Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Beatitude series #6: Righteousness, Our Need

The Sermon on the Mount does not show us the way of salvation, but rather it gives us a description of the Christian life. Jesus Himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life. John 14:6 He is the Way, through His blood sacrifice for sin. He is the Truth as His Word reveals to us His standard of righteousness. He is the Life in that He lives that Life through us as we are surrendered to Him and filled with His Holy Spirit.

Note the progression of the Beatitudes in the life of the blest Christian.
He approaches God in poverty of spirit, mourning over His sins. He meekly receives the Word of God and all that it says about him. That meekness reflects also in his attitude towards others. Such a person, seeing his total bankruptcy as a sinner, hungers and thirsts after God’s righteousness.

Consider now this righteousness for which we crave.
It all starts with God Himself. One of His many attributes is righteousness. It’s evident throughout the Bible. Read of this attribute in Psalm 119:137-144 and in Psalm 145:17. The prophet in Habakkuk 1:13 says, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.”

We as sinners cannot stand in His sight.
In our sins we would be consumed by His holiness and wrath. That’s why Christ-rejecting sinners are consigned to Hell fire. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves presentable to God. We are lost and undone, hopeless and helpless to save ourselves.

As we continue reading Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we are confronted in Matthew 5:20 by His high and holy standards.

Our righteousness MUST EXCEED the righteousness of the Pharisees. Outwardly they kept God’s law as perfectly as they could, although inwardly their hearts were full of sinful motives and desires. Jesus exposed their hearts in Matthew 23.

Furthermore, in the Sermon in Matthew 5:48 Jesus commanded us to be as perfect as God Himself, a humanly impossible standard.

There’s no question about it. We are bankrupt of God’s righteousness.
Isaiah 64:6-7 says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. There is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hidden Thy face from us and hast consumed us because of our iniquities.” Paul, in Romans 3:10 quoting from Isaiah says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Again, Paul shows us our helplessness to save ourselves in Titus 3:5-6 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Saviour.”

The righteousness we need to be saved comes from above.
It comes from God alone. In Isaiah 45:8 we read, “Drop down, ye Heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open and let them bring forth salvation and let righteousness spring up together. I the Lord have created it.” Perhaps you are thinking, “I don’t like this idea that only God is righteous. I think I am good enough to merit Heaven.’ The next verse speaks to you. “Woe to him that striveth with His Maker.”

Dear reader, Give up!
Don’t try to fight with God. Be honest with yourself. You and I are both hopeless sinners, helpless to save ourselves. Our only hope is in the One who created us, God Himself. Isaiah 61:10 describes the salvation we need this way. “He hath clothed me with the garment of salvation: He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” This is the righteousness for which we must hunger and thirst.
Do you have Christ? Is He your righteousness? Are you sure?


March 9, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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