“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:4)
Faith in Christ ends faith in ourselves. The faith of our Lord Jesus Christ is the end of all self-righteousness and the beginning of true righteousness. The gospel proclaims: “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10)
Men love to compare themselves with others. The Pharisees fell into this trap: They “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Luke 18:9) They believed their pristine orthodoxy set them apart from the unenlightened masses: “But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.” (John 7:49) They prided themselves on a dedication to God’s law that others did not have.
Paul well knew the spirit of religious pride they operated in because he was once of the same spirit. Once in Christ, he understood that knowledge of the law means nothing without obedience to it. “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (Rom. 2:13) And because no human being has the ability in themselves to keep the law, none can be justified through their attempts to do so. Righteousness begins when we look away from ourselves and look to Christ.
Whatever we were formerly looking to as our “credentials” for being a good, righteous person – better than others – must go when we believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. He is now our Righteousness. We have nothing to boast in but Him. He alone makes us different.
Pride was crucified on the cross of Jesus Christ. To receive the gospel is to have our every claim to being superior to others obliterated. Our new realization is: “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Our new song is: “To God be the glory!”