In Romans (10:3), Paul sets forth the two aspects of righteousness, that which is of God and that which, "being ignorant of God's righteousness," goes about to establish its own righteousness.

A great writer has declared, "There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action." If we look back on the history of the major and lesser crimes and follies which are recorded of the human race, we see that they have been the outcome of the effort of mankind to establish its own righteousness in the place of God's. Yet how simply and directly does Paul set forth where true righteousness is to be found. Not in a far-off heaven, not from the dead past, is the Christ, "the end of the law for righteousness," to be sought and then made our own. Malachi had foretold that "the Sun of righteousness" would arise "with healing in his wings," and when he did arise with the coming of Christ Jesus, those who were bent only upon the preservation, in bigotry, in arrogance and self-righteousness, of their own systems of religion or politics, determined to be rid of him in relentless, murderous repudiation.

On page 14 of her Message to The Mother Church for 1901, Mary Baker Eddy writes, "The Publican's wail won his humble desire, while the Pharisee's self-righteousness crucified Jesus." How inexorably and how completely does self-righteousness continue in the blindness of pride and envy to persecute and crucify the spiritual idea! Let men learn from the assurance of Paul, from this warning of our Leader, where alone righteousness is to be found. Within their hearts and lives, if humble and teachable, they will find the healing grace of righteousness. In obedience and renunciation of mortal selfhood, in patient waiting upon God, in respect for, if not in agreement with the sincere and thoughtful views of others, is true righteousness to be recognized. Dogmatism and self-assertion, pride of intellect and the conceit of set and often fanatical viewpoints—how frightful indeed is seen to be such ignorance in action, how far from what constitutes Christlikeness!

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Among the Churches
December 5, 1942

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.