Have you ever asked yourself this heart-searching question: HOW DOES GOD VIEW ME?
I’m not talking about how other people view you , or even how you view yourself. The problem is by nature we have too high an opinion of ourselves. We all can find someone who we think is worse than us, therefore we can feel better about ourselves. We have a Biblical example of this in the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee recorded in Luke 18:9-14. If you’ll notice the text says our Lord spoke this parable “unto certain (Pharisees, i.e., ALL SELF-RIGHTEOUS SINNERS) that trusted in themselves that they were righteous.” Whoever our Lord was addressing thought they were righteous enough to deserve eternal life. In this parable we have two men, both of them performing acts of worship. But one of them was justified, and one of them was lost.
Here is the truth that every lost sinner misses when they read a passage like this: Christ wasn’t teaching His hearers that the scribes and Pharisees righteousness (holiness) was enough to get them into heaven! He was teaching them their righteousness WASN’T ENOUGH. Since He clearly told us the RIGHTEOUSNESS required to enter into heaven MUST EXCEED THEIRS, those religious, moral, sincere, dedicated men our Lord addressed were lost. There is no doubt they appeared righteous (HOLY) unto those who saw them in their daily walk - “Even so ye (scribes and Pharisees) also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:28)
But God doesn’t take notice of those things men value as evidence of salvation- “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God”. (Luke 16:15)
Here’s a good question: What is highly regarded by men as an evidence of salvation?
(Prayer, church attendance, reading the scriptures, morality, giving to the church). There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these activities and we aren’t saying you shouldn’t seek to do these things. Believers should and do pray, give, go to church, read the scriptures, and they are moral. But justified sinners don’t do these things to save themselves. THEY DO THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE SAVED. God cannot be satisfied or take pleasure in man’s attempts at obedience-“In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.” (Hebrews 10:6)
The ONLY THING God can take pleasure and be truly satisfied by is the sacrifice He provided, i.e., His Only-Begotten Son - “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God....By the which will we are sanctified (MADE HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS IN GOD’S SIGHT) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once.” (Hebrews 10:7,10) Christ’s righteousness alone is the only acceptable righteousness to God and this Righteousness ALONE is well-pleasing to God - Read Isaiah 45 prayerfully.
Grace Baptist Church of Ruston, Louisiana