I just recently read about sin and its effects. One frightening aspect of the concept of “original sin” posed by the author is that there is nothing completely altruistic about any human action. It reminded me of this verse:
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” (Isa. 64:6).
Now, I don’t know about you, but the idea that all my righteous deeds are like a “polluted garment” makes me feel a little…I don’t know…unworthy? Worthless? I’m not sure how I feel about it. The apostle Paul even refers to it a bit when he says that he considers his quest for righteousness, for upright standing with God through the Law, σκύβαλον (skubalon) – “dung” in comparison to the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Php 3:8).
Now this isn’t to say that I can do no good thing, because there are good things that a man can do. It means our good thing is excrement in comparison to God’s good things.
And wouldn’t you know it, that’s a good place to be. Understanding that God’s righteousness is the only thing that is good in you keeps you from puffing out your chest and saying, “Look at how good I am. Look at all this great stuff that I am doing.”
You’ve heard the phrase, “Pride goeth before the fall,” and it couldn’t be any truer. The moment”I” becomes the focus in the life of the believer is the moment Satan begins to undermine our reliance on God’s grace and goodness.
You and I are broken individuals who need a Savior and that’s the best news that you and I could ever hear. We’re not good enough. We will never be good enough. So as we recognize that, as we understand our own short-comings, as we understand our own inability to be righteous apart from God, we can then dive deeply into the grace that saves us and begin freely living the life Christ has set us free to live.
I’m “not that good” either and that’s just where God wants me to be so that He can work in my life.
I have to be in a place where I realize that I can do no good thing apart from God in order to surrender my every action to Him.
“Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”