Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, Jesus explained. Why His righteousness? Ours is broken. Ours carries no persuasive influence with the Judge. We will only be acceptably right because the Judge hands us His righteousness. Ours is no good when we are in His city. Put your billfold away.
Jesus equally exhorted we are to take up our cross and die to our self (righteousness). Yet, self keeps raising its ignorant head and trying to assert its logic in order to gain some sort of soul-stamp of godly approval. Stop it. Self(righteousness) is messing us up….big time. For one thing, it divides us. We begin to believe we worship God right(er) than others. We believe we believe right(er) than others. We become convinced we are closer to the Truth than others. Self keeps knocking down the construction barrels and off into the ditch we go….again and again and again.
When will we learn the only way we are right with God is to accept the righteousness He gives us when Jesus took on our wrongness on the cross (II Cor. 5:21)? When will we believe the Word that we will not be saved by deeds we have done in (self)righteousness (Titus 3:5)? When will we get it? Our doing spiritual life right is up to His saving grace and not our dinky presentations during a spiritual moment. We must trust in Jesus and carry none in ourselves.
If we are to get church right and salvation right and destination right we simply must take on the “His righteousness” coupled with the kingdom; both are to be sought. The self(righteous)ish crowd had much to say about the adulterous woman. By the time Jesus got done with them, they lowered their accusing chins and melted into the landscape? Why? Even the religious best haven’t a clue as to how guilty we are before The Judge. Our self-righteousness is poison in the church. It must be both quarantined and eradicated. It cannot be allowed to continue its foothold in the hearts of Christians.