Works righteousness is in fact unrighteousness. We are not saved by our good works; we are saved by the gift of Jesus’ work on the cross. Our unrighteous sin goes to him, and his righteousness comes to us. Do not trust in yourself as the works righteousness man in the parable did. Trust in the Lord as the repentant, humble sinner who received the gift righteousness did. Confess your sin to Jesus. Receive the righteousness of God in Christ. And then celebrate with joy.
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 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!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”