Phoenix Of Self-Righteousness

Thomas Manton writes:

” … let me press you to this kind of self-denial, to draw off your hearts from your own righteousness. My method shall be this –

1. I shall show you how hard a matter it is to bring men off from dependence upon our own righteousness.
2. The danger of leaning upon our own righteousness.”

A few pages after this, Manton writes concerning the possibility of believers to be unsubmitted to the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel:

“After conversion the children of God are very subject to it, to lessen their esteem of Christ by overvaluing their own righteousness. As long as we live in the world we are apt to set up a righteousness of our own. When the apostle would give us a catalogue of sins, pride of life is last mentioned, because, when other sins are subdued, pride remains, it grows upon the ruin of other sins. Now of all the pieces of pride, this is the most dangerous, to pride ourselves in our own righteousness” (Thomas Manton, A Treatise Of Self-Denial).

Since Manton himself is ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, he believes that a phoenix of self-righteousness may spring up from the smoldering ashes of non-submission to the righteousness of Christ (contra Romans 10:1-4). God’s regenerate people are continually submitted to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3) and have been crucified and raised to spiritual life with Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4-6).

” … knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be nullified, so that we no longer serve sin” (Romans 6:6).

To Manton, a self-righteous-establishing pride has NOT been nullified since it can (allegedly) grow and feed upon its own nullification and ruin.

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