"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
The Righteousness Of The Scribes & Pharisees
1. As Jesus prepares to contrast the righteousness of the kingdom with
the traditional interpretation and application of the Law, He does
so with a strong warning to those who would enter the kingdom of
2. Found in Mt 5:20, Jesus warned them that "unless your righteousness
exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by
no means enter the kingdom of heaven"!
To appreciate and be able to apply what Jesus said, it might help to
define "the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees"...
I. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES DEFINED
A. THEY WERE KNOWN TO "SAY AND DO NOT DO" - Mt 23:1-4
1. Though they were often teaching the truth, they did not often
practice what they preached!
2. From them, many parents got the saying "Do as I say, not as I do"
B. THEY WERE KNOWN TO DO THINGS TO BE SEEN OF MEN - Mt 23:5-7
1. They enjoyed wearing religious garments that separated them
from others, and delighted in having places and titles of honor
2. Does this sound like any religious leaders today?
C. THEY WERE KNOWN TO NEGLECT PARTS OF GOD'S LAW - Mt 23:23-24
1. In their case, they would emphasize the "lighter" matters of
the law, while neglecting the "weightier" commands
2. Or as we would say today, they "majored in minors and minored in
D. THEY WERE LOVERS OF MONEY - Lk 16:13-15
1. "Mammon" was their god, though they would be quick to deny it
and try to justify themselves before men
2. Does this sound like any "prosperity" preachers we see and hear
[Such was the level of "righteousness" the scribes and Pharisees had as
a group! Why must our righteousness exceed that of the scribes and
Pharisees? THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE KINGDOM DEMANDS MORE!
II. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE KINGDOM
A. WE LEARN IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT THAT...
1. We cannot "say and do not" - Mt 7:21
2. We cannot "do things to be seen of men" - Mt 6:1
3. We cannot "neglect" ANY commandments of God's law - Mt 5:19
4. We cannot be "lovers of money" - Mt 6:24
B. THIS SHOULD SERVE AS A WARNING TO ANY WHO THINK THEY CAN BE
FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS, CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM, "BUT"...
1. DO NOT combine their profession of faith with suitable deeds
- cf. also Ja 2:14-17; 1 Jn 2:4-6; 1 Jn 3:18
2. DO NOT keep their personal, private lives consistent with their
public appearance and profession - cf. Mk 4:22
3. DO NOT make diligent effort to observe ALL that Jesus commanded
- cf. Mt 28:20; Jn 8:31-32; 2 Jn 9
4. DO NOT remain free from the enticement of materialism - cf.
also 1 Ti 6:9-10; 1 Jn 2:15-17
1. Without question, then, our righteousness as citizens of the kingdom
must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees
2. But how can our righteousness be consistent with that demanded by our
King? It is possible only by the GRACE of God...
a. Whereby His MERCY provides forgiveness to those in Christ - 1 Jn 1:9
b. Whereby His STRENGTH makes it possible to live according to the
"righteousness of the kingdom of heaven"! - Ph 4:13
In our next study, we will begin to notice examples Jesus gave as to
HOW our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees...
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