Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Except of God’s Righteousness

Temple Baptist Church - 8-5-2012
Matthew 5:20; Romans 10:1-13


A. One of the age old problems with people being saved is that of ignorance of what it takes to get to heaven. I know of no religion that teaches and preaches the grace of God alone for salvation other than true Christianity. Notice I said, “True Christianity!” Christianity has become a generic term for all religions who teach about Christ. There are many religions that USE His name but only one way to heaven and that is THROUGH his name.

Acts 4:11-12 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

B. This is not a new problem. Israel, who had the truth of God’s Word and the Covenants, turned from the faith of their father, Abraham, to the wickedness of Phariseeism. In the 400 hundred silent years that preceded the coming of Christ (around 100 B.C.)between Malachi and Matthew, two main branches of Judaism came into dominance: 1) The Sadducees 2) The Pharisees.

C. The Pharisees were separatists and, unfortunately, they eventually began to rely upon their system of “do’s and don’ts” for righteousness with God instead of becoming obedient to God’s righteousness. The Lord rebuked them for making clean the outer appearance while the inner man was full of dead men’s bones and rottenness.

In Matthew 5:20, our Lord said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

D. The problem still exists today. Separatism and Phariseeism are not the same. God command us to be separate but, if not watchful, the same problem arises again. I once saw on a sign this quote, “People are like fish: you catch them but let God clean them.”

E. In our text, we find the ignorance of Israel during the years after the resurrection of Christ. The problem was two-fold with one aspect, ignorance of God’s righteousness, causing the second—going about to establish their own righteousness. The problem persists today.

F. Paul’s desire for Israel was that they would recognize who Jesus Christ was and turn to Him for salvation. Israel had “zeal” for God but not according to knowledge. Spirit is good but leaves one lost without truth. I want to look at a few things in this text.

1. Ignorance of God’s Righteousness. Vs. 3. “not according to knowledge…ignorant of God’s righteousness”

Psalms 71:19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

Ignorance is not necessarily a bad word as it means that one has not learned. In Romans 10, I believe that the ignorance was willful. Israel was familiar with the Old Testament and especially the Pentateuch. One of the greatest of Old Testament truths found in these first 5 books was that of the holiness of God. Mt. Sinai should have left a lasting impression upon the nation of Israel as God thundered from a mountain that was on fire. Israel’s ignorance was willful! The world of today tries to bring God down to man’s level and man up to God’s level.

2. Impeccability of God’s Righteousness. Vs. 3. “God’s righteousness” The Bible declares that God dwells in a light that no man can approach unto. He is absolutely holy. He is immutably holy. He said, “I am the Lord, I change not.
1 Timothy 6:15-16 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Salvation must always be by grace through faith because God demands absolute holiness and He alone is absolutely holy.

3. Impossibility of God’s Righteousness. Vs. 3. “going about to establish their own righteousness.”
Ecclsiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

One fact that every saved person understands is that of personal sinfulness. There are those who believe that they are sinless but they are deceived and lost. No conviction of sinfulness means there is no Holy Spirit there to convict. Men everywhere are trying to be right with God with what they do instead of what He did.

4. Insubordination to God’s Righteousness. Vs. 3. “have not submitted themselves”

Galatians 3:1-3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Along with recognition of God’s righteousness must come obedience to the holiness of God’s demand: obedience to the gospel. Vs. 16. Romans 1 shows the progression of the knowledge of God rejected: a) When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God - God gave them up) b) They changed the truth of God into a lie - God gave them up again c) They did not like to retain God in their minds - God gave them over to a reprobate mind.

5. Imputation of God’s Righteousness. Vs. 4. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Salvation is a result of God’s righteousness being imputed to the believer through propitiation and faith.

Jude 24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

“Dressed in His righteousness alone; faultless to stand before the throne.” “When He sees me, He sees the blood of the Lamb; He sees me as worthy and not as I AM!”

6. Invitation of God’s Righteousness. Vs. 13. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

I think that “whosoever” covers it all! Come to Jesus Christ with your bankrupt life and He will give you His righteousness.

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