Sermon #1106 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: FOUR ASPECTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Text: Matthew 5:20
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:10-28
Subject: The Righteousness of God
Date: Sunday Morning – September 19, 1993
Saturday Morning – September 28, 1993 Dingess, WV.
Most of what men call “preaching” is as worthless as a three-dollar bill. Any preacher who merely entertains sinners on the road to hell is a worthless preacher. He says nothing! He does nothing for the souls of men and the glory of God. And the sooner he comes to nothing, the better. Nothing will be lost!
Some preachers are entertainers. Others are impressers. They like to show you how much they know. Their sermons are so complicated that no one understands them.
· Randy regarding Wayne’s words.
· That wasn’t deep. Just muddy!”
Sermons you do not understand are as useless as those that simply entertain you.
Well, I am not here to entertain you. And I am not interested in filling the time with high-sounding, impressive religious talk, theological mumble jumbo, and the high sounding words of man’s wisdom. I want by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit to speak to your hearts with utmost clarity about a subject of utmost importance. I want to talk to you about righteousness. The title of my message is Four Aspects of Righteousness.
Give me your attention for just a few minutes. I am not going to talk to you but just for a few minutes. But what I have to say is of utmost importance. It is vital. There are some things that are vital. They are absolutely necessary. Without them you will perish forever under the Wrath of God. Our Lord said so!
1. “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3-7).
2. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
3. “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).
4. “I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).
In this text our Savior is addressing his disciples. He is talking to these men who had all their lives held their religious leaders, their laws and their customs, in such high esteem. And he said – “Except your righteousness shall exceed their righteousness, you can never be saved!”
He was talking about the Scribes, the scholars, the learned theologians who devoted their lives to transcribing and expounding the Scriptures with deep, deep reverence!
He was talking about The Pharisees, the most devoted most separated, most morally strict sect of the Jews! They were the finest specimens of religious devotion and zeal –
· Outward by Moral, Personally Righteous!
· Paid Tithes of All They Had!
· Prayed Three Times Every Day!
· Fasted Twice Every Week!
Yet, our Lord said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” In making that statement our Lord declared that, there has never been one son or daughter of Adam on this earth good enough, righteous enough, or holy enough to inherit and inhabit the kingdom of heaven. There is not now and never will be one person in heaven who is there because he was good, righteous, and holy in this world. (Psalm 14:2-3; Rom. 3:10-12).
· “There is none good but God!”
· “Man at his best estate is altogether vanity!”
· “Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in God’s sight!”
We must get the idea of “righteousness” out of our minds and get the word “righteousness” out of our vocabulary, insofar as any human works are concerned in God’s sight. Our righteousness are filthy rags before the holy Lord God! (Isa. 64:6; Isa. 1:16-20).
· “There is none that doeth good, no, not one!”
· Every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually (Gen. 6:5).
Read this Book one more time. You will discover that every man in this Book who knew God, who knew the righteous character of God and had been made righteous in Christ lamented his own utter wickedness.
Let me try to show you what this Book teaches about righteousness. I hope that everyone here will leave here this morning with some understanding of this vital aspect of gospel truth. Do what you will – “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Proposition: You and I cannot be saved without perfect righteousness.
Divisions: Here are Four Aspects of Righteousness revealed in Holy Scripture.
1. Righteousness Lost.
2. Righteousness Required.
3. Righteousness Accomplished.
4. Righteousness Bestowed.
I. Righteousness Lost!
By the sin and fall of our father Adam we all suffered a threefold loss of righteousness. This is a loss that simply cannot be denied.
A. When Adam sinned in the Garden He Lost His Righteous Nature, and we did too.
1. Before the Fall Man was Righteous (Eccle. 7:29).
2. After the Fall He Had No Righteousness (Rom. 5:12, 19; Matt. 15:19).
· Now wee are Sinful!
· Now we are Guilty!
· Now we are Condemned!
· Now we are Lost!
B. Adam also lost All Legal Righteousness, and we did too. Because man is sinful, he cannot approach God.
Adam was put out of the Garden, separated from God. “Your sins have separated between you and God!” (I Tim. 6:15-16).
C. Once he sinned, fallen man lost All Knowledge and Understanding of Righteousness.
As soon as he lost righteousness he went about to establish righteousness for himself (Fig Leaves), and has been doing so ever since (Rom. 10:1-3).
NOTE: The natural man has absolutely no idea what righteousness is, where it is to be found, or how it can be obtained. But he thinks he does (Luke 16:15).
This is the first thing to be established. We have no righteousness, and no ability to produce righteousness.
II. Righteousness Required!
A man’s definition of righteousness depends entirely upon his understanding of who God is. The problem with this religious generation is just this – They have never seen the holy, righteous, just character of God Almighty. They have never seen the absolute holiness of God.
NOTE: You will never see the holy character of God until you see what happened at Calvary (Isa. 6:1-6).
A. How good does a man have to be to get to heaven?
· He has got to be as good as God!
· “It must be perfect to be accepted!”
· “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?”
B. But I know this – “They that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Gal. 3:10).
· “Cursed is Everyone..
· “That continueth not…
· “In all things…
· “Written in the book of the law to do them.”
· You cannot worship God on an alter of hewn stone (Ex. 20:25).
“Woe is me!” But wait, the fact that we cannot produce righteousness does not mean that righteousness cannot be produced. God can do it! Man cannot please God. But God can please God! Man cannot produce righteousness. But God can produce righteousness. So this is my third point –
III. Righteousness Accomplished!
Thank God, there is good news. The Lord Jesus Christ assumed our nature, and by his obedience to God as our Substitute, he brought in an everlasting righteousness for sinners – (Dan. 9:24). How did he do it? Righteousness was accomplished when Christ –
A. Made an End of Sin – His Death (Gal. 3:13; II Cor. 5:21).
B. Obeyed the Law of God and the Will of God Completely.
· “It is Finished!” (John 17:4) – The Garment!
· “It is Finished!” (John 19:30) – The Atonement!
C. Made Reconciliation for Iniquity (Heb. 6:20; 9:12).
Still there is more. Be sure you stay with me. My last point is –
IV. Righteousness Bestowed!
Righteousness was accomplished for us at Calvary, when Christ died. But we must be made righteous. How?
A. By Divine Imputation – When Christ died we were made righteous in the way that he was made sin – By Imputation. Righteousness was imputed to us in justification.
B. In Divine Regeneration Righteousness is Imparted To God’s Elect…The Believer…
1. He is a New Creature (II Cor. 5:17; I John 3:1-9).
2. He walks in the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-4) – “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit.”
3. He minds the things of God (Rom. 8:5).
4. Believers love Christ and one another.
5. Believers hate sin and love righteousness.
6. Believers are generous, kind, and merciful.
7. Believers love God’s law, but realize that the only way we can please God is by faith in Christ – The only way we can honor the law is by trusting Christ (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 3:28).
Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16