They say, 'Keep to yourself, don't come near me, for I am too holy for you!' These practices are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all day long. Isaiah 65:5
Drunkenness and swearing are sin in rags, but self-righteousness is sin in a
respectable black coat. It is an aristocratic sin, and does not like to be put
down with the common Tuck; and if we call it sin, yet many will plead that it is
only so in a very refined sense. But God does not think so; He classes it with
the very worst, and He does so because it is one of the worst. For a man to be
self-righteous is in itself a sin of sins. For, first, it is blasphemy. God is
holy. Here comes this base impostor and boasts, "And I am holy too. Is not that
a ludicrous and contemptible form of blasphemy? It is profanity in its very
essence. More, this self-righteousness is idolatry, for the man who counts
himself to be righteous by his own works worships himself. Practically, the
object of his adoration is his own dear, delectable, excellent self.
Those who have high thoughts of themselves do not walk according to God's
commandments, but according to their own notions. If any man thinketh himself to
be righteous in himself, he has never derived that idea from God's law, and
certainly not from the Gospel, for the Gospel knows no man after the flesh as
righteous, but it regards all men as sinners, and comes to them with pardon; it
treats men as lost and comes to save them. Self-righteous people are not much
inclined to search the Scriptures, they do not read them with an understanding
heart, so as to get the meaning; they rather make the Bible say their own
meaning, and twist it to support their own pleasing dream.
We cannot be saved unless we become truly holy, but no man ever becomes truly
holy who is content with a false holiness. Self-righteousness prevents
repentance. You will never believe in Jesus Christ while you believe in
yourself. What is the remedy for all this? God saith, "Behold Me"; that is to
say, He bids thee cease from doting upon thine own fancied beauties and
worshipping thine own foolish image. Look first to the holy God and tremble.
Canst thou, of thyself, ever be like Him, pure, spotless, glorious? Look to Him
and despair. Then comes the second, "Behold Me. See Jesus Christ on the cross
dying, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. As thou seest Him dying thy
self-righteousness will die.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)