Righteousness That Exceeds

Posted on September 2, 2022 by Catey Stover in Victory Call

“…unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 5:20

The Pharisees were characterized as letter-of-the-law keepers—
…they put heavy burdens on others (Mt 23:4) “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”

…tithe mint (Luke 11:42) “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God.” 

…white-washed tombs— they looked good outwardly but corroding inwardly (Matthew 23:27) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

How can our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees?

Fortunately, our righteousness is not our own. It is not based on our actions, because left to our own devices we would look no different than the scribes and Pharisees. But, we are NOT left to our own devices.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Romans 3:21-22 “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.”

We – who believe – have been given the righteousness of Jesus Christ- through faith. The very righteousness of Christ.

The only way our righteousness can exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees is through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

“You are as righteous as Jesus Christ.” I gasped when I heard these words, but as I thought about the truth, since Jesus’ righteousness is given to each child of God, it is a true statement. It doesn’t mean I ACT as righteous as Jesus Christ, but I am righteous because Jesus became sin for me, that I might become the righteousness of God in Him. You, too, if you know Christ personally.


Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at dhunt@americaskeswick.org.

Think About This: “God does not give everything we want, but He does fulfill His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 1-21 Corinthians 12| You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.” Proverbs 12:1-2

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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