Whose Righteousness Anyway?, By Pastor Dean Harvey – A Transcript from his daily radio show
Some say, "our own righteousness is not important." But God repeatedly says in His Love Letter that our personal righteousness is important. Many believe that we cannot live righteously. But the Bible says that God’s purpose is to get us to live righteously as He does. To say that God gave us laws that we cannot keep is to charge God with injustice. And then, to say that God will punish us for not keeping the laws (which cannot be kept) is to make God the worst of tyrants. I have a book in my library which says that God gave us laws which He knew we could not keep, just to make us guilty. Then he says something like this, "I have found it hard to explain to people just how God can give us laws we cannot keep, and then send us to hell for not keeping them." What blasphemy against a great God.
It is obviously Gods will that we, as individual persons, live righteously. The idea that we are humble by saying that we are just sinners actually takes away from the grace of God. In my 54 plus years as a Christian, I have watched several instances of pastors and churches which preach that we are just sinners, and emphasize that, instead of emphasizing that we are saved from sin. What happens when the pastor commits adultery? Very seldom is he excused, and he should never be excused. I have come to the conclusion that what people mean when they say that we sin all the time, is that they are making room for little sins, but big sins like adultery are automatically excluded, because the law of God is written on our heart, and there are some .
It is obviously Gods will that we, as individual persons, live righteously. God has instructed us on how to live righteously and has given us every resource to do so, including the power of the cross, His resurrection, and the Holy Spirit. Yes, we have all sinned. God’s command to repent and to live righteously presumes not only that we are guilty of the sins already committed, but also that we are capable of changing our mind and our ways. Therefore, we must refuse any excuses for our own sin and must reject any theological idea that would lessen or remove the responsibility we have to personally live righteously. In order to be saved, one must take full responsibility for one’s own sin. Oh, as we pray for revival, let’s pray for a revival of personal responsibility.