“Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” – Ecclesiastes 7:20
It is a common knowledge that there is no one here on earth that does not sin. It is a common knowledge that we are sinful and that we are deserving of the wrath of God. We all know that God’s grace is indeed sufficient even for us who continues to dwell in darkness even if we have known and seen the light. Our verse today tells us a different angle of sinning. Of course sinning goes together with doing what is bad or illegal to God’s commands. Sinning is doing the opposite acts of what God commanded us to do.
Now, the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes was King Solomon and he was at the state where everything was not good at all and has a pessimistic outlook in life. However, this does not mean that what he wrote here is invalid because this is true. We are ushered into a different side of sinning. So, we all think that sinning has always to go with bad actions or doing bad but today, we will learn that sinning can also join with doing right or good actions. Solomon mentioned that no one who does what is right and never sins. This just means that even if we do what is right or we are doing good, we still sin.
It is indeed an unending debate between some people who think that our righteous deeds can earn us extra points to heaven, which is clearly wrong. Even from the books of the Old Testament, prophets have been teaching us that doing what is good can still not save us. Especially this verse which clearly shows that even righteous deeds can still birth sin. What does the Bible mean by this? How come doing what is good, or being righteous can still lead us to sin?
Again, we all know that we are sinful creatures. We always dwell and desire to sin. Therefore, no matter what we do, there is always an equivalent desire to sin. So, even if we do something right like help other people etc. we have to know that we are prideful creatures. Most of the time we help because we want to gain popularity; we want to gain recognition and we want other people to praise us and we can never escape that. No matter how much we deny it, we know deep inside that at least once we consider to gain those which means that we are already sinning. Therefore, there is really no one on earth that is righteous because even the ones who do good and righteous acts are not exempted, for pride will then enter our hearts.
One thing this verse points out is that we really have nowhere to go. We are really deserving of the wrath of God and our good works are only like filthy rags in the sight of God. Through this verse we can really understand that our salvation really comes from God. Our redemption was a work of God and not ours. Even the faith we have for Jesus Christ is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit. So when we think that we develop our faith in Christ and think that at least that we have a contribution, think again. The faith we have in Christ is still a gift of grace from God.
Therefore, we really have to understand that we are saved by grace through faith and it is the gift of God not by our works so that we can’t boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). God knows our heart and He knows how prideful we are. If our faith is our doing and if our good actions are credited, we would act like gods and will never appreciate what God has done for us. So, still by being like that, we have trespassed God’s commandments and we are still sinning and deserving of the wrath of God. Thus, our redemption and salvation comes from Him only and not from our good works. No one is indeed righteous.
We should always remember that we have no contribution in our salvation. Let us not forget that our good works are like filthy rags in the eyes of God because everything we do has a hidden agenda that can only benefit our sinful nature. What horrible race we can be, but even if we are sinful and horrible, God loves us so much that He sent His Son to the world to save us from our sins. May we understand this truth and be on our knees to thank God for His grace, for His undeserved favor towards us.