SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

MATTHEW 5:20 ETC.

HOW RIGHTEOUS ARE YOU?

#1 - SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

God is righteous!  Whatever He does is right! Psalm 116:5, Psalm 129:4, Psalm 145:17, Psalm 119:12

 

God is righteous! God wants men and women to be righteous.  Psalm 7:11, 11:7, 92:12, Proverbs 10:30, 14:32 

 

God is righteous! God wants men and women to be righteous.   

 

SO HOW RIGHTEOUS ARE YOU?

 

 

THE PROBLEM WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS

 

We have no righteousness!  We are unrighteous! Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:10-12

 

Matthew 5:20 - 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.

 

That statement would have really shocked Jesus' hearers.

The scribes and Pharisees were known for being religious and for keeping the letter of the law.  The scribes and Pharisees added laws to the law and expected men to keep them as well! Jesus is telling us that the way we live should be more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees if we expect to see Heaven! Matthew 5:17-19, Revelation 21:7-8

 

THE PROVISION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

 

Romans 5:6-9 - For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. [8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 - 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.

 

Christ has provided righteousness for those who have a problem with righteousness. That's all of us!  

 

Romans 5:1 - Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

When a person comes to Christ, and admits his own unrighteousness and helplessness and unworthiness and turns to Christ in faith as his or her only hope for forgiveness and a place in Heaven, then salvation takes place.   

That's when a person is saved or justified.  To be justified is to be "declared righteous".

 

What does God expect of you, Christian, once you have been declared righteous and looking forward to Heaven?

HE EXPECTS YOU TO LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY! 1 Peter 1:15-17

 

Christian, although we do not fear condemnation, we must realize that we will give account to God for our behavior as Christians. 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

We still have a problem with righteousness.

We did not have power within ourselves to live righteously before we came to Christ.

We do not have power in our own strength to live righteously now!

 

The good news is that Christ is providing power for living righteously.   

   

Please look at Romans 5:17 - For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

 

By one man's offense death reigned.   

Because of Adam's sin, death entered the world.

And until Jesus comes, nobody escapes death.

And this death is not only a physical death, but a Spiritual one as well.  Ephesians 2:1 tells us that before a person is saved he is "dead in trespasses and sin".  He has no hope of eternal life.

 

But God has something better for those who receive "abundance of grace".

 

Grace is God's unmerited favor.

Grace is God giving me what I don't deserve.

Grace has been called "God's Riches at Christ's Expense".

God's grace is abundant, enough to save anyone who comes to Christ by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Not only have we received abundance of grace, but the gift of righteousness.

When we accepted Christ as our Savior, He justified us, or declared us righteous.

It, like grace, was a gift we accepted when we put out faith in Christ.   

 

This verse is promising a reign in life.

And I believe that reign in life starts now.

Instead of being defeated, we can be victorious.

Instead of acting in an unholy manner, I can act in a holy manner.

Instead of living unrighteous lives, we can live righteous lives.

 

What's the practical secret for living a holy life now?

The secret in this verse is two fold.

 

First we have the abundance grace.  God continues to pour out his favor upon us when we ask, trust, and obey. Romans 6:10-14

 

Going along with abundant grace is the second thought, the gift of righteousness.  Just as Christ provides the gift of righteousness for eternal life.  He provides the gift of righteousness for daily living.  All I have to do is accept it. Galatians 2:20

 

Galatians 2:20  - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

What are you doing that's unrighteous?

First confess it. 1 John 1:9

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

After you confess the sin, forsake it by asking the Lord Jesus to be victorious over that sin through you.  Accept His gift of righteousness to give us victory. Philippians 4:13  

   

THE PRACTICE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

 

Matthew 5:6 - Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

You and I need to have a continual appetite and thirst for righteousness.

It should be a goal of our lives.

 

So where do we go to satisfy our hunger and thirst for righteousness?

 

We need to go to the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Jeremiah 15:16

 

Many of you live on a starvation diet.

You hear the word preached once a week at best.

And you don't bother to read the Word of God at home.

 

With Christ's help we need to follow his admonition found in Luke 11:28

 

 

 When you hunger and thirst after righteousness you will make every effort to be in Sunday School, Morning Service, Evening Service and Prayer Meeting where the Word of God is taught.

   

The message is an introduction to a series of messages is on the Sermon on the Mount, which we have quoted a few times.

 

The Sermon on the Mount shows us how to live more righteously than the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day.

The Sermon on the Mount is a practical presentation of how to live righteously on a daily basis.

It is impossible to obey the Sermon on the Mount perfectly, just as it is impossible to obey the Ten Commandments perfectly.

 

As we learn what the Sermon on the Mount means and as we trust Christ for the provision of abundant grace and the gift of righteousness to obey, we will see ourselves become more righteous than we are now.

 

 

RETURN TO MATTHEW INDEX

RETURN TO MASTER INDEX