There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
There is a whole generation, not merely a few individuals, of self-justified sinners.
I. THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS HEATHEN. But he has very serious and pitiable disadvantages. He has but the law of nature, with a few rays of Divine truth which, through tradition, have broken in upon his darkness.
II. THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS JEW. The modern Jew is precisely where the Jew who rejected Jesus as the Messiah was in St. Paul's days.
III. THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS INFIDEL. He worships reason, and he thinks that he has the only rational religion. He is his own standard of perfection.
IV. THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS MAN OF THE WORLD. One who pays very slight regard to externals — the mere forms of religion — and none at all to the internals.
V. THE PHARISEES AND SEMI-PHARISEES OF THE PRESENT DAY. Those who trust in themselves that they are righteous, and despise others; who mix together faith and works in regard to justification.
VI. THE EVANGELICAL PHARISEE. Loud in his profession, censorious of the world, and also of humble Christians who feel doubt and hesitation, not professing quite so much. His faith does not work by love, nor purify the heart. Such men have no constancy — they have not the vitality of the principle of grace rooted in the heart.
(J. Hambleton, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.