A time I was meditating and then the holy spirit reminded me of what someone quoted to me from the scripture;
" the righteousness of men is like a filthy rag in the sight of God."
Though what the person said to me was right, but in the end, he was just quoting the word without understanding the power thereof, simply put, though she has knowledge of the scripture, she was just quoting it as ordinary words, mere literature to suite her desire.
The righteousness of men is a filthy rag before the sight of God, it is indeed true, but there is an in depth meaning to what the Lord meant, that is why we do not study the scripture with our own knowledge, but with a free heart without sin, before the presence of God, asking the holy spirit to teach us the word so the mysteries of God will be made plain in our hearts. With this, the scripture was inspired by God through his servant, that the learned men of the world won't have an understanding of it, but only those who truly seek and diligently follow him.
There is a righteousness that is filthy and that which isn't; The righteousness of a simple man ( sinner ) and that of a child of God. The righteousness of a sinner struggling to overcome sin is filthy, but that of a man born again, standing firm, unwavering in Christ is not filthy in anyway, it is holy and a fragrance offering unto the Lord.
By our own strength we cannot be saved, never, anyone who says he is saved by his strength is a liar, though you my try to stop a sin like lying or masturbation, by your strength you subsided for a week or two, thinking you've won, but lacking knowledge that the devil is lying in wait, so when you think you're victorious, he'll pounce on you like a wild beast stalking it's prey, and that which you said you overcame you'll find yourself even worse than you were before. if you masturbate once a week, you might end up graduating into five times a week.
By our strength no one can be saved, so that we would not boast of our righteousness, but by only through the grace of Jesus we might be saved, not we are saved, but we might be saved.
Knowing this, the devil as sly as a fox, came into the hearts of men who are weak in spirit, who do not want to pay the price to follow Christ, he deceived men making them think that, by grace we all are saved because Jesus has already died on the cross for our sin, and so they continue in sin that grace may abound. But i tell you the Lord shall not contend with man forever, when your grace expires and you refuse to repent, He'll cut you off and toss you into the unquenchable fire.
Most people no longer preach the truth today, they preach words to pamper the hearts of men keeping them in their bondages of sin. The gospel came to set man free from his bondages of sin and the only way, is for him to receive it.
For the gospel has been crying out from the wilderness searching for who is willing to receive, but the way to the wilderness is patchy and rough. Everybody hears, but majority won't go into the wilderness in search of who is crying out, only the few who desires to see who is that crying out might receive him. They changed their direction in search for the word, though the path is rough and thorny, making it difficult for them to go through, but by grace the way was made clear in order to find the voice crying out.
This means; although everyone has been hearing the word for too long, but are to busy wallowing in the pleasures of sin, not wanting to sacrifice their pleasure to attain true life, because they want an easy life, but the end is destruction. However, those who heard the word and try to overcome sin by their own strength, they repented and became born again, but still struggle in their sin, because of their own strength, they say they won't lust, but in time they went back to their vomit, though they don't want to.
Many of them have become tired and have given up, those who gave up are those who say it is impossible for man to live without sin, not remembering the word that says;
" he that is born of God cannot sin, because God's seed remains in him."
But those who still press on, are given grace, and empowered through the word to overcome sin to live life of holiness. And they'll give the testimony;
" Glory to God, I was once drowned in sin, but by His grace I am saved."
Only those who persevere to the end are truly saved by grace, so they won't have to struggle over sin. But those who gave up, my friend, if you think grace is covering you, you're deceiving yourself, the only grace covering you is grace that you will not die in your sin giving you chance to repent. This grace also expires.
Unless you put effort which is your righteousness to obey the word and with prayers, can you truly become saved by Jesus. Though you might be struggling in sin but a work is being done in your heart through the word without you knowing. Meditate on God's word in obedience for it is the sword of the spirit that destroys every darkness from the hearts of men. And when that work is done, suddenly you'll realize that you're no longer bond to sin.
It is then you'll know that one who lives a holy life, live such life naturally without the struggle of sin. Then you can be sure of your salvation. If I should ask many if they know where they'll end up if they die now, surely many will say I'm not sure, why? because of sin living in them. Still some ignorantly would say I not going to hell even if it's obvious that's their destination.
However we should know that just as there is a righteousness of a born again there is also a righteousness for a Christian given by the holy spirit. Now if you're saved by grace you should know that the way to the kingdom is on war, the evil one won't let you walk away freely, he'll try to get you back. After all a runway slave, though he ran away, but still possesses the brand of old master.
His master will do everything to get him back, even if it means killing him. That is how it is with our spirit man warfare. Though you're called into repentance by grace, escaped from your former master, but still have not done what it takes to make you a freeman, because you're still carrying his brand.
When one is saved from sin, there are still property of that sin he is bond to, though he doesn't indulge in that sin anymore, but since he is carrying that brand, his former master still chases after him with hunter dogs. The slave master takes his dog and give the command, go! sniff him out, after all he's still wearing my cloths, he has not had his bath, it'll be easy to find him. Unless you settles that which you carry, unless you change your clothing and take your bath you'll be sniffed out and if possible torn to threads.
The slave master is the devil, these dogs are his demons tracking and luring men into various sins, these dogs Sniff's out that property of sin a man is carrying, though he is free, but he's still wearing that cloth that reeks of sin. Though he has settled physically by running away, he also need to settle spirituality by taking off every property of sin he's still carrying through the delivering power of the word and prayers.
It is through this that righteousness of a born again comes to play. It's not like God is not seeing your struggle He knows, but He did allowed this to see those who are truly for Him. This is when those who say by grace we are saved, wanting to live an easy life, are not really serious, because when the trials and temptation comes they'll be torn to threads.
Anyone who says the path to the kingdom is easy is a liar, do not be deceived, fight to overcome, anyone who does not suffer and deny his flesh is not worthy of the kingdom. If you want to kill an animal for a feast and finds it on the lose, won't you do everything to catch and kill that animal, so it is with the devil, he won't let you go scot free, unless you run faster than he can catch you.
Righteousness is your effort applied to maintain your salvation and grow in Christ. The fight to remain and grow in Christ has many stages and Bosses, no boss in your stage is stronger than you only if you don't prepare, if you beat him, you gain more power and progress to the next level, it goes on and on until the Lord calls us home.
Everyday we fight to attain victory, and a time will come when you'll no longer desire the kingdom for you know your name is already written, rather what you'll desire is to establish His kingdom here on earth to bring soul unto him.
Search you heart to know that which is trying to corrupt your heart, then pray to fight that spirit, is it the spirit of lust, lying, stealing, command that spirit to get out of your life through prayers, and don't forget the word, because if you don't have it in you, which is life, your prayers will have little or no effect, the word and prayer cannot walk separately. The more you chew on the word the more you deliver weighty prayers.
After you've done everything to stand, stand firm lest so you won't fall. When you have fought the fight, taken off the clothes of sin, the dogs will come to a stop seeing it on the floor, and Pursue you no further.
Though you have taken off your clothes and shackles, unless you take your bath, they can still sniff you out before you get to the slave trade Abolisher.
They might catch up to you, but with the new strength you have attained you can beat them up and escape from temptation, but they will still come again, this time with more men, and unless to put more effort, take your bath ( sanctify your heart ) and get to the slave trade Abolisher to register you a delivered man, free from the bondage of sin they'll track you down and finish you off. When you become a free man, you're not only free from your sin, but also you'll be made anew, to become a slave trade Abolisher to save others.
One can receive Jesus on repentance to be free. However there are still works to be done to be delivered from the bondages of sin so he can live a holy life naturally without struggle against sin.
It is then we come to the sanctification of hearts by the holy spirit to purge us of all impurities, that our hearts will become a dwelling temple for the lord to be used for His purpose as fishers of men.
Sanctification is another aspect of the gospel, which will take time to explain, but he who overcomes sin will be filled with the holy spirit, he will teach him what is right and wrong in other to be used and carry out his duty as a son in the family of God.