Friday, May 8, 2015

"A Greater Righteousness"

"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 5:20

The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was dependent upon their works, deeds and religious intellect.  It was a self-righteousness.  Jesus tells His disciples, and us, that unless our righteousness exceeds theirs we will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.  How can ours exceed theirs?  We are all born with the same righteousness-- or rather lack of.  Our righteousness is as "filthy rags".  So was theirs.  We are all in the same boat with the scribes and Pharisees.  All our righteousness is "filthy" no matter how many good deeds we do or religious acts we perform. 

The only way our righteousness can exceed this "self-righteousness" of the scribes and Pharisees is by our righteousness being transformed.  The only way it can be transformed is through Jesus Christ.  In order for our righteousness to exceed this filthy righteousness we must be a partaker of Jesus Christ's righteousness.  We must have His righteousness applied to our lives.  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)  This happens when we receive Him as our Savior.

Does your righteousness "exceed" that of the scribes and Pharisees?  Is it greater?  Is it great enough to cause you to be able to enter into the Kingdom of heaven?  If it's your own, it won't be.  Yours is filthy, therefore, it is unacceptable to God.  Nothing "filthy" will enter into His Kingdom.  But God has provided a righteousness that exceeds all our righteousness.  It is provided through Jesus Christ and is available to all who will receive it.

Have a great day.  Whose righteousness do you have?  The same as the scribes and Pharisees?  Or the righteousness of Jesus? 

For further reading:
Romans 3:22
Isaiah 64:6

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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