More Righteous than the Religious

Text: Matthew 5:20

The scribes and Pharisees were the religious leaders of the day. Yet Jesus said our righteousness must surpass theirs to enter heaven. We must do more than fit in with those that the world recognizes as religious. We follow a higher standard.

Murder (Matthew 5:21-24)

  • Generally understood: Murder is wrong, those who commit it will be held accountable
  • Jesus said: We must not be angry with our brother

Adultery (Matthew 5:27-30)

  • Generally understood: Adultery is wrong
  • Jesus said: Do not even lust after a woman and commit adultery in your heart

Divorce (Matthew 5:31-32)

  • Instruction under Old Law given because of their hard hearts (cf. Matthew 19:7-8): If one divorces his wife, he must give her a certificate of divorce
  • Jesus said: Only one divinely allowed cause for putting away one’s spouse – fornication

Making Vows (Matthew 5:33-37)

  • Generally understood: False vows are wrong
  • Jesus said: Make no vows, they are unnecessary if we speak the truth at all times

Revenge (Matthew 5:38-42)

  • Generally believed: One should retaliate when wronged
  • Jesus said: Do not take your own vengeance

Enemies (Matthew 5:43-47)

  • Generally believed: If you love your neighbor, then you hate your enemy
  • Jesus said: Love your enemies, pray for them

Conclusion (Matthew 5:48) – Do not try to blend in with the world. Strive to be perfect as God is perfect.

Read the article: More Righteous than the Religious

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