Law or Righteousness?

Nov 26, 2019

Good Morning Fellow Travelers,

Read: Mat 5


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Mat 5:14-16


Jesus goes to great length in the Sermon on the Mount to help us understand that there is a higher standard of righteousness than the moral law. He takes issue with what no man had ever questioned; the validity of the law. He declared that to abstain from wrong deeds alone is not sufficient. He raises the standard. Mere obedience is not enough.

We can be the best moral man in the world and still be lost. If our thoughts are not pure, or if our motives are not pure, we are still sinners. You may never commit adultery, but if your mind is lustful, you are an adulterer just the same (Matthew 5:27-28). You may never commit murder, but if you are murdering your neighbor daily in your mind, you are a murderer just the same (Matthew 5:21-22).

True righteousness goes beneath the surface , rather than being an external and superficial system of legal obedience. It goes to the heart. Jesus refuses to allow us to divide our thoughts and motives from our deeds. Christ requires righteousness within. Jesus wants to change our control center.

 Christ’s standard of righteousness claims the whole man. He requires a spiritual wholeness of us as illustrated in Matthew 12:36-37. Every idle word shall be accounted for in judgement. The idle words, the chance sinful act, are a clue to our real character. What is Jesus really saying here? He is saying that those who are truly redeemed bear the righteousness of Christ within and can stand judgment even on their words.

Christ’s standard of righteousness has a positive and active character, and this is beautifully illustrated in verses 40-44 of Matthew 5. It is not just the colorless abstaining from sins, but it comes closer to inspired passion. He wants a changed heart that results in a new spirit and a new attitude. He wants servants who are filled with his life and love for others. Good morals will not save you. We need redemption. Jesus wants control. Welcome to Kingdom principles.

~ James Baer ~

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