He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? —Micah 6:8
We owe a debt to our Savior which can never be repaid. We were unworthy and undeserving of His grace and love, yet He forgave us. There are many important teachings in the Bible, but humility is one of the greatest. God wants every child of His to walk in humility and love. It is saddening to see spiritual pride so often exhibited by people who have knowledge of so much truth.
The burden God placed on me for this quarter is on the subject of self-righteousness. While this is a deviation from the type of theological truths studied in past quarters, it is just as vital. We can have understanding of many truths and doctrines; but if we have spiritual pride and trust in our own works, we will miss the true blessings of the Kingdom in this life and in the life to come.
I remember as a boy observing a group of people who began to exalt their own holiness. They were right on many points, but they embraced a harsh, critical spirit. They became self-righteous and exalted their way as the avenue to the Father. I remember my earthly father telling me that if we leave love out of this truth, we have lost it all. It is vital for us, as children of God, to walk in love and humility. We can never earn our way into favor with God or be “good enough” in our own strength.
I am daily dependent upon the mercy and help of God to enable me to live a life of holiness. It should be all of our desire to bring forth good fruit and to be zealous of good works. Those works are not the merits of our salvation but the evidence of Christ within.
Our speech, our preaching, our lives and our very spirit should be such that Christ is exalted. Some of the most difficult people to be around are those who rely on their own works and thinking and are spiritually arrogant and proud. There are people who will not apologize even after conducting themselves in very spiritually unbecoming ways. Self-righteousness is an ugly thing. It is exhibited both in fanaticism and in compromise.
May Christ be lifted up in our lives and in the body of Christ. We have no salvation or grace to offer to mankind in our own power, but we can point to the one who died for us. May the world see Christ and may He be the one on display, for He is the author and finisher of our faith.
Michael W. Smith