Bible Study – Self-Righteousness

Scripture Reading: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  —Ephesians 2:8-9

Summary: Self-righteousness is contrary to the essence of the gospel message and brings spiritual death. Salvation is not earned but is a gift of God. All glory should always be given to the Father and never to self or to an institution of man.

I. Characteristics of Self-Righteous People

A. Luke 10:29 Justify themselves before men.
B. Matthew 23:27-28 Outwardly righteous but inwardly full of iniquity.
C. Matthew 6:1-2 Love to be seen of men.
D. Romans 10:1-3 Establish their own righteousness.
E. Matthew 7:3-5 Are quick to point out the needs of others.
F. Luke 7:39 Condemn others.
G. Isaiah 65:5, Luke 18:9 Elevate themselves and despise others.
H. Proverbs 20:6 Proclaim their own goodness.
I. Proverbs 30:12 Are pure in their own eyes.

II. Our Own Righteousness

A. Luke 11:42-44 Is external.
B. Isaiah 64:6 Is as filthy rags.
C. Isaiah 57:12 Is unprofitable.
D. Luke 16:15 Is an abomination to God.
E. Revelation 3:16-17 Blinds.
F. Matthew 5:20 Will keep us out of heaven.

III. True Righteousness & Justification

A. Ephesians 2:8-9 Is not of ourselves but by grace.
B. Galatians 2:16 Is not of the law but of faith.
C. Titus 3:5 Is not of works but by mercy.

IV. The Object of Glory

A. Isaiah 42:8 God will not share the glory.
B. Daniel 4:28-31 Example of Nebuchadnezzar.
C. 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 Glory in the Lord.
Matthew 5:16 Works to glorify the Father.

Conclusion:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. —Proverbs 21:2-4