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Holiness from the inside out

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Holiness from the inside out

* Jesus said:" unless your ??righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

o This vs. is the key to this most imp. Sermon (sermon on the mount)

o Why. Because Jesus just described what the correct attitudes were, to be blessed in God's kingdom.

o Poor in spirit/those who mourn/the gentle/those hungry and thirsty for righteousness/merciful/pure in heart/peacemakers.

o It was nothing like they had been taught by the religious establishment of their day.

o Jesus taught that authentic righteousness that leads to true holy living comes from the inside out. It begins, internally in the heart the attitudes of the heart and mind.

o The Pharisees and scribes taught that the way to please God (salvation) was through outward abeyance of the Mosaic Law (10 commandments) and their interpretations of that law.

Lets look : In the time of Jesus, the Pharisees where the controlling authority They along with the Scribes determined what was right and wrong Correct and incorrect - by looking at Scripture And by doing so, by living well, one could be righteous (condition acceptable to God, purity of life, integrity, virtue ,correct feeling ,thinking and acting.) before God A fairly important thing.

The Pharisees (the separated ones) were a religious political party in Jesus time

They were known for insisting the law be observed as the Scribes had interpreted it (The Law also known as the Mosaic Law, given through Moses) The Scribes were members of the educated class who studied the Scriptures, copied them and served as teachers (experts in interpretation / lawyers)

One command from the mosaic law is Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Now, there are not a lot of details there, are there? How does one know when they were keeping this commandment?

Well! The Scribes and the Pharisees had an answer to how to keep all the Commandments. Two whole books of them Scribal Law, or the Mishnah is 800 pages long The Talmud or book of the Law is seventy two volumes These are not the Mosaic Law But are interpretations of the Mosaic Law

Every possible detail was worked out on every detail of the law The Scribes and Pharisees knew this immense pile of information well And applied it to their lives obsessively They were able to fulfill every obligation of the law to a tee The Scribes and the Pharisees could, but everyone else, pretty much could not. It was like a burden that weighed people down. The Word of God, fairly simply laid out Was clouded with details, and in fact People paid more attention to the interpretation of the Word Than to the Word of God itself

Years ago a man was hired by a pharmaceutical company to be an area salesman.

He was smart, a quick thinker, people oriented - perfect for the job. He was given a territory, training and all he needed to get the job done . On his first day his manager called to see how his visits went "no visits yet, I'm getting organized" Three days later his manager called to see how his visits went "I'm almost there...getting organized"

A week later his manager shows up - he hasn't seen a customer yet "just a few more details and I'll be out and about" He got lost in the details and never got to his mission

The Pharisees allowed their rules to become the center of their experience of God and forgot about what God was really about and their real mission. This is what the people were taught.

Jesus doesn't live the way they do. And so there is an insinuation that not only are they more righteous than Jesus But that Jesus acts in a way that he treats the law with lower importance. And some perhaps thought that Jesus was saying that He was going to abolish the Law of Moses. And so Jesus sets the people strait

So we come to verse 17....In verse 17 Jesus speaks:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish but fulfill." And Jesus fulfilled it in everyway and in the process gave us a new law. The law of life in the Spirit of Christ Jesus.

* The right and wrong way to be righteous:

o Jesus taught that we experience God from within that is where god resides in us:

o Our actions and attitudes will reflect what is within.

o Lenten observance is to reflect on who we are and where we are with God. What requires changing with prayer and faith in the indwelling Spirit we work on improving our character.


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