Self rightouseness

Self rightouseness

"Who can say I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
Proverbs 20:9.
This text certainly does not insinuate that it is impossible to obtain a pure
heart or to be made pure from sin. But it does teach what the whole tenor
of Scripture makes plain, that no man can save himself or purify his own
heart. While each one can comply with the conditions of salvation and be
saved, yet no one has the power to do the work himself. This great fact is
made plain by that wonderful text of Jeremiah 13:23: "Can the Ethiopian
change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that
are accustomed to do evil." If the Ethiopian has power to change his skin,
or the leopard his spots, then the sinner has power to change his life in and
of himself. But the thought is, that if these cannot change skin or spots of
themselves, then no one can change himself from bad to good. The reason
is obvious. It is somewhat on the principle that no man can lift himself
over the fence by his boot-straps. We once saw a picture in natural
philosophy of a man in a boat, with sail up, and bellows working in the
stern of the craft, blowing on the sail. Now, the question arises, Why
could not one lift himself over the fence with his bootstraps, or the boat be
propelled by blowing on the sails? Simply because there is a back action in
the whole business. When the power is exerted to accomplish the work
there is a corresponding backward pressure which neutralizes the effort,
and there is consequently a standstill. So it is in salvation. No man can
save himself or make his own heart clean. There is a back action in it.
There is a neutralizing force that brings things to a standstill. Here we see
the utter failure of morality in saving the soul. Salvation comes from a
power outside of self-effort. And yet one must put himself where that
power can be exerted. We sometimes hear people say they believe in
"working out their own salvation, with fear and trembling," as if salvation
could be wrought out by any work on our part. How can one work out
salvation when he has no salvation on hand? As well might Adam have
tried to breathe in the Garden of Eden, before God put the breath of life in
him. The one who expects to work out his salvation before God puts the
salvation into him certainly has a very discouraging outlook before him. As
well might a woman try to keep house without something to keep house
on; or a grocer try to run a grocery store without any groceries On hand.
There is altogether too much confidence placed in self-effort. If it were
possible for one to save himself, why did Jesus Christ come into this
world to save us? Did He come on a picnic excursion? Did He come just to
show people how to live well? Was an example all that was necessary to
save men, and could humanity do the rest? Is the vicarious atonement of
Christ a humbug? Was there no danger of men going to an awful hell?
Imagine one sitting high and dry on the beach, and another excitedly
throwing him a life preserver, and shouting, "Escape for your life!" If he
did not think the man utterly crazy, he would at least think it was
worthless and uncalled for interest he was taking in him. But, on the other
hand, if that same person was out in the sea drowning, and some one
should throw him a life-preserver, he certainly would not think it was out
of place, but would quickly lay hold on it and be saved. The Savior did not
look down on this old world and behold it high and dry, free from all
danger; but saw a terrible wreck, and thus heaven’s great Life-preserver
came by, that all might lay hold on Him and be rescued from sin and hell.
Christ came into the world to do that which no man could do for himself.
Some people turn over a new leaf, as if that would save them. Resolution
is good, and no one can be saved without a resolution to live a better life;
but all the resolution in the world will avail nothing in the way of salvation
unless it brings one to Christ, who must do the saving. If one had the
power to turn over a new leaf, and from that moment should never commit
another sin, he would he lost just the same as if he had not resolved to do
better. The explanation is this: Salvation does not consist in proper action
simply from a given point in life till its close (even if that were possible).
To the sinner it means not only right conduct, but it reaches both
backward and forward. While the resolution is good, and ought to be made,
yet there is a multitude of sins which he has committed in the past which
must be settled and forgiven; and turning over his new leaf does not blot
out the dark record. Thus, if one had power to live from this on without
hell. Suppose I go to the grocery store and purchase a bill of goods. I
cannot pay cash for them, so obtain credit. My bill runs up to fifty
dollars. I ponder it over in my mind, and come to the conclusion that I am
not treating the grocer right. He has been very kind to me, and now it is
time that I was turning over a new leaf. With a determined resolution to do
the right thing from this on, I go to my grocer and tell him that I have not
been treating him right; that I have turned over a new leaf, and from this on
will pay cash for all I get. I purchase some more groceries, paying for
them, and promising him that it will continue this way in the future. Now,
this would certainly be better than the former method of running in debt,
but what would the grocer think of my plan? While he certainly would be
glad for the change in the program, yet he would no doubt think, if he did
not ask, "What about the fifty dollars you owe me?" That resolution, you
see, would not settle the back bill. Neither will the sinner’s turning over a
new leaf settle the past account with God. If he does not repent of the sins
he has committed, and get forgiveness, he will certainly lose his soul in an
awful hell. While one may pay his bill at a store, the debt he owes to God
he cannot pay. He can only plead for mercy and say,
"Jesus paid it all,
All the debt I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow."
God saw that man was utterly unable to settle the account, so Christ came
into the world and bore our sins in His own body on the tree, and thus
opened up a possible way for all to be saved. Yet this redemption of
Christ will avail the sinner nothing except he lays claim to it and avails
himself of this privilege. For illustration: I lose my horse, and it wanders
out upon the commons; and, being found there, it gets shut up in the
pound. My friend passes by and sees the horse and recognizes my
property. He inquires hew much it will cost to redeem it, and when told,
immediately pays the price, and then notifies me of the fact, and tells me
to come and get the horse. Suppose I pay no attention to the fact, spurn
his kindness, and never claim my horse? Would his redemption of it avail
me anything? Certainly not. When Christ saw this world shut up in sin He
paid the redemptive price to set us free. This price was His own life. He
shed His own precious blood. He has been notifying us all down the ages
to come and claim our redemptive rights. If we will not, then His
committing any more sin, he already has on him enough to sink him into
redemption will avail us nothing. When the Emancipation Proclamation
was issued some years ago four millions of slaves accepted it and became
free. Over eighteen hundred years ago Jesus Christ issued an emancipation
proclamation, and thus offered freedom to every bond slave of the devil.
Many have accepted, and many are accepting it, and liberty is theirs. If
one chooses to remain in bondage and serve the devil and sin, the
emancipation proclamation will profit him nothing.
The pardon of sin does not bring purity of heart. The text before us asks
the question, "Who can say I have made my heart clean, I am pure from
my sin?" A clean heart and purity from sin (inbred) certainly mean
holiness. Can any one say truthfully, I have done this work myself? Who
would have the egotistical impudence to fly in the face of God’s word and
declare that he has sanctified himself? A believer can no more sanctify his
heart than a sinner can save his own soul. It is the blood in both cases that
does the mighty work. If it were possible to accomplish the work of
cleansing one’s own self, why the statement, "the blood of Jesus Christ
His Son cleanseth us from all sin"?
While it is utterly impossible to do this ourselves, yet the atonement of
Christ is sufficient to reach "deeper down and farther back" in the soul
than sin has gone. If it cannot do this, then it is at least a partial failure.
But who dares say it is a failure? It has cleansed millions before, and can
do the same again. We will risk its efficacy, depend upon its merits, and
trust in its power. The heart must be cleansed in this world. There is no
provision for it in the text. Death is not the agency. Death is the result of
sin, and sin is the work of the devil. Jesus does not need to call on the
devil or any of his works to help Rim out in His work of sanctifying souls.
Bozrah’s mighty Conqueror is all sufficient. Let Him undertake the
contract, and He will not make any failure.
Reader, let Christ make your heart clean and purify you from sin.
Isaiah 6

1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

***In the Presence of our Holy God; Isaiah saw himself as he was; self-righteousness has no room in His Holy Presence.
That is a good word for us all to remember. We have no righteousness of our own. I strongly believe in worm-theology.

"Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you," declares the LORD, and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 41:14

"But I am a worm and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people."
Psalm 22:6

And we must remember to judge with righteous judgement, which is biblical. Anything done without love is dead. We need to speak truth in love. God loves His Church and is very jealous for her. And I also believe Christ loved the truth more than people's feelings. Christ even rebuked Peter saying "Get behind Me, Satan!" No one of us is exempt from being used by the devil. We must guard our hearts, and resist the devil. If a stranger puts were to put just a little bit of poison in a childs drink, are we to tolerate it? How many times are we told in the Bible to test and examine all things? Christ was hated because He judged with righteous judgement and loved the truth. Those who hated the light hated it because their own deeds were evil.
I've heard it said " 'Do not judge,' is the devils favorite phrase." We are not to judge the unbelievers, but those within the church. We are to discern right from wrong, test others teachings, all with scricpture. Self-righteousness is evil and we must maintain unity in the church. God seeks those who worsip Him in truth and in spirit, and we are to be in unity in the Truth and Spirit of God.