For me the Scriptures are clear, not because I just believe the words I've read, but because God has revealed my sin against His holiness and justice, and because of this revelation I am forever grateful for His loving grace and righteousness that He has imparted to me.
How often do we do things to make ourselves look good? When in truth we aren't good at all.
No one is good except God.
"No one is good but One, that is, God." Luke 18:19
"For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin." Ecc. 7:20
I think the issue here is the definition of good.
If God is good how can I, a sinful human being, be good as well?
If we compare ourselves to God, who is truly good, we can only then see that we are not.
This is not to discourage us, but to encourage us to come to Him. He knows what we need.
We need Him.
Christ gives the believer His righteousness, because we don't have righteousness on our own.
Doing good does not make us righteous, only Christ can do that.
"...and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith." Phil. 3:9
It's a gift that we often dismiss, trying to make ourselves the author of goodness. I tithe. I go to church regularly. I give to the poor. I read my Bible. I... I... I...
These are all commendable and should be done, but they don't make us good.
Christ makes us good when He imparts his righteousness to us.
"For if by the one man’s (Adam) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17
It's Christ who restores us to life.
Much more abundant is God's grace towards us through His son Jesus Christ!
"And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Romans 8:10
There is freedom in this truth. We can rest in this truth.
And when we realize this truth, we are free to admit our brokenness, our shame and our weaknesses. It's not about us anymore, but about the One who loves us unconditionally.
There is nothing we can say or do that will make God love us more or less. He is love.
"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
Trust in Him.
We will never be able to be good enough on our own. Never.
Don't worry about being good enough, rather rest in His goodness.
Rest in Him.
Christ has paid the price and it is finished.
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:8
I thought I'd leave you with this short 5 minute clip from Francis Chan talking about this subject...