Whole Counsel Theology

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More Righteous than the Pharisees

Did you know that our righteousness has to be more than that of the Pharisees in the New Testament that argued with Jesus so much?

This was part of the subject of last week's Sunday School lesson that I taught. This verse was the last one that we worked on:
Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus made it clear. This statement likely came as a shock to his hearers -- more righteous than the PHARISEES? They were the religious teachers; no one knew the Scriptures like they did, and no one likely kept them better! How on earth was this to be possible?

Clearly, the Pharisees were not innocent of breaking the Law. James tells us why:
James 2:10 For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.

That being the case, even if the Pharisees broke fewer of the laws, they were still guilty of the entire law, just like everyone else. The question then is, how can we possibly get around the guilty verdict that is rightly placed on us? We'd have to be viewed as having the righteousness of someone who kept the law perfectly, since none of us can. Is there anyone who can be viewed that way? YES!

JESUS kept the law perfectly! When we place our faith in Him, we are declared righteous; His righteousness is imputed to us and we are viewed by God as righteous, even though the righteousness is not ours.

This is a rather simply description, but it still points to this: Thanks be to GOD for His marvelous gift! He alone deserves the worship and praise for this wonderful act He has done.

To God be the Glory Alone!


  • David, It is a joy to find another believer who is living a Cross Centered and Biblically focused life. I am reading a book by James R. White titled "The God who Justifies." That litte word "imputed" is found throughtout. :>) Isn't a joyfull thing to know that our righteousness, in the eyes of God, is actually Jesus' righteousness?

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

    By Blogger Mike Ratliff, at Thursday, February 02, 2006 7:03:00 PM  

  • I tell you that it is! Without Christ's righteousness imputed, there is no hope. Thanks be to God for this indescribiable gift.
    I am hoping to get that book among others from Dr. White (I'm a fan of his and spend a lot of time in his #prosapologian chat over at www.aomin.org). Have I seen you over there and just don't realize it? :)


    By Blogger David B. Hewitt, at Friday, February 03, 2006 2:04:00 PM  

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