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Self-Justification Doesn’t Matter Before God

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6)

There are times when I want to speak up but don’t, and times I want to speak up but can’t, not because I don’t want to, but because I feel the pull of the Holy Spirit reminding me that Jesus said not to cast pearls before swine. That’s a harsh sounding judgement call, I know, but consider this a minute: I’ve been in conversations where I begin to draw people away from “I think” and “I feel” statements with what Scripture says on an issue, and immediately, they get defensive, and begin to justify themselves with statements like “that’s your interpretation of it” (even if the Scripture is clear), and “that was written for a different culture,” and “I’m glad you’re so holy that you have it all figured out.” In these moments, the Holy Spirit seems to let me know that it’s best to simply stop trying. As Jesus says, it’s when people will try and devour us or trample underfoot.

Unfortunately, people think that they can justify themselves, their actions, their tendency to the flesh when they stand before God. This is a dangerous position! When we do this, we’re acting self-righteously (even if we think we’re not). To be self-righteous is, simply, to try and meet God on our terms. That way of living just doesn’t exist. We must, as the Scriptures remind us, crucify the flesh with its passions. We must be beings of Spirit, and not of flesh. The Flesh is incompatible with Spirit, and, therefore, there is no justification before God apart from Christ and His Righteousness. When we stand before our Maker (which all of us shall, some day, whether or not we acknowledge His existence), how we justify ourselves will not matter. The Book of the Law will be opened, and, if we’re not found in Christ, our lives will be scrutinized against it. It is only when we admit we need a savior, repent, and submit to His will by being born again that we find Grace and justification through Faith in Christ. It is only as we “deny ourselves” and “pick up our crosses daily” (die to ourselves/flesh daily) that we find peace, contentment, and joy. Otherwise, we’re constantly trying to justify ourselves, and therein lies anxiety, depression, and worry. Choose wisely.

1 John 3:1-10

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

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