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Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:17-20
Matthew 5:17-7:27: The Righteousness of the Kingdom (Part 1)
1. This section of the Sermon on the Mount sets forth the high standard of life demanded by the King of citizens of His kingdom (4:23).
2. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, Matt. 5:17-18 (Rom. 10:4).
3. Two problems with the scribes and Pharisees, Matt. 5:19-20:
a. Thought righteousness was achieved through keeping the LOM (law keeping), Gal. 3:10-12 (Acts 13:39). By faith, Rom. 3:22 (1:17)
b. Hypocritical, self-righteous approach to righteousness (Matt. 23:23) (hypocritical conduct from self-righteous hearts).
4. The righteousness of the kingdom: Living by faith with a pure heart (pure heart – pure life), 6:21; Rom. 1:17.
I. OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS MUST EXCEED THAT OF THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES, Matt. 5:20 (5:21-6:18).
A. External Action is not the Mark of Righteousness, Matt. 5:21-48.
1. Fails to satisfy the heart, 5:8; Lk. 16:15.
2. It is self-made (self-righteous), Lk. 18:9-12.
3. It glorifies itself, not God (5:16).
4. Righteousness touches the disposition of the heart.
a. Attitude and conduct toward a brother, 5:21-26.
b. Attitude and conduct toward moral purity vs. lust, 5:27-30.
c. Attitude and conduct toward spouse (marriage and divorce), 5:31-32.
d. Attitude and conduct toward truthfulness, 5:33-37.
e. Attitude and conduct toward peacefulness, 5:38-42.
f. Attitude and conduct toward enemies (love), 5:43-48.
5. Christians mold their hearts so that conduct is pure.
B. TAKE HEED: Inspect your Devotion of Heart to God, Matt. 6:1-18.
1. The motive of righteousness (6:1):
a. NOT to attract people’s attention and praise, 6:2, 5, 7, 16; cf. Jno. 12:42-43; Phil. 2:21.
b. To be seen, acknowledged and approved by God, Matt. 6:4, 6, 18.
2. Alms, prayer and fasting: Indication a relationship with the Father, not promotion of self before others (6:1-18):
a. Alms (charitable deeds), 6:1-4: What is supposed to be for others must not become a display for glory from others.
b. Prayer, 6:5-15: What is reverential communication with God becomes a display of piety for others.
c. Fasting, 6:16-18: What is a self-refining and dedication process unto God becomes an occasion to be praised by other.
3. Our objective: To be perfect (complete) like our heavenly Father, Matt. 5:48.
C. Where is Your Heart? The Treasure of the Righteous Person, 6:19-21.
II. WHY YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS MATTERS.
A. Blessings of the Kingdom, Matt. 5:3-12, 20. (You will be lost)
B. Your Influence in the World, Matt. 5:13-16. (To help save others)
C. God’s Glory, Matt. 5:16 (1 Pet. 2:11-12). (You affect how others think of and act toward God)
1. The gospel of the kingdom raises our sights to heavenly realms of character and conduct as it calls on us to follow the divine pattern of holiness, service and love. (Matt. 5:48)
2. Part 2: The faith and fruit of the righteous ones (Matt. 6:19-7:27).