Dangers of Self-righteousness

The sacrament of water baptism is a beautiful illustration of the cleansing of God’s elect from all their sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  Satan works hard to get Christians debating over the mode of baptism, keeping them from grasping the heart of water baptism.  The writer of the Book of Romans wrote it so clearly, “…don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-23)  What are you dying for?  Each of us is spending our lives on something, the flesh, the world, Satan or Christ.

In Dr. Charles Swindoll book, “The tale of the Tardy Oxcart” we find the true story about what happens when we set our own external acts of worship over God’s righteousness.  The article was written by Haddon Robinson with the title, “What Jesus Said about Successful Living”

“Joe Bayly, the late Eternity magazine columnist, visited some Germans who were religious and who had been devoted soldiers in the German army during World War II.  Two of them had been put up for promotion to become second lieutenants in the Nazi Army.

“They were told that their promotions would be accepted.  However, there were conditions to the promotions – both of them would have to join the Officers’ club and attend some weekend dances.

“This was a major problem, the conviction of two candidates – they had been taught by the church dancing was wrong for it could lead to immorality.  The two faithful soldiers turned down the promotions.

“Later in their military careers these same two men were assigned to the death camps where thousands of Jews were stuffed into ovens and killed.  Even though they did not directly participate in the slaughter, they knew what was going on.

“When Jo Bayly talked to the two soldiers years after the war, they looked back on their experience with no regret, convinced that they had made the right decisions.  For them, not conforming to social pressure and refusing not to dance was an act of righteousness.  And conforming to patriotic mass murder and remaining silent while thousands of Jews burned in ovens left them with no feelings of unrighteousness.”  Hadden Robinson wrote, “When we set our own standard of external righteousness, we are capable of any evil.”

Let the Holy Spirit place this truth deep within your heart: do not set your life on the conjecture of man about water baptism; set your heart on what the whole of Scripture teaches about God and Jesus’ righteousness. Touch the holy things of God with holy hands.