UNDERSTANDING GOD’S DIVINE MERCY  AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
  • MATHEW 12:1-8  “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.2: But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.3: But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;4: How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5: Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 6: But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.7: But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.8: For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
  • IT IS JUST AMAZING TO SEE HOW TERRIBLY OFFENDED THE PHARISEES AND THE SCRIBES COULD BE WHENEVER JESUS SHOWED MERCY TO ANYONE
  • THEY JUST DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE GOODNESS AND THE MERCY OF GOD
  • EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD ACCESS TO THE SCRIPTURES MORE THAN THE REST OF THE PEOPLE
  • AND EVEN THOUGH THE PSALMS SPOKE OFTEN OF THE MERCIES OF GOD
  • THEY NEVER TRIED TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S GRACE AND MERCIFULKINDNESS
  • DAVID  SAYS IN PSALM 89:1 I WILL SING OF THE MERCIES OF GOD FOREVER
  • HE EVEN INVITES EVERYONE  TO CELEBRATE GOD’S MERCIES
  • Psalms:118:1-4
  • O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
  • : Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
  • DAVID SPELT IT ALL OUT IN PSALM 136
  • O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:2: O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:3: O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:4: To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:5: To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:6: To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:7: To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:8: The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:9: The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:10: To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:11: And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:12: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:13: To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:14: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:15: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:16: To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:17: To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:18: And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:19: Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:20: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:21: And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:22: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:23: Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
  • Psalms:136:24: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:25: Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • Psalms:136:26: O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  • PSALM 136 CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THE JEWS INCLUDING THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES  HAD A SPECIAL COVENANT MERCY WITH GOD ALMIGHTY
  • THEREFORE THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES SHOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD THE LORD’S MERCIES AND COMPASSION MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE
  • THE LORD EVEN TOLD THE PHARISEES TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES CONCERNING HIM AND HIS EVER ENDURING MERCIES
  • JOHN:5:37-39
  • And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
  • And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
  • Joh:5:39: Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
  • THEY CERTAINLY HAD ACCESS TO THOSE SCRIPTURES BECAUSE DAVID SPOKE OF GOD’S MERCIES ALL THE TIME
  • WHY THEN WERE THEY ALWAYS UNHAPPY TO SEE JESUS CHRIST DISPLAY  GOD’S MERCY AND GRACE AS HE HEALED AND FORGAVE PEOPLE?
  • THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE ,THEY COULD NOT RECEIVE GOD’S MERCY THROUGH CHRIST
  • LUKE 7:30 SAYS THEY REJECTED GOD’S COUNSEL AGAISNT THEMSELVES
  • THEY LOCKED THEMSELVES OUT OF THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD AND MADE EVERY EFFORT TO LOCK OTHERS OUT
  • THIS WAS WHY JESUS SAYS TO THEM  IN MATT 23:13
  • But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
  • THE LORD WAS ALWAYS GRIEVED BECAUSE OF THE HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS
  • AND HOWEVER HE WARNED AND SPOKE TO THEM THEY GOT MORE AND MORE WICKED  AND EVENTUALLY PLANNED HIS DEATH
  • MARK 3:1-6 “And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.2: And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.3: And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.4: And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.5: And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.6: And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
  • NOW WE ARE ALSO BEING WARNED BY THE LORD THAT WE SHOULD NEVER BE LIKE THEM
  • MATT 5:20
  • For 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.
  • IT IS ONE THING TO SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD IT IS ANOTHER THING TO ENTER GOD’S KINGDOM
  • JOHN:3:4-6
  • Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
  • Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
  • Joh:3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  • Joh:3:6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

·         WHAT DOES JESUS MEAN BY “UNLESS YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS EXCEEDS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES YE SHALL IN NO CASE ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. “?

·         BY THIS WARNING ,WE SHOULD IMMEDIATELY UNDERSTAND  THAT IF WE DO NOT  HAVE A RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IS GREATER OR BETTER THAN THAT OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE GRACE OF GOD FOR OUR SALVATION.

·          JESUS CALLED THE PHARISEES  A BROOD OF VIPERS, WHITEWASHED TOMBS, AND TOLD THEM THEY WERE OF THEIR FATHER, THE DEVIL.HE CALLED THEM HYPOCRITES

·         HE WARNED HIS DISCIPLES TO STAY AWAY FROM THEIR TEACHINGS

·         THIS IS BECAUSE RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT AT ALL ATTAINED BY WORKS.. IT COMES FROM JESUS HIMSELF.  

·         THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES CONSISTED OF SEEKING THE ACCEPTANCE OF GOD BY THEIR HUMAN EFFORTS  AS THEY KEPT  TO THEIR RULES AND TRADITIONS.

·         THEY THOUGHT THAT THE MORE  RULES THEY KEPT,THE MORE RIGHTEOUS  THAN EVERYONE ELSE  THEY W0ULD  BE

·         THEREFORE JESUS WARNS AND SAYS THAT  THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT EXCEEDS THEIR OWN HUMAN EFFORTS CAN ONLY  BE RECEIVED BY FAITH IN GOD.THOUGH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

  • WHEN WE ACCEPT FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS BY   FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST, GOD GRANTS US HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS.
  • WE IMMEDIATELY  BECOME RIGHTEOUS  BEFORE GOD,  
  • Romans 9:30-33What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed
  • ACCORDING TO THIS WORD, THE GENTILES STORMED THE KINGDOM BY ACCEPTING THE GRACE OF GOD WHILE THE PHARISEES STAYED OUT.
  • THE DISCIPLES TRUSTED IN JESUS AND FOLLOWED CHRIST; BUT THE PHARISEES TRUSTED IN THEIR TRADITIONS AND THEIR OWN SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND REJECTED CHRIST
  • ANYTIME WE JUSTIFY OUR GOODNESS BY POINTING OUT WHAT GOOD THINGS WE’VE DONE, WE BEHAVE JUST LIKE THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS PHARISEES.
  • BUT WHEN WE HUMBLE OURSELVES AND POINT TO THE WORK OF CHRIST TO SAVE US, THEN WE HAVE EXCEEDED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE PHARISEE.
  • Galatians 2:15-16   We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
  • THE HUMBLE ARE CONVICTED OF SIN, CONFESS TO GOD,ACCEPT THAT JESUS ALREADY PAID FOR THEIR SINS AND ARE JUSTIFIED OR  DECLARED RIGHTEOUS BY GOD.
  • THE PHARISEES,  DID NOT  RECOGNIZE GOD’S STANDARD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, OF HAVING A HEART OF FAITH.
  • THEY THOUGHT THEIR EFFORT  OF OUTWARD EXPRESSION WAS ENOUGH.
  • THEY COULD NOT SEE THE UNCLEANNESS INSIDE THEM WHICH CAN ONLY BE WASHED AWAY BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
  • Romans 10:1-13   Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
  • For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
  • 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.
  • For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
  • 6  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
  • 7  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
  • 8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
  • 9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
  • 10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  • 11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
  • 12 ¶  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
  • 13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
  • THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES WERE THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS. OF THEIR TIME
  • THEY WERE  SUPPOSED TO BE THE ROLE MODELS FOR THE PEOPLE TO FOLLOW.
  • THEY WERE BLAMELESS IN THEIR RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES. THE PEOPLE LOOKED AT THEM FOR GUIDANCE.
  • THE PEOPLE MUST HAVE BELIEVED THAT THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES WERE THE FIRST TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
  • HOWEVER, JESUS WAS TEACHING THEM THAT GOD’S STANDARD WAS AND IS STILL  HIGHER THAN WHAT MAN CAN ACCOMPLISH.
  • JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.NOBODY GOES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM
  • ALL MUST CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD IN ORDER TO BE SAVED
  • THE REASON WHY, GOD GAVE US JESUS CHRIST HIS  ONLY  BEGOTTEN SON, WAS BECAUSE WE NEEDED GOD TO SAVE US.
  • WE CANNOT ENTER HEAVEN WITH OUR WORKS AND OBSERVANCE TO THE LAW, FOR WE CAN NEVER MEET THE STANDARD REQUIRED BY GOD.
  • JESUS CHRIST  IS THE PERFECT PERSON TO TAKE OUR PLACE AND HELP US REACH THE STANDARD DEMANDED BY GOD THE FATHER .
  • ·         THEREFORE   JESUS SAID “NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME” (JOHN 14:6).
  • THIS IS CLEARLY EXPLAINED BY PAUL IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.
  • Romans 3 (NIV)[10] As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
  • [20-31] Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
  • JESUS  WAS VERY  ANGRY  WITH THE PHARISEES FOR DISTURBING GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION
  • IN MATT. 5:20,  HE SERIOUSLY RAISES THE STANDARD FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS: FOR I TELL YOU, UNLESS YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS EXCEEDS THAT OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, YOU WILL NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.”
  • FROM MATTHEW 5:21 ONWARD, WE CLEARLY SEE  THAT THE STANDARD OF GOD FOR ANYONE TO BE COUNTED AS PERFECT. IS JUST TOO HIGH
  • FOR INSTANCE, WHILE THE PHARISEES NEVER SLEPT WITH ANOTHER WOMAN, JESUS WAS TELLING THEM THAT EVEN A LUSTFUL GAZE IS ALREADY AN ADULTERY
  •  MATTHEW 5:18-48
  • For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
  • 19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
  • 20  For 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.
  • 21 ¶  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
  • 22  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
  • 23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
  • 24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
  • 25  Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
  • 26  Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
  • 27 ¶  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
  • 28  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
  • 29  And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
  • 30  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
  • 31  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
  • 32  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication,
  • .33 ¶  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
  • 34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
  • 35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
  • 36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
  • 37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
  • 38 ¶  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
  • 39  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
  • 40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
  • 41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
  • 42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
  • 43 ¶  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
  • 44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
  • 45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
  • 46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
  • 47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
  • 48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
  • HERE JESUS CLEARLY  CALLS RIGHTEOUSNESS A REQUIREMENT FOR GETTING INTO HEAVEN.
  • BUT THE STANDARD HERE IS TOO HIGH  FOR ANYONE TO OBTAIN WITHOUT THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD  IN CHRIST
  • THAT IS WHY EACH TIME I ASK YOU IF YOU ARE SURE THAT IF YOU DIE NOW YOU ARE GOING TO HEAVEN YOU GET CONFUSED
  • YOU WONDER IF YOU ARE QUALIFIED ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE AWARE THAT YOU STILL STRUGGLE WITH  LUST, ANGER OF UNBELIEF
  • THIS IS WHY YOU MUST TRUST IN THE LOVE AND MERCY OF GOD TO SEE YOU THROUGH AS YOU PUT YOU FAITH IN CHRIST
  • EPHES.2:8-10
  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
  • 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • 10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
  • WE CANNOT EARN OUR WAY INTO HEAVEN.
  • BY PERFECTLY OBEYING GOD’S LAW, CHRIST OBTAINED RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIM.
  • NOW WHAT JESUS CHRIST DID FOR US CAN BE CALLED OUR POSITIONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.
  • MEANING THAT  CHRIST PERFECTLY FULFILLED THE LAW IN A WAY THAT NO MAN COULD EVER DO
  • THE PHARISEES, INSPITE OF THEIR CAREFUL OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW COULD  ALSO  NEVER FULFIL GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNEESS
  • THAT FLAWLESS OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST  COUNTS FOR THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIM, IT IS JUST AS IF THEY HAD PERFECTLY KEPT THE LAW THEMSELVES.
  • HOWEVER  CHRIST MEANS SOMETHING MORE BY SAYING THAT OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS MUST EXCEED THAT OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES
  • THROUGHOUT THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, HE CALLS CHRISTIANS TO A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF A RADICAL OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW
  • THIS IS  BECAUSE THE LAW REFLECTS  THE VERY  CHARACTER OF GOD THE FATHER (MATT. 5:48).
  • AS  CHRISTIANS ,WE DARE NOT TREAT HIS LAW LIGHTLY, BECAUSE HOW WE TREAT GOD’S LAW IS EXACTLY HOW WE TREAT  GOD HIMSELF
  • (ROM. 3:21).SAYS THAT GOD’S CHARACTER IS REVEALED BY THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS
  • AS CHRISTIANS WE  ARE CALLED TO  A JOYFUL OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAW BY THE GRACE AND STRENGTH  OF THE HOLY SPIRIT  THAT CHRIST GIVES US
  • AS CHRISTIANS WE  ARE CALLED TO JOYFUL OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAW  ESPECIALLY   OUT OF LOVE FOR CHRIST.
  • JOHN 14:18-24
  • I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
  • 19  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
  • 20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
  • 21  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
  • 22  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
  • 23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
  • 24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
  • THIS OBEDIENCE OUT OF LOVE BECOMES OUR  PRACTICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.
  • LET US BE CLEAR ,THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT THE BASIS OF OUR SALVATION; WE CANNOT MERIT JUSTIFICATION BY OUR WORKS (ROM. 3:21–22).
  • BUT IT EXCEEDS THAT OF THE PHARISEES BECAUSE THEIR OBEDIENCE DID NOT COME FROM THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVEN BY GOD THE FATHER  TO THOSE WHO  BELIEVE AND TRUST IN CHRIST
  • SUCH OBEDIENCE CANNOT BE FROM THEIR  HEART,BECAUSE THEY ARE WITHOUT CHRIST
  • OUR  TOTAL DEPENDENCE ON THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR OBEDIENCE OF GOD’S LAW  IS A  SIGN  THAT WE HAVE TRULY BEEN SAVED AND THUS WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
  • THEREFORE THE  RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT ISSUES FROM THIS JOYFUL OBEDIENCE IN CHRIST EXCEEDS THAT OF THE PHARISEES
  • BECAUSE  AS CHRISTIANS , WE TOTALLY DEPEND ON THE GRACE AND THE MERCY  OF GOD .
  • IN CONCLUSION,  THOSE OF US WHO ARE IN CHRIST HAVE BEEN SAVED FROM THE LAW OF GOD AS THE NECESSARY MEANS OF SALVATION.
  • BUT WE HAVE ALSO BEEN SAVED INTO  THE LAW OF GOD TO LOVE   AND WORSHIP THE GOD WHO HAS SAVED US BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
  • TITUS 2:11-15
  • For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
  • 12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
  • 13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
  • 14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
  • 15 ¶  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (ROM. 6:19).
  • FAITH IS NOT ENOUGH , OUR FAITH MUST HAVE LOVE AS COMPANION 1 CORINTHIANS 13
  • OUR FAITH MUST ALSO HAVE GOOD WORKS AS COMPANION
  • TITUS 3: 4-8
  • But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
  • 5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
  • 6  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
  • 7  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
  • 8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
  • JAMES 2:14-26 “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15: If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,16: And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17: Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.18: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20: But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21: Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22: Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.24: Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25: Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26: For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
  • SO WHAT DOES THE LORD REALLY  REQUIRE FROM US?
  •  MICAH 6: 6-8     Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
  • 7  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
  • 8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
  • WE MUST RECEIVE HIS MERCY AND SHOW MERCY TO OTHERS,THAT IS ALL THAT GOD WANTS FROM US
  • MATHEW 18: 32- 34 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34: And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
  • JUST HOW MERCIFUL ARE YOU AS A CHILD OF GOD ?
  • WE ALL EXPECT GOD TO BE MERCIFUL TO US AT ALL TIMES
  • BUT HOW MERCIFUL AND COMPASSIONATE ARE WE OURSELVES TOWARDS OTHERS?
  • FOR EXAMPLE WE ACTUALLY HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE PRAYING THE LORD’S PRAYER UNLESS WE ARE READY TO FORGIVE OTHERS AND BE KIND TO THEM
  • AND SO WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING MERCIFUL AND FORGIVING?

1.     YOU WILL OBTAIN MERCY MATHEW 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

2.     YOUR SINS WILL BE FORGIVEN MATHEW 6:14 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”

3.    YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED MARK 11: 20-26 “And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.21: And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.22: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.23: For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.24: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.25: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.26: But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

4.      GOD WILL NEVER FORGET TO REWARD YOU HEB 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

5.     YOU WILL BE HEALED, DELIVERED AND BLESSED PSALM 41:1-3  “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.2: The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.3: The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

6.   YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL ENDURE FOREVER PSALM 112:5-10 “A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.6: Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.7: He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.8: His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.9: He hath dispersed, he hath given to the pooar; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.10: The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

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