04 June 2008

Self-Establishment vs. Self-Emptying


One’s pride will bring him low . . . (Prov 29:23a)

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. . . .'" (Luke 18:9-12)

Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. . . . (Rom 9:31-32)

I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. (Rom 10:2-3)

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled . . . (Luke 18:14a)


. . . but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor (Prov. 29:23b)

. . . But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. (Luke 18:13)

. . . What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith . . . (Rom 9:30)

. . . but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:14b)

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Aren't these three texts, and so many others like them, while in many ways different, deconstructing the same core reality?

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