Jesus told his disciples their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. What did he mean?
Righteousness is right doing according to the standard of God’s word (Psalm 119:160; 145:17). The Pharisees thought they were righteous —they were not— they thought they were righteous because of their ritual observance of the ceremonial law of Moses. They were, however, certainly unrighteous. The righteousness that exceeds that Jesus describes is one based on obedience to God’s word.
Today, many people don’t understand that obedience is what God wants. It is what he has always wanted. Righteousness is not “infused” in people. It is what they are because of obedience.
It is all too easy for victory to go to our heads. God brought Israel out of Egypt, and led them through the wilderness. Moses said it was God “who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end–then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth’” (Deuteronomy 8:16-17 NKJV). They had had to gather manna daily to teach them humility and obedience to God. None of them could claim their part of the Promised Land without doing His will. “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV). Today, no one has a claim to salvation without Jesus Christ, for He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
“The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’ He said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water” Matthew 8:31-32.
The legion of demons were so strong, so violent, that not only did they keep these two men in bondage but “no one could pass that way.” Yet, here comes God in the flesh, and there is no testing of strength against him, no epic scene from a blockbuster movie. The demons recognized Jesus for who he was, immediately submitting to His authority by asking, “What do you want with us, Son of God?” Continue reading