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Power Point Show Part 1   MP3 audio Part 1

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Scripture Reading: Isaiah 65:1-7

The Sin of Self-Righteousness


1.   Self-righteousness is one of the most hated of sins.

2.   The charge that someone is self-righteous is easily made; but do we know what it means?

3.   We must be sure we are not self-righteous!


Part 1



   A.   Trusting in Oneself for Righteousness, Lk 18:9 (Prov 30:12-13); Isa 65:5.

      1.   “Over confidence in one’s own righteousness” (Webster)

      2.   It is self-made righteousness, cf. Phil 3:9; Rom 10:3.

      3.   S-R takes on different forms, but they have this in common: All are self-made forms of being righteous.

   B.  It is Self-Righteous to Think One is Righteous Based on His Own Obedience (Law-Keeping), Phil 3:9; Rom 3:20-22; Gal 2:16.

      1.   Self-righteous since it demands no sin at all, Gal 3:11-12.

      2.   This would truly be “works salvation”! Rom 4:2-4

         -Futile, because all have sinned, Rom 3:23.

      3.   “I never transgressed your commandment at any time” (Lk 15:29; cf. 15:1-2).

   C.  It is Self-Righteous to Think One is Righteous Due to His Own Moral Goodness, Lk. 18:9-12.

      1.   Makes oneself the standard by which others are judged.

      2.   Trusting in self instead of God’s mercy in Christ.

   D.  It is Self-Righteous to Bind Where the Lord has not Bound, Matt 23:3-4.

      1.   Binding the traditions of men elevates human wisdom above God’s revealed will, Matt 15:1-6, 9-14.

      2.   Binding personal conscience on others elevates one above others (Rom 14:10-13; 15:6-7).

   E.  It is Self-Righteous to Work to be Seen by Men, Matt 23:5 (6:1, 5, 16).

   F.  Self-Righteousness Displays Arrogant Superiority over Others, Lk 18:9; Matt 9:11-13.

      1.   It holds itself as being above sin and holds others in contempt; no room for mercy to sinners, cf. Lk. 7:36-39.

      2.   Why is it that not many self-righteous people repent? Because they do not see themselves as sinners! (Matt 21:28-32)

   G.  Hypocrisy is the Companion of Self-Righteousness, Matt 23:25-28.

      1.   A façade of righteousness hiding sin’s presence and decay.

      2.   No depth of faith; There is an outward display of piety that hides the sin in the heart!


Part 2



   A.  Carefully Obeying the Law of God, 1 Tim 4:6; 2 Tim 3:10.

      1.   Calvinism’s false view: “formal conformity to legal requirements in the strength of unregenerate human nature.” (ISBE on “Self-righteousness”)

      2.   Works of faith, Eph 2:8-10; Jas 2:21-24.

      3.   Christ is the Savior of the obedient, Heb 5:8-9.

   B.  Zeal and Dedication, Titus 2:14.

      1.   Lord expects us to be diligent and fervent, Rom 12:11.

      2.   It is the attitude behind the zeal that can be self-righteous.

   C.  Reproving and Rebuking Sin, 2 Tim 4:2; Gal 2:11-14.

   D.  Refusing to have Fellowship with those who Practice Sin and Teach Error, 2 Jno 9-11 (2 Cor 6:14-7:1).

   E.   Believing in Absolute Truth as the Final, Authoritative Will of God, Eph 3:3-5; 5:17; Jno 8:32 (2 Tim 3:16-17; Jude 3).



   A.  Submit to the Righteousness of God, Rom 10:3-4.

      1.   Righteousness that is through faith in Christ, Phil 3:9-11.  

         a.   “The righteousness which is from God by faith”.

         b.   S-R neglects the righteousness which is of faith, Rom 1:16-17. (cf. Isa 64:5-6)

      3.   Hunger and thirst after this righteousness (Matt 5:6).

   B.  Do and Teach the Commandments of God, Matt 5:19.

      1.   Rely on God’s mercy by obeying His commands – not our goodness and power. cf. Noah, Heb 11:7

      2.   Saved “by grace, through faith”, Eph 2:8-9.



1.   Hell will be filled with those who thought they were righteous, Matt 7:22-23.

2.   Hunger and thirst after righteousness that is through faith in Christ and never trust in yourself.