If we are judging others based on our good deeds, length of prayers, the donations we give, or the number of times we go to Church, then we are boasting in our own self-righteousness. But Jesus said that the sinner who comes to Him with sincere repentance and faith is the one who is justified (made righteous).
“9 He also spoke this parable to certain people who were convinced of their own righteousness, and who despised all others. 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men, extortionists, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
“4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as something owed. 5 But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness…….to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.”
2 Corinthians 3 “4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God, 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God,”
2nd Timothy 1
“9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News.”
“3 For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
We are not saved by works but by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
After we are saved, grace will teach us to live righteously in our actions.
We are saved to be free from sin, do good works, and love others.
“11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age; 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.”
True faith that has saved us, will produce love for others and repentance from sin.
Galatians 5 “6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.”
James 2 “14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?….8 However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well.”
Romans 6 “6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin…Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness…. 14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.”