Can anyone be saved by his own righteousness?


No. No one is good enough for God.

In the last question, we learned about righteousness. Simply put, it’s doing what God says is right. And there’s only one perfect place to find out what God says is right: the pages of our God-breathed Bibles. There we find God’s commands, his laws of love that teach us the righteous way to live.

If you walked up to people on the street and asked them, “Do you think you are a good person? Do you think you are righteous?” I’m pretty sure a whole bunch of them would say, “Yes. I’m not perfect, but I’m a better person than most. And I’m certainly not as mean as that guy Bill – he’s the worst!” But is that all it takes to be good and righteous in God’s eyes? Do we just have to be better than people like Bill? In Mark 10:18, Jesus gives us a pretty clear answer: “No one is good—except God alone.

None of us can call ourselves good. And the reason is simple: we are all law-breaking sinners! This isn’t just a one-time thing, either. Every day and in many ways, we fail to love God with all of our hearts or love our neighbors like we love ourselves. We’ve built up a mountain of sins in our lives. And as we learned from the story of our first parents and the forbidden fruit, just a single sin is enough to earn us the curse of death! We may not be as bad as Bill, but we are certainly not good enough for God!

Let’s say you wanted to earn your way into God’s kingdom without any help. How righteous would you need to be? Since Jesus is the King of God’s kingdom, he would be a good one to answer that question. And guess what he says in Matthew 5:48? “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” To earn your ticket into Jesus’ kingdom, you have to be just as perfect as God is!

“No one is good enough for God.” The answer to this question may sound harsh, but it’s the truth! We are nowhere near close enough to perfect! There’s no way we’ll step inside God’s kingdom as a result of our own righteousness. But thankfully, there’s good news. While none of us is good enough for God, Jesus was good enough for all of us! And when we trust in him, God justifies us: he takes away our sins and gives Jesus’ righteousness to us! We can’t be saved by our own righteousness, but we can be saved by Jesus’ righteousness!


+ Do you think most people would agree with the idea that “no one is good enough for God?” Why or why not?

+ Read Mark 10:17-18. What does this tell us about Jesus?


Prov. 20:9; Ecc. 7:20; Rom. 3:10-23; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 3:8, 9

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