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Jesus Said: Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The Pharisees of the Bible were highly religious people who focused on external observances of the law that Moses had given to their forefathers. They were good people so far as keeping the letter of the law was concerned. In Matthew 23 we can see that Jesus credited them with the following: Being obedient students of the Law of Moses (vs. 5), Going to church faithfully (vs. 6), Teaching Gods law to others (vs. 7), Praying for long periods of time (vs. 14), Going on missionary journeys (vs. 15), Paying tithes (vs. 23), And Dressing well (vs. 5, 25 &27). Can you honestly say that you are as good as the Pharisees? Yet Jesus said we would have to do better than them if we want to go to heaven. Read Matthew 23 in context, then I will try to explain:


Pharisees study and obey the law so that they will stand out in society. They go to church faithfully to get recognition. They teach Gods laws to others because it sets them as the standard. They pray for long periods of time to appear holy to others. They go on Missionary journeys to enhance public image. They pay tithes to be seen of men. They dress well to appear lofty beside the common man. Jesus never condemned what they did. He condemned their motive for doing it. He said we would have to do better than that.


True Bible faith in God brings about a New Birth. The repentant faithful is "Born Again" into the family of God. One benefit of the New Birth is that the Spirit of God moves in and works in the motivation department. He says in effect "go here", "Do this", "Say that". When we obey, we have practiced the righteousness that comes by Faith. Romans 9:30-32 explains that Israel had "not attained to the law of righteousness...Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law...For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

One Pharisee in the Bible bankrupted on his natural righteousness and received the Righteousness of faith. We know him as the Apostle Paul. He said "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss...and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"

Which kind of righteousness do you have?

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