Quit: Self-righteousness

Last week we considered two images included in the notion of putting to death the deeds of the flesh:

  • To put to death is to “die away” Emphasis is upon the separation from that which has died.
  • To put to death is to “treat as a corpse.” Emphasis is upon the removal of everything that is giving life to the sin and the unpleasantness of that which has died.

Woman hiding under the happy mask. Hypocritical, insincere, two-faced female

This study considers the second portion of Paul’s sentence in Romans 8:13.

But if                                          This promise is conditional!

You                                             Those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)                              

By the Spirit                          The Source of this action is the Holy Spirit.

Put to death                          The action is “mortification” or putting to death.

Deeds of the body             The recipient of the action is the “I am proud to say that I can do life my way, without God – and everything that flows from that pride.”

You will live                          Abundant life, both now and forever, is the result.

What if Paul said, “Put to death the deeds of the body and you will live?”  Without the statement, “By the Spirit,” this is

an entirely different idea. Although it is an admirable discipline to put to death the misdeeds of the body

through personal discipline, determination, and effort, the result is self-righteousness, which Jesus rebuked regularly.

Matthew 5:20

You might be self-righteous if…..

  • you condemn others for the very things you practice. Romans 2:1, Matt. 7:5
  • you apply scripture to other people’s sin and overlook God’s word about your sin. 23:23
  • you emphasize your outer appearance of righteousness rather than the true condition of your heart. 23:28, John 18:28
  • you justify yourself by comparing with others or by blaming others for your own sins. Luke 18:11-12

Taking it Home

  • Receive God’s offer to place you in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
  • Humble yourself before God. Luke 18:9-14
  • Invite the Spirit to birth spirit in you. John 3:6,7

MCA Church LIFE GROUP Homework

Listen – My Story

  1. Do you have an accomplishment that is a source of joy and pride for you?
  2. Do you ever find yourself comparing yourself to others? Do you have an illustration?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read Romans 3:9-18. In what ways does this Bible passage speak to self-righteousness?


  1. According to Romans 3:21-22, Whose righteousness is it? Through what does true righteousness come?


  1. What does the Bible say, in Romans 3:23, to every person who believes they have righteousness through any means other than faith in Jesus Christ? What are some of the “righteousness” platforms upon which your friends stand other than Jesus Christ?


  1. What does the Bible call God’s righteousness (justified) in Romans 3:24? What feelings do you have when you think about the fact that God gives us what He demands of us?


  1. Which sentence do you prefer? I am righteous, by God’s gift of righteousness, therefore I put to death the deeds of the flesh.  As I put to death the deeds of the flesh, I am living righteously?  Both?


Life – Taking it Home

  1. What is God saying to you through this lesson?
  2. In what ways could you humble yourself before God, invite the Spirit to birth spirit in you, and receive God’s invitation to be placed in Christ Jesus?
  3. What is your next step in response to this teaching?

Lift – Prayer

  • Please pray for each of your Life Group members.
  • Please pray for, and plan to attend, the Burning Ice Alaska 2016 Conference. March 11-13, 2016.
  • Please pray that God will give us strength to humble ourselves before Him in our fasting and prayer.