desire/expectation of eternal life (see notes on Phil. 1:6).

The psalmist here, is asking for a spiritual house cleaning. The one who leads us and guides us and teaches us is the Holy Spirit of God. Every one of us have something in our life that could be improved upon. We need to join in with this psalmist and ask God to search our innermost being and to purge out those things which be not of God. The best way to get rid of any darkness that we might have hidden away, is to turn the Light on it. The Light does away with all darkness.

Psalm 119:59

I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies.

What they were, whether right or wrong. Whither they led, what would be the consequences of walking in them. The Septuagint and Arabic versions read, “thy ways”; no doubt the psalmist thought of both. Of his own ways, in which he had walked; and of God’s ways, which he directed him to walk in. And, considering the superior pleasure and profit of the latter, he preferred them to the former. The Targum is, “I thought to mend my ways”, or “make them good”. Hence he took the following step.

“And turned my feet unto thy testimonies”: He took himself to the word of God, which testifies of his will, and directs to those ways he would have his people to walk in. And he steered his course of life and actions thereby. He turned from his own ways into the ways of God; under the influence of divine grace, he turned, being turned.

He is saying here, that his decision to turn unto God’s testimonies was not a sudden decision. He had considered carefully and then made his decision

1 Corinthians 11:31

But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.

He is just saying, consider what you are doing, before you sin against God. If we judge ourself, then we will do the correct thing and not need to be judged of others. 

Galatians 6:4

But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another

“Prove”: Literally “to approve something after testing it.” Believers first must be sure their lives are right with God before giving spiritual help to others (Matt. 7:3-5).

“Then shall he have rejoicing” If a believer rejoices or boasts, it should be only boasting in the Lord for what God has done in him (2 Cor. 12:12-18), not for what he supposedly has accomplished compared to other believers (see note on 1 Cor. 1:30-31).

The self-delusion of verse 3 (Galatians 6:3 “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”) is caused by an inflated comparison of one’s moral life with the known faults of his Christian brother. To prevent this, “every man” is to “prove” [examine] “his own work” (i.e., life, virtues, deeds). Then his “rejoicing” shall be “in himself alone, and not in another:”

Joy comes not from comparing one’s moral strengths with the weaknesses of others, but in realizing that one measures up to God’s standard by God’s help.

If your work is of God, it will prove itself. Do your best, work hard, and know in your heart that you are doing the very best that you can. Regardless of the outcome, you can be proud within yourself that you have done your best

 

 


What is self-righteousness? It is confidence you are good, competent, intelligent, and capable. It is difficulty in saying you are wrong, foolish, stupid, proud, or rebellious. It enjoys finding or discussing the faults of others. It presumes to accuse others, when having its own set of sins. It always has opinions about others’ conduct without Scripture.

It is the defensiveness to resist and balk at correction. It is the presumption of making judgments and opinions against authority. It is the ease with which you can apply a sermon to most anyone else. It is the thought during a sermon that you do not really need change in that area. It is the response that you are comfortable with things as they are.

It is the lack of thankfulness for correction. It may cry defensively when reproved or warned about sin. It responds, “I am just a failure,” when criticized. It is the excuse, “I am not that bad – you just misunderstand me.” It remembers the sins of others when it is being corrected. It may scornfully mention the sins of the person correcting it.

What can you do? Humble yourself and admit you are at least as wicked in all your ways as the worst sinner you know (I Tim 1:15). Confess your self-righteousness as a putrid stench in the nostrils of a holy God (Luke 18:9-14). Admit your righteousnesses are as clean as used menstrual rags (Is 64:6). Beg the LORD to search and reveal your wicked thoughts to you (Job 34:32; Ps 26:2; 139:23-24). Ask for a clean heart (Ps 51:10).

Prove your clean spirit by letting God’s word correct and teach you (Is 66:2). Receive correction without rebelling (Ps 73:21-22). The blessed God never despises a broken and contrite heart (Ps 34:18; 51:17; Is 57:15). If you go down in humble contrition, He will lift you up (Jas 4:10; I Pet 5:6). Blessed are the poor in spirit (Matt 5:3).

You must not defer or minimize self-examination. It is the holy exercise of spiritual men, who rightly understand the deceitful wickedness of their own hearts (I Cor 11:28; II Cor 13:5). Every secret thing will soon be exposed before the holy tribunal of the Lord Jesus Christ. Cleanse your hands and purify your hearts from double-minded hypocrisy through critical and sober repentance (Jas 4:8-10). The Lord will lift you up!

Wise men will recognize that the evil within is more deceitful and dangerous to pleasing God than the evil without. While hatred of this world is a good and godly attitude toward the dangerous temptations there, it is the deceitful lusts in your own heart that are your greatest enemy. Constant vigilance with sincere humility before God will save your spirit. Keep your heart with all diligence to reject any lofty thoughts of self that arise (Pr 4:23).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 

Is anyone worse than a fool? Yes, a proud person who thinks he is right! A fool is stupid, but he may be able to learn a few simple things. There is little hope for a scornful man, one too proud to be corrected. How will you help him? He is convinced he has no faults.

Self-confidence and self-righteousness are damning. They lock a person into the conceit of their own deceived heart and mind, for they cannot imagine that their ideas and thoughts could be wrong. They arrogantly ignore and reject advice, no matter how worthy of their consideration. Safety from such folly is by humbly mistrusting yourself.

The fool has only one hindrance to wisdom – ignorance. The conceited fool has two – ignorance and self-delusion. He must first learn he knows nothing, which is the hardest lesson in the school of wisdom, and it is usually only learned by severe punishment. The more confident a man is in error, the more ignorant and dangerous his condition.

The LORD wants you to consider such people. You may learn by watching these proud and haughty wretches. They assume they are already wise, and therefore they never will be. They do not even know what wisdom is, let alone the spirit and means to obtain it.

Conceit is a high and haughty opinion of yourself and your abilities. It is pride and arrogance. It is the New Testament sin of being highminded (II Tim 3:4). It is the curse of the devil (I Tim 3:6), who thought so highly of himself he chose to compete with God.

In this proverb, conceit is of your own thoughts. Once you believe you are a great thinker and usually right, who will persuade you otherwise? You go to bed and rise with the same thought – your opinions are better than anyone else’s. You are hopelessly deceived.

The cure is to humbly admit you now know little more than you did as an infant and you are totally dependent on God and His word to learn anything of value at all. The lesson of wisdom in this proverb is to identify haughty scorners and avoid them. They are beyond hope, so do not waste your time trying to teach them. Get away from them (Pr 22:10).

The only absolute truth in the world is the Bible, but conceited persons cannot give ground even to it. They have convinced themselves the Bible is foolish, hopelessly outdated, or written by religious fanatics. If they say they believe it, they will argue that everyone else misinterprets it: only they truly understand the mind of God. They so love their own thoughts they will not accept correction from God or His ambassadors!

Consider how educators, the media, and entertainers all fulfill this proverb for you to see. Their bloated conceit from learning, power to influence public opinion, and social status cause them to despise and reject truth. So God has blinded them to even basic wisdom, as their dysfunctional lives prove to wise observers (I Cor 1:19-20; 3:18-20).

They hallucinate in their proud minds that men came from monkeys, which came from amoebas, which came from an accidental explosion of cosmic gases. What wisdom! What glory! What an accomplishment! The God of heaven ridicules their thinking as “profane and vain babblings” and “science falsely so called” (I Tim 6:20). They make science their conceit, and conceit their science. They are fools without any hope.

But the Most High God is not amused by their arrogant stupidity. He laughs at their ignorance and coming judgment, but He is not amused by their rejection of the truth He offers (Ps 2:4-5; 37:13; Pr 1:24-27). He darkens their hearts and removes even common sense to commit abominable acts with each that he considers appropriate for their deeds.

He sends them down below brute beasts to sexually defile each other (Rom 1:18-27). Good men will agree with Paul that their base sexual perversion is a fitting reward. Are they ashamed? No way! They glorify it, promote it, and protect it (Pr 5:23; 26:11; Ps 49:13).  They cannot grasp that they have been found out and cursed by their Creator.

The first lesson of this proverb is to identify such people. When you meet fools, you rebuke their folly in order to keep them from conceit (Pr 26:5). But when you realize they are the haughty scorners of this proverb, you should leave them to their wicked fantasies (Pr 26:4; 9:7-8). Further attention, honor, or debate is unproductive and dangerous (Matt 7:6). Let the blind lead the blind into the ditch, as Jesus would say (Matt 15:14).

Children must be taught early that they know nothing and teenagers know less. Do not worry about their self-esteem, for at birth they were all given a double portion of it from hell (II Tim 3:2). They came into this world messing on themselves, and they have not advanced much beyond that before they reach thirty. Teach them that a humble attitude of ignorance is necessary for true learning and wisdom. Knowledge is just around the corner for the man who admits he knows nothing. Such a man can be taught, and quickly!

Children must be taught that only the Bible has absolute truth and wisdom, and only parents and older godly persons have wisdom worth hearing. They must be taught that the rock and movie stars, athletes, and pseudo-intellectuals of today are worse than idiots, for idiots do not have a rebellious agenda of hatred for God, authority, and righteousness.

The second lesson of the proverb is to avoid being such a scorner yourself. Paul warned, “Be not wise in your own conceits” (Rom 12:16). You should follow Solomon, who told the Lord, “I am but a little child, I know not how to go out or come in” (I Kgs 3:7). You should be like David, who said, “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me” (Ps 131:1).

Dear reader, crave such humility and a low opinion of your own thoughts. It will save you from much trouble. Tremble before the Word of God with a poor, humble, and contrite spirit (Is 57:15; 66:2; Jas 4:10). Do not trust yourself or your thoughts. Suspect your every motive. Question your every opinion. Subject your every idea to Holy Scripture. Hate vain thoughts, especially if they are your own (Ps 119:13; Jer 17:9).

He that thinks he knows something does not know it yet as he should (I Cor 8:2). If you want to be wise, you must start as a fool (I Cor 3:18). A little knowledge is dangerous, for it puffs up the human mind (I Cor 8:1). True knowledge is recognizing and admitting that you know nothing at all. With such a premise, wisdom can and will be easily obtained.

The temptation is great to violate this proverb, for “every way of a man is right in his own eyes” (Pr 21:2; 16:2, 25). The only safety is to allow the infallible Word of God to arrest and condemn your foolish thoughts (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20). How do you know, vain man, that you do not hold a lie in your right hand (Is 44:20)? Turn the searchlight of God’s inspired Scriptures upon your ideas and learn to categorically reject any folly.

Then you must esteem the safety provided in a multitude of good counselors (Pr 11:14; 15:22; 24:6), but the scorner will not be moved even by seven good men giving solid reasons (Pr 26:16). No matter what reasons you give, he will invent all sorts of excuses to justify himself. This is a terrible evil for you to avoid and to avoid all infected by it.

A man hasty in speech is also worse than a fool (Pr 29:20), for his only desire is to belch and bark his ignorance (Pr 15:28). He would rather hear himself talk than learn anything from anyone. Rich men also tend to be wise in their own conceit (Pr 28:11), because they have achieved some measure of success, can buy themselves out of most trouble, and find themselves above the poor in most stations of life. Watch both of these men, and learn.

Now, dear reader, you must consider spiritual folly. Jesus severely rebuked the church at Laodicea for its haughty opinion of itself, and He warned them how much they needed Him and the danger of imminent judgment (Rev 3:17-22). You should carefully heed what the Spirit said to this church and throw off any ideas of spiritual self-sufficiency.

The glorious God of heaven considers self-righteousness smoke in His nose! What is self-righteousness? It is saying, “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou” (Is 65:5). It is the older brother resenting a celebration for the prodigal’s return (Luke 15:25-32). It is any thought you are not the chief of sinners (I Tim 1:15).

Jesus Christ ridiculed the arrogant Pharisee who prayed conceitedly in self-righteousness about his superiority to the publican (Luke 18:9-14). He rebuked haughty religious pretenders by announcing that harlots went into the kingdom of heaven before them (Matt 21:31). Dear reader, there is nothing more dangerous to the salvation of your soul than conceited self-righteousness. Hate it with a fervent and perfect hatred. Get down!

He who comes to Jesus helpless, naked, and poor will be received into everlasting pleasure above. Those who boast about their good deeds will be cast out! You should say humbly and sincerely with the songwriter, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn 6:37).


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 30:12 Those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth 

The prophet Agur taught inspired wisdom for your life by sets of four things (Pr 30:11-31). He began with four kinds of people, identified by particular sins. Most men are self-righteous to varying degrees, but some who are exceptionally haughty in their religious arrogance. They are pure in their own eyes, and yet they are not washed from their sins.

Generation here means a kind of person, for it lacks demonstrative pronouns or other modifiers for a period of time. It is not a prophecy of the future, when men would be become haughty, for all ages have had such. It is not a prophecy of bad men in Christ’s time, for such a use would be unique in Proverbs and without practical wisdom for life.

The four generations are more than four temperament types – gloomy, placid, upbeat, and choleric – though each has sinful tendencies. The lesson here is beyond disposition: it is four kinds of people with specific sins. Rather than assign temperaments to each generation, learn the sin and the corrective wisdom of each kind of person.

The second generation, or kind of evil person, is self-righteous about his own purity. He, or she, has a haughty heart toward God’s word, presuming that it does not apply to him. Confident in his own wisdom and standard of holiness, he looks down on others as inferior and lords it over them in speech and conduct. He feels God is obligated to accept him and will most certainly do so. He sees no need for self-examination or repentance.

What is self-righteousness? It is a woman despising an adulteress, while defrauding her husband six nights a week (I Cor 7:1-5). It is a fool thinking a sermon about the tongue is for others (II Cor 13:5). It is an obese woman eating two desserts, yet condemning the use of wine (Luke 21:34). It is an odious woman refusing to learn graciousness (Pr 27:22). It is a haughty boy ridiculing a warning and denying it could happen to him (I Cor 10:12).

It is Simon the Pharisee despising the sinful woman at Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50). It is the Pharisee thanking God he is not as bad as the publican (Luke 18:9-14). It is the Jews condemning the man born blind and his parents (John 9:13-34). It is a man who will not say he is sorry, even when proven wrong. It is boasting of knowing God, but unable to get along with others. It is saying the Spirit taught you and you do not need the Bible.

There are lessons to be discovered by study (Pr 1:6). The world has always had haughty and self-righteous people. What should you learn? There are at least five lessons: God hates self-righteousness; He only accepts the humble; you must learn to hate this sin; you must avoid any tendency toward it; and you must train it thoroughly out of your children.

God hates the self-righteous. He condemned proud Jews saying, “I am holier than thou” (Is 65:1-7). Jesus blasted the religious leaders of his day for self-righteousness (Luke 16:15; 18:9-14). They had perverted God’s law by false definitions (Luke 10:25-37), and they despised sinners (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus did not come for the self-righteous, and He expected His disciples to exceed their pitiful standards (Matt 5:20; Mark 2:15-17).

God loves the poor in spirit – those broken and contrite for their sins and sinfulness (Ps 34:18; 51:16-17; 138:6; Is 57:15; 66:2). Jesus came into this world to save sinners, and Paul admitted he was chief among them (I Tim 1:15). God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (I Pet 5:5-6). The poor in spirit are blessed heirs of heaven (Mat 5:3). If you come to Jesus Christ any other way, He will not receive you (Mark 2:17).

You must hate self-righteousness, for it is a very damning sin. Once allowed into your thinking, you will reject the very correction and instruction you need to please God, for you will believe you are free from serious faults (Pr 26:12; Gal 6:3). You will resent parents or pastors who try to correct, rebuke, teach, or warn you. You must become a fool, admit you are nothing, and despise your own heart (Jer 17:9; I Cor 3:18; Eph 3:8).

You cannot afford any self-deception in this matter. You are a sinner, with sinful desires, and sinful tendencies. Therefore, you must apply all preaching and teaching to yourself, not to others. The hypocrite who wants to remove the speck from another’s eye while having a beam in his own has a severe problem with self-righteousness (Matt 7:3-5). You must dread the very thought of hardening your heart against instruction (Pr 28:14).

Train your children to be humble, broken over sin, and contrite for faults. If you do not, they will become adults with self-righteous conceit that will destroy them. They will reject instruction, look down on others, and provoke the Lord to be their enemy. Exalt God’s holy standards and teach them self-criticism and self-examination more than self-esteem. Teach them that without God’s grace through Jesus Christ they are totally lost.

Opposite the proverb’s words, there is a generation very filthy in their own eyes, and yet they are washed entirely pure from all their filth – those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – the elect of God. Jesus washed them from their sins in His own blood (Rev 1:5; 7:14; I Cor 6:11). Have you found the fountain that was opened in Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness (Zech 13:1)? It is found by faith in Jesus the Son of God (John 3:18).