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 Righteousness is an Internal Heart Matter

In the early days of my walk with Christ I was stumped by a statement Jesus made in The Sermon on the Mount. He said unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Scribes and the Pharisees you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. I was caught unprepared by that statement.  As a young believer I was taught that the Pharisees were some of the most righteous people at the time of Christ. How could one have a righteousness that surpassed their righteousness to enter the kingdom of heaven. It was only as I grew in the Lord Jesus  that I gained a greater revelation and clarity of the truth taught in The Sermon on the Mount.

The Sermon on the Mount is far more penetrating and  demanding than the law of Moses given on Sinai. The law of Moses required only external obedience. The Sermon on the Mount requires internal obedience. And that is a righteousness that comes from the heart.

This is particularly Illustrated when Jesus tells the Pharisees that you were taught that you should not commit adultery. But I say that if you look upon a woman with lust in your heart you have already committed adultery. I remember when I first read that statement I was pierced in my heart 

The righteousness that Jesus requires of His people is found in Matthew 5 - 7.  The righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees is a righteousness of the heart. It is a righteousness that could only be worked out through being a new creation in Christ and having the Holy Spirit transform and work through one's heart. It is a righteousness that is characterized in the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness gentleness, and self-control.  Against these virtues wraught by the Spirit in the heart of the believer there is no law.

We must realize that our walk with Christ is characterized by an internal relationship of Him dwelling in us.  It is not characterized  by an external regulation to a code or religious practices.  

Recently I have seen some post in this forum that argue for external righteousness.  It is argued that such things as the making of the sign of the cross and the wearing of the head vail will work righteousne from the outside in. When the Holy Spirit is working our righteousness from the inside out.

The making of the sign of the cross is absolutely nothing. What Jesus requires is that we take up our cross to follow Him and that out of a surrendered heart to him alone.

The wearing of the head vail will not cure divorce. Only through the working of Christ in one's heart will divorce be cured. Again this is not arguing against the use of the head covering as I understand it to be biblical. But I would reason that if a sister truly has had a heart conversion in the wearing of the head vail. Then it will only enhance her holiness.  But again only because she has been transformed by a relationshio to the Lord Jesus Christ dwelling in her heart.

it is sad that it is sad that many of those in Amish and Mennonite circles have forgotten their Anabaptist roots. The early Anabaptist radicals saw that their relationship with Christ was characterized by the new birth. And that manifested through baptism of being dead to this world and alive to Christ.   Now it would seem that the Mennonites and Amish of today have evolved into a system of external religious works.  With no heart change of Christ.

But then you have the Church of Christ who practice baptism. They will even dunk you. But again this is an outward religious observance. Characterized by no internal heart change of Christ.

Brothers and sisters our approach to practical righteousness must be gospel centered focused on Christ. We must realize that our internal righteousness is worked out by the Holy Spirit through Jesus dwelling in our hearts. It is only through a heart transformed by the grace of God can one truly have that righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees.

Jesus said apart from Me you can do nothing. Apart from Jesus living in us we cannot truly be righteous in Him. Only by Him dwelling in our hearts can we truly have the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.  Only through Jesus living in us can we truly obey Him from the heart.

My thoughts.

Posted by Blaine Scogin 


 2017/10/14 9:29









 Re: Righteousness is an Internal Heart Matter

Amen. Praise the Lord!

 2017/10/14 9:38









 Re: Righteousness is an Internal Heart Matter

Amen bro Blaine, that is a good word.......bro Frank

 2017/10/14 10:31
SugarRun
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Joined: 2011/2/6
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 Re: Righteousness is an Internal Heart Matter

AMEN!! Jesus tells us that evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness proceed from within, out of the heart [nature] of men [Matthew 7:21-23]

Yet Paul very emphatically asserts that " they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" [ Gal. 5:21.
Therefore the heart of man, his " within" nature, must be changed before he can inherit the kingdom of God.

{Paragraph taken from the book 'A Right Conception of Sin'. Richard S. Taylor
Eileen


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Eileen

 2017/10/14 10:32Profile
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 Re: Righteousness is an Internal Heart Matter

Quote:
it is sad that it is sad that many of those in Amish and Mennonite circles have forgotten their Anabaptist roots. The early Anabaptist radicals saw that their relationship with Christ was characterized by the new birth. And that manifested through baptism of being dead to this world and alive to Christ. Now it would seem that the Mennonites and Amish of today have evolved into a system of external religious works. With no heart change of Christ.



Brother,

Though I agree some can have an external look but no inward change. But the truth is someone who has an inward change is fighting God who will not change the outward at all.

Christian life is practical and God calls us to practical holiness. An inward faith must have outward works. A new birth must have outward growth and maturity.

The anabaptists held to this fact that faith without works is dead. They believed faith will result in works and outward godliness.

The protestants said faith alone, catholics said works alone.

For sisters, head covering and godly modest dress was practiced by early believers, anabaptists and all like groups throughout history.

godly convictions on areas of obedience to the Lord, ie no drinking, no swearing oaths, no divorce or remarriage, no stealing, no lying or untruth. They are simply following the teachings of Jesus, especially in Matthew 5-7.

It is a strange thing to say that my faith is just inward and does to change my outward man in anyway. A Pilgrim and Sojourner, looks different and acts different then the world around him. He shuns the vain pomp and display of the world and seeks to live simply and with an eternal perspective. The protestants many of them still went to taverns to drink and acted and looked just like the world.


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 2017/10/14 10:36Profile
Elibeth
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Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 1044


 Re: Righteousness is an Internal Heart Matter

Bro Bear,

This is what really stood out to me about what you said,...

Re: It is a righteousness that could only be worked out through being a new creation in Christ and having the Holy Spirit transform and work through one's heart. It is a righteousness that is characterized in the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness gentleness, and self-control. Against these virtues wraught by the Spirit in the heart of the believer there is no law."



I believe that when God, ...through His Spirit works this in us,...we do not need a 'law',..because His will, is working His Ways in us....


The law, works to bring us to Him,....how He 'Sees', ..how He judges in matters,.... to show us ,...to make sin, exceedingly sinful,..like The Word says.He wants a surrender to His Spirit / His Grace that is drawing us to Him.

Edited to add:

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 ¶ And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 ¶ Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

----------------🙏
elizabeth

 2017/10/14 10:40Profile









 Re:

Elibeth writrs

••• believe that when God, ...through His Spirit works this in us,...we do not need a 'law',..because His will, is working His Ways in us....•••

Well said my sister. Very profound insight that resonates in my spirit. For our brother Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians,

••• So then, my beloved, just as you have obeyed not as in my presence only, but not much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.••• Philippians 2:13-14

Just as God works his Spirit in our lives to will and work for His good pleasure. So we work out His salvation in His power to do His will and to work for His good pleasure. In other words it is from the inside out.

Blaine

 2017/10/15 10:55









 Re:

Greg writes........

"It is a strange thing to say that my faith is just inward and does to change my outward man in anyway."

So strange that no one I have ever known has said such a thing. It is not that difficult a subject that is being explained on this thread. True external change is originated by internal renewal. Unless change flows from the internal relationship with Jesus it will have a relatively short half life. It is beyond the religious mind to grasp such a truth.

We could share all day long what an apple tastes like. People could become experts and get degrees in the apple and have their heads filled with knowledge about the apple, create websites about it and highlight other apple experts, but unless one has actually consumed an apple they can never know what it actually tastes like..........bro Frank

 2017/10/15 11:12









 Re:

Frank writes...

•••

True external change is originated by internal renewal. Unless change flows from the internal relationship with Jesus it will have a relatively short half life. It is beyond the religious mind to grasp such a truth.

•••

Well said my brother. Amen!!!

Blaine

 2017/10/15 13:27
EAGLEFLYING
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Joined: 2012/9/25
Posts: 635


 Re: Righteousness is an Internal Heart Matter

Brother Blaine
I am in agreement with most of this post. Years ago we used to wear bracelets WWJD? What would JESUS do??

Brothers and sisters our approach to practical righteousness must be gospel centered focused on Christ. We must realize that our internal righteousness is worked out by the Holy Spirit through Jesus dwelling in our hearts. It is only through a heart transformed by the grace of God can one truly have that righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees.

As I minister and pray I see Christians looking all on the outside. I do believe a women hair is her covering. I do believe God Hates divorce but hates violence more. Malachi.
I also believe it take two to make and break a covenant.
I am not supporting feminism here nor any Jezebel ahab spirit. If a man truly loves His wife as Christ loves the Church His wife will submit to Him as unto the LORD.
Eph 5, Men are to be the head of the home then the wife then children this is what I have learned and believe.
I see that people here and in churches discuss doctrine and outside issues. the main thing is JESUS.. Jesus rebuked the men who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery.. When he was writing the names in the sand... whose name was it.?. I think the mens?? There are always two people in a covenant both at fault..Both need repentant hearts..
What is important I believe is JESUS in our hearts. Taking up our cross daily. Keeping our hearts focused on HIM. repenting for when we offend HIM when we are not a good witness.. There are many prisoners watching us.. the church today.> We represent JESUS wherever we go..
In the parable of the good Samaritan JESUS rebuked the pharisee for being to busy to pour in the oil.. We I believe are to be good Samaritans here in the world. We if we have internal righteousness will be about HIS business.
we Will hate the sin we have and in others but love others . Love covers a multitude of sin.. May we all have our hearts circumcised daily to see our part in all things. JESUS.
Just some of my thoughts insights from a God Seeker..
Sister
Frannie


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Frannie

 2017/10/15 19:06Profile





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