The Self-Righteous Christian
Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 4; Psalm 98; Romans 2
Today’s Key Passage – Romans 2:1-16
One of the easiest things for most people to do is to become self-righteous. No matter where we are in our lives or in our walk with Christ, we can always find someone we consider to be not as “well behaved” as we are. When we compare ourselves to the standard set by the other person, we feel like we are doing pretty well in the way we are living our lives. Many people of varying faiths feel that they are going to Heaven because they are not “immoral” like others. They reckon that since they are not adulterers, murderers, or bank robbers, God will probably judge them as worthy. In fact, when they see other people who are adulterers, murderers, or bank robbers they find fault with them, and consider themselves to be in some way “above” those people. There are also many born-again Christians who feel like they are “better” than other Christians or other denominations. They decide that their church attendance is better than others, they pray more than others, or the places they choose to go or not to go are better than others. All of these things are examples of self-righteousness, and all of them are very dangerous to a follower of Christ.
In today’s key passage, Paul confronts the self-righteous people in the Roman church. Near the end of Romans 1, Paul spoke about the wickedness of men. He talked about various sinners and sins that were taking place outside of the church. Likely, the Roman audience of Paul’s letter would have considered themselves to be well above that kind of behavior and far better than these people described in Romans 1. In our text, Paul confronts the person who felt that he would get to Heaven because he was not like those sinners mentioned in Romans 1. He shows in our passage that the self-righteous person is just as guilty in the eyes of God as the blatant sinner is. If Paul were writing to Christians today, he might point out that going to church or living an outwardly moral life is not going to get you into Heaven. He might point out that just because we might “feel” self-righteous as compared to some other people, we are not actually viewed by God as righteous based on our own actions. After all, “God does not show favoritism.” (Vs. 11) The simple truth that Paul later points out to the Romans (and to us) is that because we are all sinners in one degree or another, we are all in need of a Savior. We need someone to take away our sins, and that person is our Lord Jesus Christ.
I believe today’s key passage serves as a reminder and a warning for those of us who know we are saved that we have no right to stand as critics of others, regardless of what they do. So often we can all have moments when we are critical of others. We can all have moments when we feel “justified”. We can all have moments when we feel “self-righteous”. It is vitally important, however, that we are careful when it comes to being critical of other people or believing we are in some way “better” than they are. Put simply, God is the only one that has the right to judge, and as followers of Christ, we can rest in the comfort of knowing that one day, He will.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.