Do as I Do
Exceeding in Righteousness – Part 2
Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:20-29
Key Verse: Matthew 5:20
“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
When we exceed in righteousness, as Jesus taught it, what will that look like? First, God is the only one who will, at first, be able to see the transformation that happens when Jesus comes into our hearts. Jesus forgives and removes our sin and replaces it with righteousness. This righteousness from God gives us new intentions, new motivations, and the desire to live our lives for God. Now our good deeds spring forth from a clean heart! Because of Jesus, our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees.
If you took the time to read Romans chapter eight, you would see that even with our hearts transformed, we still must daily chose to stay in step with the Spirit’s voice. God’s transformation does not take away our free moral choice; we still must daily choose to let Jesus be Lord over our behavior. As we follow what we sense and feel is right, according to the Jesus lifestyle, we stay in step with the Spirit. Another way the Bible describes this righteousness in us is “walking in the light” (1 John 1:5-7). Walking in the light means behaving as best as we know how; God judges us according to our knowledge. We will only be accountable to the light (knowledge) we have been given by God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit gives us knowledge little by little as we grow in our Christian faith. When we gain more understanding, we must be obedient to the “light”!
Father, show me your ways and guard my heart that I might not sin against you. In Jesus’ name, amen.