Righteousness, The Pharisees, and You - Part 5
Part 5: Grace, Faith, & ...Righteousness?
We know through faith we receive grace (Ephesians 2:8). We know righteousness is available to us through our belief in Christ because of His faith (Romans 3:22). We know when we sin, we are breaking the law of God and are not righteous (1 John 3:4, Deut. 6:25/Romans 2:13). We know when we sin we deserve death, but because of belief in who and what Christ is, we are saved from the penalty of eternal death (Romans 6:23). When we sin, we need Christ’s righteousness to make us righteous because we have failed to obey God’s law by which we are made righteous. Righteousness is granted to us by grace through faith in Christ who is righteous for us when we are not being righteous! This means our obedience is still our righteousness, but the times we fail, we have an advocate with the Father who has perfect righteousness and covers us with it! Everything works now! None of it contradicts!
Christ tells us in Matthew 5:19 that if we remove even one jot or tittle of the law, and teach others to do the same we will be least in the Kingdom. That is just the requirement to be least. Yet we cannot even enter the kingdom unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees & Scribes. Simply following the laws without the spirit is going through the motions, being “legalistic” if you will. Following God’s law just to say you are doing it or to “look good” won’t get you there. If you want to be considered righteous by the Creator and have your righteousness exceed the Pharisees, you have to obey God’s law in spirit and in truth, with the proper attitude and heart. We cannot be righteous on our own, not even more than the Pharisees without the help of Christ. They thought they were righteous because of what they did, instead of how they did it. We cannot make it into the kingdom on our own righteousness, it takes Christ, the Living Word.
Do you want to be righteous? Do you want to be in the Kingdom? Do you want to be greater than the least in the Kingdom? Turn to your Creator, get your heart right, and begin to walk out His entire word in spirit, and in truth. Shalom.