Today’s Encouragement is Matthew 5:20 NLT “But I warn you-unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”
Your righteousness –
The righteousness of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees was their own works. These men were, as he reveals in several places in the gospels, literally ‘self-righteous’ and it was a false righteousness, full of pride at their own accomplishments. The people to whom He preached really considered these religious leaders to be truly righteous.
But here, Jesus condemned their self-righteousness saying that we must be truly, perfectly righteous. Friends, we can only be truly righteous, truly in a right relationship with God (this is what righteousness is) when we are IN Christ! When we are IN Him, it is not our righteousness that is considered but His! We are clothed with Christ! (Gal 3:27) We are one with Him (John 17:22-23). His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor 12:9).
So, for everyone who believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior… our “righteous is far better that of the scribes and Pharisees”, better than anyone’s good deeds or self-made righteousness! No matter how ‘religious’ they may seem to be!
Much of the sermon on the mount was aimed at revealing to ordinary people the vast and impossible chasm between man and God. No sacrifice, no man’s righteousness, is adequate to truly free man from sin… only Jesus can do that… and He did!
Father we are grateful for Your amazing gift of Grace, that we can be clothed, covered with Christ and that He is In us today!
Clothed With Christ