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When we look at the chilling words of Jesus that tell us “unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20) we are perplexed. And rightly so. When we then see the requirement of becoming a “new creation” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) in order to possess the “righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees,” we are faced with even more questions.
Are you a new creation in Christ?
Has God changed you from the inside out?
Do you possess a righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees?
If so, how do you know?
Can your friends and family tell?
And then one more:
Does this describe you?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? How did you answer? What does it mean if your answers to these questions are, no? To find out more, keep listening.
This has been one of the most contentious election seasons I can remember. Good people have been dragged into the mud with lies and character slander for the sole purpose of trying to win an election. Which raises a few questions for the Christian.
How does a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, who is also a citizen of the United States of America, reconcile their responsibility as citizens to both? Especially in this election.
What is the purpose of human government? And what is our duty towards that government? But what if that government is oppressive? Are we to obey a government that commands us to sin? Then what are we to do as Christians when we are appalled by the corruption in our own government?
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? I have. To find the answers from Scripture, keep listening.
Some of the most chilling words of Jesus begin with a condition that seems impossible to meet. He begins this by saying:
“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20).
But what does this mean? Who were the scribes and Pharisees and what was the characteristic of their righteousness? What is the nature of the righteousness that must exceed their righteousness and how is that righteousness obtained? And once it is obtained, how do we know? How can we be sure? In what way does our righteousness have to exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees? And finally, what does Jesus mean when He says, “You will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven”?
These are tough questions. Important questions. Eternal questions.
Jesus spent much of His Sermon on the Mount preaching about the Kingdom. What’s the Kingdom like? What are the unique realities that belong only to those in the Kingdom? Are there promises to those who live in the Kingdom? And, if so, what are they? How does one receive the Kingdom and, more importantly, how does one enter into the Kingdom?
The key is found in Mark 10:15: “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Did you catch that? Receiving must precede entering when it comes to the Kingdom.
Often we preach about the need for revival in the church and in our own lives. We hold the virtues and blessings of revival up high, for all to see, yet fail to talk about the dark side of revival, the downside of totally surrendering to Him.
And that downside is satanic attack.
For the novice, this attack can be devastating because they are often ill-prepared to stand against it. For the more mature believer, the attack is just another affirmation they are living as light and walking where the enemy dwells.
Do you know how to prepare for a spiritual attack? Do you know how to stand when the day of evil comes (Eph. 6:13)?
One of the greatest needs in the life of the believer today is revival. Revival is defined as “a restoration of life, consciousness, vigor, or strength. It is an awakening to something previously dormant. It is an improvement in the condition or strength of something or someone.” Spurgeon said revival means “to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished.”
But how does revival come about?
What does true revival look like?
How does it change the person being revived?
Are there stages or steps to revival?
And how can we have revival now, today, in our lives and in the church?
Are you interested in finding out more? Then keep listening.
Sit down and let's talk.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”