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Can people be righteous without God?

There are many people who consider them-selves good or just. Such people often judge them-selves by their own set of values. They refer to individual good works that they have done in their lives. Others compare themselves to people who they think would behave worse than them-selves. Some draw the conclusion that they are good (enough) because they think their good deeds are enough to stand before God.

God not only wants us to do good as hu-mans, but he wants us to do His will. God's will includes good works of love, but it goes far beyond that. There are many people who do not believe in God and yet do good things and are socially involved, for example by helping poor and needy people or protec-ting the environment. This is undoubtedly in God's mind. But while people do good things, they often do things that explicitly do not correspond to God's will. These include vio-lence, loose or illicit relationships, porno-graphy, insults, lying, drinking, taking drugs, debauchery and the worship of false “gods” (idols) or other people or things instead of the one true God and many more. God not only wants us to do good, but also that we refrain from doing what is evil or sin in God's eyes.

Most of the people fail to recognize that when judging their actions, it is not their own standards of good and evil that count. For what man can claim that he is free from pride, greed, jealousy and envy, or that he has never lied, stolen, blasphemed or acted against his conscience? In addition, the mere fact that a person consciously rejects God as Lord and creator is a sin. God's Word, the Bible, makes it absolutely clear that all peo-ple are guilty before God and that no one lives up to God's holy standard. For this rea-son all men deserve death, which is the penalty for sin. The only exception is Jesus, the Son of God.


Because Jesus - unlike all other people - was without sin, He is the only person who was able to atone for the sins of all people. The word "atone" means that Jesus bore the death sentence that every human being deserves because of his guilt, through his own death, so that those who believe in Jesus might be re-deemed from death. Since Jesus was sinless, God first raised him from the dead and ap-pointed him to be the savior of all people. At the same time, Jesus showed what a truly righteous life looks like before God. Such a life involves more than just individual good deeds. It is about serving God and our fellow human beings with complete devotion and at all times doing what is pleasing to God and brings glory to our Creator. A life that only God Himself can enable a man to live. There-fore there is no other way to be reconciled to God than through faith in Jesus.



This includes acknowledging that you are guilty that your own good works are not sufficient to stand before God. From this the insight must follow that one needs the vica-rious sacrifice of Jesus, which alone and alone can free one from guilt and redeem one-self from death.

Related to this is the willingness to repent, that is, to turn away from one's old sinful life and to let one's thoughts and actions be de-termined by God and his will. The Bible calls this process “sanctification.” Just as God is holy, we should also be holy. This corres-ponds to our natural destiny from the begin-ning. To live holy means to live according to God's will and not to do anything that God considers sin.

No human being is able to attain this perfect state on his own. This requires God's Spirit, which God gives to those who believe in Jesus. God's Spirit enables us to live righteously as Jesus modeled and according to God's stan-dard.

While not all people are equally wicked and bad, claiming to be innocent and righteous before God is a fatal error. Rather, this atti-tude is an expression of pride and human self-righteousness. Only those who recognize their need of salvation and humbly turn to God will receive forgiveness for their sins and finally eternal life.

Deuteronomy 5,29

Deuteronomy 10,12-13

Psalm 112,1

Psalm 128,1

Proverbs 3,7-8

Proverbs 12,26-27

Proverbs 15,16

Proverbs 15,33

Proverbs 22,4

Titus 2,11-12



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