Taking satisfaction and confidence in one’s own works, and alignment with a law that we consider Biblical — that is an example of self-righteousness.  I am concerned this is a pervasive de facto concept that has been indoctrinated into many in the church, including me.  I have been eliminating this mindset from my life since at least 2007, and I am still working on it.

Key scriptures:

And there are many other Scriptures and much more that could be said.

The Tree of Life — Are We Daily Repeating the Error of Adam & Eve?

Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a trap.  It makes us think we can understand and navigate morality apart from God, even though we use things God has given us, such as Scripture, and precedents of the Holy Spirit leading us in the past.  He could lead us differently in the future.

Being united with Christ, the way I see it, we do not need to navigate life like a map of good and evil, steering towards the good and away from evil, seeking maximum knowledge of good and evil, but instead, we can love Christ, be led by God (Psalm 23), and live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus

What is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus?  I have glossed over that many times.

Now I am starting to realize there is a Spirit of life, there is a Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, and there is a law about that that I can live by, instead of the law, which was a tutor for those who came before it was time for people to be led to Chist.

But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.   (Galatians 3:25)

Extemely Recommended Reading

There’s a book titled “The Ancient Road Rediscovered: What the Early Church Knew” by M. James Jordan of FatherHeart Ministries that describes the problem and solution very well.  Here’s my review of this book that I posted to goodreads.com:

An extremely important book — repairs basic simple Christianity in a way most don’t realize it is broken. I feel the gospel has somewhat been lost, in that the true freedom offered to us by God is too easily missed by those who are raised and nurtured by the vast majority of the institutional church, which is ridden with the subtle yet limiting trap of self-righteousness (and false humility, vanity, etc.)

What is the original problem with man? We ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What is the answer to the root of so many our problems? Stop eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is a choice. If we do what we think is right, and judge it to be right, and pat ourselves on the back, we are judges and gods who are judging rightness of the universe, and we do not let our Father be God, who created a life for us without the futile burden of having to be a god-judge all the time.

And if we do something that is wrong, we can condemn ourselves (those who are not goody two-shoes in the church may struggle with perfectionism, but they do not struggle as comprehensively with this as much as backsliders.) But in Christ we are not condemned, so we don’t need to be eating the knowledge of evil either.

I am not sure I said that well and it has been about a year since I read the book, but I remember it laid a freeing foundation in my Christianity that I already realized was missing from my life. I feel it is urgent that this message, and the message of Fatherheart Ministries in general, reach the church, because it is a truer (less polluted or pollutable) gospel than the de facto one many end up with.