The New Standards of Righteousness or The New Standards for the Right Attitude

 Matthew 5-7 for 20th November 2011

Jesus flips the everyday human ideas about happiness, the law and reward on its head in these chapters.

Matthew Chapter 7 -28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

He shows us how we should live – not just to a set of rules and regulations, but by an internal revolution of attitude and new standards of righteousness that are seemingly impossible to achieve.

In Chapter 5 1-16 he challenges our ideas on happiness and success.  It is not the tough, the strong, the rule benders who are the successful, it is those who know and recognise spiritual poverty and depend on God.  This dependency on God sets the scene for the rest of the Jesus sermon.  It is knowing where our strength and righteousness comes from, and recognising it doesn’t come from our feeble attempts to claim righteousness by our outward compliance with the law.

In verses 17-48 Jesus confirms the validity of the law as the minimum standard.  He also points out how the law fails to deal with our attitude and our motivations.  He goes through five laws and demonstrates how outward compliance doesn’t count for anything unless our attitude and motivations are truly right.  (wow, how often does that happen? – thank God for Grace)

In Chapter 6 Jesus gets stuck into being flashy about our supposed good deeds.  Once again Jesus points out the frailty of our good deeds and wordy prayers if our motivations and attitudes are not pure! Jesus teaches how to pray for the things that really matter in the Lord’s Prayer.

In verses 19-34 Jesus focuses on what we should be setting our hearts on.  Our heart will determine our priorities.  If we put the things of God first all our other needs will be met, so we don’t need to worry.  We can’t have two equal priorities, we must decide!!

In Chapter 7 Jesus instruction turns to how we are to treat each other, including those who have wronged us and our enemies.  Once again the minimum standard of the law is no longer enough – it is our heart, our attitude and an honest review of ourselves, before we have a go at others.

Seek first the Kingdom of God – and know well the we need His Grace.






2 thoughts on “The New Standards of Righteousness or The New Standards for the Right Attitude

  1. The Bible tells me that my heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable – who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9. But through the transforming power of Jesus Christ i can have a new heart.”And I will give them one heart and put a new Spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 11:19. But it is always going to be a battle this side of Heaven. Knowing that Jesus sees my motives and asking that the Holy Spirit makes this a constant reminder in my life has helped me to not become deluded into thinking that i am something that i am not. If i seek the praise of man, i hurt my Father and rob Him of the glory that only He deserves, if i think that i am doing better in my Christian walk than another sister/brother in Christ, God will arrange for me to fall, i could go on and on. To put God first in our lives is a gift of Grace because i am too selfish to do this in my own strength. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like Connie Nightingale

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