2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (NIV)
But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
I really like that Paul calls us out regarding our spiritual pride … our Pharisaic tendencies as Christians to boast in ourselves and our “perceived” self-righteousness. The truth of the matter is that we need to remember: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities sweep us away like the wind. (Cf. Isaiah 64:6) The ONLY true righteousness that we have or will over have is IMPUTED to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Cf. Romans 3:23)
Romans 4:1-8; 23-25 (NKJV)
1 What then shall we say that Abraham our forefather has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted according to grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” (Cf. Psalm 32:1-2)
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it (righteousness) was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It (righteousness) shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Jesus is the One who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. (Cf. Galatians 1:4) It is Christ who redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Curse is everyone who hangs on a tree (pole).” (Cf. Galatians 3:13) And it is Christ who rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves. (Cf. Colossians 1:13) It is Jesus who delivers us from the coming wrath of God. (Cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:10) So, indeed, we should only boast in the Lord Jesus and Him alone!
So I pray that we will self-examine for pride in our hearts. I pray that we will humble ourselves before God. “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Cf. Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14) As Paul exhorted, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Cf. Romans 12:3) And 1 Peter 5:5 encourages the same attitude: “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (Cf. Proverbs 3:34) Humbling ourselves before the Lord and one another will keep the tendencies of pride from entering our hearts. And I think the best place to start is the realization that we cannot save or heal ourselves. Only Jesus effectuate salvation for us. He is the only atoning sacrifice the Father will accept to impute His righteousness to our account….
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven … whose sin is covered. Blessed is the one to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.