Self-righteousness There are many passages in Scripture whereby a professing Christian must examine the genuineness of their faith according to how they live, whether in godliness, humility, love, good works, holiness, righteousness, etc. The confusion comes when, although each of us must come to an honest assessment as to whether or not we are indeed personally righteous in practice, we are simultaneously preconditioned to presume that any thought or perception of righteousness in ourselves is "self-righteous" and consequently moralistically sanctimonious or Pharisaical. However, according to Scripture there is a great fixed gulf between the righteous and the self-righteous; A righteousness that is acceptable to God Isa.
The world that Adam and Eve entered after their expulsion from the garden of Eden could not have been more different from the perfect environment they had so recently taken for granted.
Instead of abundant prosperity, ready at hand, they had entered a world of limitation, shortage and scarcity. Instead of a world where all their needs were instantly provided for without any effort on their part, back-breaking toil was now necessary for survival, and uncertainty for the future entered into the equation.
Life was now a matter of pain, sweat, tears and trouble. Our first parents would also now experience for the first time the full gamut of destructive and sinful emotions, including fear, jealousy and hostility.
The domestic tranquility that had reigned in Eden as a matter of course would now be infected by anger, frustration, bitterness and resentment.
Before too many years had passed, Adam and Eve would even come to see one of their own children murder his brother. And finally, in crowning futility, when they had lived out their finite years, the ground would receive them back to itself as the Lord God had proclaimed. Death would put an end to all they had worked and striven for in the sorrowful interim.
But God did not leave them orphans on the earth, completely bereft of all hope and of Himself. In the same judgment that rendered our first parents mortal, God also promised them the Seed who would one day crush the head of the serpent who had deceived them.
Christ's sacrifice was also foreshadowed in coats of skin with which He graciously clothed them, replacing the garments born of their own efforts with symbols of the coming One who would one day die in their place discussed in Part 3. Thus before they even left the garden of Eden, God had given Adam and Eve a new tree of life to replace the one they had forsaken: Like their descendants after them, Adam and Eve were thus given the opportunity to regain the spiritual relationship with God lost at the fall.
He Himself would make the promised sacrifice that would blot out sin and destroy the advantage the devil had gained, crushing Satan's head first at the cross and making a final end of him at the conclusion of history. It only remained for our first parents to accept our Lord's generous offer of boundless grace, trusting in Him for their deliverance from the inevitability of the grave, the unavoidable reality which had now become life's central issue.
From a spiritual point of view, life remains essentially the same for us today as it was when our first parents trekked out of Eden some six thousand years ago.
The critical issue for every human being is identical now to what it was then: And just as Adam and Eve were left in the world beyond the point of faith, so also we today are not immediately transferred to our heavenly home after salvation, but remain here in the world to prove our faith, to grow in it, and to help others do the same.
But this world is no Eden. As followers of God and believers in Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven for feeling ill at ease in this present world where we scarcely even seem to belong, for it is not a place where the knowledge of God abounds and the will of God is always done.
On the contrary, this parlous world through which we pass lies largely under the influence of the evil one 1Jn. Strangers in the Devil's Realm 1.
Sojourners in the Devil's World:Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence (Ps. ).
For the upright will live in the land and the blameless will remain in it. (Prov. , NASB). The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
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