So often in life we think that when we do "good" we are OK. One of the biggest obstacles of the cross is not only evil but self-righteousness. By it countless men are lead astray and many more worship at its throne. When Adam took the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:9) it was not just sin that entered in him, but self righteousness as well. It came from the “good” part of the fruit. Because of it man sees himself as basically “good” with no need for redemption. Paul was on this road of self righteousness when he met Stephen (Acts 7). When faced with the view that redemption came from Jesus, his self righteous rose up in opposition to this and it produced pride and destruction. Yes self-righteous is that thing that keeps telling us that we don’t need the sacrifice of a saviour. Look what it did to Saul.
However, when Saul (later to be called Paul) encountered truth, he lay down all his own righteousness, comparing it to dung and he picked up that which is called Christ. He now says “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”( Phil 3:9)
All our “good” is like filthy rags in the sight of God. Only when we are in Christ, having nothing of our own, but having His righteousness surround us, become the very essence of who we are, not with superficiality or pretence, but a genuineness that says there is nothing good in me, even the idea is a falsehood, therefore I know I need that which Christ is to come to me. Let His fullness fill my lack. Let Him wash over me, that this man might be submerged in that flow, never arising again by my means, but always being found in Him!
My desire, our desire should be the same heart cry as Paul, not having any of my own righteousness which is of good deeds, my ideas, my generosity, my charity, my kindness, which inflates my own righteousness and ultimately leads me further from God. But let the righteousness that is in me be of God by faith. Let my will be lost and Christ’s will be found in me!