8. They, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Rom. 10:3, 11.
The same mistake which proved so fatal to the Jews, proves equally fatal to many who pretend to call themselves Christians. Ignorant alike of the divine character and their own, they build their hope of the favor of God and eternal life upon some works of righteousness which they have done or intend to do, and reject the righteousness of Christ, in which alone they can be justified and accepted. In this mistake the decent and the profane are equally involved; for the worst of mankind fancy themselves possessed of some virtues and good qualities that will entitle them to the divine favor. The delusion remains till the light of the Holy Spirit darts in, like a sunbeam, upon the mind, and discovers the guilt and pollution that defile the best of us. We then abhor ourselves, and look to the free grace of God in Christ Jesus for pardon and salvation. We have a hope that maketh not ashamed.
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully through these absolved I am,
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
_Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness
Nicolaus L. von Zinzendorf/Germany