Pristine Grace

Man's Best is Iniquity
by Scott Price
Man's Best is Iniquity

"And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:23

    Man will NEVER stop trying to merit salvation by his own righteousness UNTIL God, by the power of the Spirit and the means of the gospel, gives him life and opens his eyes to see his righteousness as sin that needs repented of. Scripture gives testimony that men will be deceived by self righteousness all the way up to judgment day, when it will be revealed as sin. This deceiving righteousness that Man produces is loved and very highly esteemed in his own eyes but is an abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).

    When a person's own righteousness is worked up it is looked upon by him and others around him as being the best thing they can bring to God. People in false religion, are sincere, and zealous, fully expecting to be blessed based upon that righteousness they are trying to establish. Like Cain, he gives God his best. The problem is that God will NEVER accept Man's best. Scripture testifies that Man at his best is altogether vanity (Psalm 39:5). But folks will continue to plead his own righteousness UNTIL the gospel is heard, understood, and believed. At that point they will see their best was really the worst, dung and filthy rags.

    Notice in the man in Matthew 7:22 mentions all his best achievements that are very highly esteemed in the sight of men. Christ said that even men's best deeds were iniquity. The man did not list stealing, lying, adultery, etc. He named preaching, casting out demons, and many wonderful works. The bottom line is that God will only accept a person that which meets His holy, strict, standard of perfection and sinlessness. That means God only accepts the best from Christ as He represents a person as He stands in their place. If we are to be saved we MUST be "accepted in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). This is done by an imputation (not impartation) of righteousness. This is the ground of justification which was merited by Christ alone when He successfully obtained eternal redemption for His people.

    Man's best will NEVER do. We must call men to repent of their best (dead works) and look to the ONLY standard, Christ, the object of our faith. Trust in, and lean on Him. He is our only hope and all other self righteous hopes are iniquity and death. The gospel spells this out clearly and God's people know and love that truth.