November 23, 2016

A surpassing righteousness

Jesus said that unless the righteousness, that you believe you have,
exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not see heaven.
Matthew 5:20

That begs a few questions needless to say.

What is righteousness?

It is just or right conduct.

What did the "just" conduct of the scribes and Pharisees look like?

They carefully adhered to rules and regulations to be accepted by God.

They KNEW the rules and worked hard to do them all.

The Pharisees, while being very careful in their behavior, still crucified Jesus.

Do you know the Word and strive hard to do what the it says to do?

And do you still crucify Jesus?

Hebrews 6 speaks of those who do just that.

Those who still crucify Jesus have tasted (but not swallowed) of God's goodness, and then wander away, and taste, and sin, and back and forth they go, as they continue to enjoy praise songs, and good sermons, yet they still sin, for they have never truly repented, and they continue to crucify the Son of God (as if they could), in all of that "loving God" and continuing to sin type behavior.

That type of person might think that they are exhibiting behavior conducive of one who loves God, but Hebrews 6:6 says that those who live lives like that are a public disgrace.

Anyone who is a public disgrace does not honor, love, or know God.

They think, and say, that they do; but Scripture proves otherwise.

Believing that one can fall, and sin, and repent, and fall, and sin, and repent etc., is a false belief.

No repentance has occurred in one who continues to sin. 

Scribes and Pharisees, while working very carefully to do good on the outside, were still dirty inside.

And Jesus tells us that our goodness must be better than almost perfect, or we will not see heaven.

You can keep a perfect house, and give money to the poor, and brush your teeth three times a day, and eat clean, and exercise religiously, and go to church every Sunday, and pray before every meal, and DO and say godly things, and your heart can be far from God, which begs a few more questions.

What must we do to have more righteousness than the ones who were VERY careful to obey?

We must be born again.

We can't be almost perfect, like the scribes and Pharisees, we must be perfect.

We must be born new.

How does Jesus tell us to do that?

Repent. That agreement with God about sin happens once. Agree with God about hate.

Hate contradicts the two commands Jesus left us with that we must do to see heaven.

We must LOVE God with all our hearts, and our neighbor as ourselves.

The scribes and Pharisees loved to be good, but didn't love God nor anyone but themselves.

They loved being known for being good.

The redeemed know that their goodness is not of them, but all of God.

The good (righteousness) that they do is accomplished by the resurrection power of God.

It is by faith in what Jesus did, and belief in all he said to do, and it is constant.

Whey you truly believe, then you do as commanded by the one in whom you believe.

You cannot truly believe until you repent, and are made whole, perfect, by God.

That is what surpasses the scribes and Pharisees.

Constant goodness (righteousness) of God in a soul.

The scribes and Pharisees strove mightily to do as they ought.

The truly redeemed accomplish it through repentance, and the relinquishing, once and for all, of sin.

They are perfect.

They love God with all that is within them, and the neighbor too.

They are seated with Christ in the heavenly places NOW.

They have eternal life NOW.

They have a home in heaven NOW, and they long for it always because they have a NEW nature.

The old is gone, the new has come.

Do you have righteousness that exceeds the goodness of those who were VERY careful with the law?

Do you love?

Love is the surpassing righteousness.

Love lays down desires and serves always, not sometimes.

Jesus says you must have righteousness that does not fail.

Love does not fail.

We have that righteousness in repentance.

One cannot sin and always be righteous.

Many will say to me that perfection is impossible and I say that they evidently want to sin.

Why?

Because Jesus says that if one sins, it is for the love of it. (John 3:19).

That is difficult to believe...right?

When we believe, however, we obey.

Admit that you love sin. Admit that the dislike you have is hate. Agree with God about it.

That is repentance.

Sin always fills one with darkness, and it destroys, and it brings death.

Always.

That does not comport to eternal life.

And if you continue in sin, Hebrews 10:26 explains that you will not find a sacrifice for that behavior.

No sacrifice for sinful behavior means no Savior.

No Savior means no salvation.

No salvation means no heaven. 

The righteousness of God always brings a new nature to the soul who repents.

Someone with a new nature does not have angst in their heart toward anyone, and love God too.

They don't wander on and off the narrow road continuously through life.

Someone who repents is made new. They are not the same ever again. They are perfect in love.

They stay on the narrow road, and are more than conquerors through God who loves them.

That soul will see heaven.

Have you repented?

God gives a surpassing righteousness to the ones who seek him, and repent.

It is a gift. An eternal one. It starts with repentance.




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