Christians are self-righteous.
An extremely common misconception about Christians is that they are self-righteous. Really, it is more than a misconception, it is just flat out wrong. In fact to be Christian is the antithesis to self-righteousness.
For starters, Christians recognize that we, like the rest of the world are sinners. That no matter how hard we try we inevitably fall short when it comes to living a perfect and sinless life each and every day. We recognize that we are not any better than any other human being on the planet and that we are fallen, sinful, wicked people just like the rest of the world. Christians realize that when we lived in and enjoyed our sins we offended a Holy God that gave us life by His choosing. Christians know and believe that God sent His son Christ Jesus to save us from our sinful selves and ultimately from God’s eternal wrath and punishment of Hell. Christians realize this punishment is warranted, deserved and Just because we have offended a holy, perfect, righteous and Just God. Recognition of our plight as well as the deep broken heartedness we have considering what Christ did for us despite our sinning, leads us to repent of our sinful ways. Repentance consists of confessing to God that we recognize we are sinners who have lived in rebellion against God and that we don’t want to live as an enemy of God. So we therefore live in opposition to our old sinful ways, seeking a life that pleases the God who saved us instead of living for what pleases us…our sins.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us- ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Christians realize that we are only saved due to the fact that Jesus bore our sins on the cross and essentially took the punishment that we deserved. For a Christian, there is no such thing as self-righteousness. The righteousness that Christians have is the righteousness of Christ Jesus, which is imputed upon us when we repent and believe in Christ Jesus alone. This essentially means we are seen as righteous due to the fact that we are saved, all because of what Christ Jesus did. Christ took our sins and imputed upon us His righteousness. Now when God looks at us, He sees Christ Jesus who effectively covers us with His blood that was shed on the cross.
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Philippians 3:9)
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
“The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:” (Romans 3:22)
In fact, it is safe to say that Christianity is the only religion or “faith” that does not attempt to reach heaven, become closer to God or make it to some sort of higher spiritual plane by way of earning. Any religion or “faith” that teaches that the believer has to earn or “work” their way to becoming closer to God (doing good deeds) is a religion that teaches self-righteousness. These types of faiths encourage the believer to think that when they die they must have earned enough righteousness of their own while on earth in order to enjoy eternal bliss.
Christians recognize that there is absolutely nothing that makes them more special or more amazing than other human beings that causes God to save them. Christians know that their eternity is secured in heaven solely based on what Christ Jesus did on the cross, not because of any amount of good deeds or works that motivated God to save them.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24)
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
The difference between Christians and non-believers is Christians have been forgiven by God, based on the merits of Christ Jesus. Self-rigtheousness has absolutely no place in Christianity. To call a Christian self-righteous, doesn’t even make sense. In fact, the only way to not fall into the camp of self-righteousness is to be a Christian. Without Christianity, righteousness can only come from inside the individual.