Summary: The sermon touches on how our success as believers can exceed that of the Pharisees.
Matthew 5:13-20 How can we exceed?
1. What did a Pharisee look like? When it comes to righteousness, the Pharisees are tough to beat and we are to exceed them, do better, be better.
• The Pharisees of Jesus s day appeared to be the elite-ed-ness of what it is to be righteous, Godly, saintly, pious
• People believed them to be passionate about the law of God
• Keepers of the fire in the synagogues
• Paid attention to the purity of rules and regulations
• Strong advocates of the Resurrection and a deepened hunger for heavenly rewards and Heaven its self they are the religious superstars of the day
• Jesus says, "I tell you," says Jesus, "unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (v. 20).
• Jesus says that our righteousness has to exceed that of the Pharisees. Not just match it, but surpass it. How are we supposed to respond to this?
2. The great Apostle was a Pharisee, Unless our Goodness exceeds that of the Pharisees
• Remember what the apostle Paul said about his own accomplishments as a Pharisee? "If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more," he wrote to the Philippians. "Circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee" (Philippians 3:4-5). Paul was a top-performing Pharisee.
"unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (v. 20).
• Unless our godliness, saintly ness, piteous ness exceeds that of Pharisee
• Unless our passion for the law of God exceeds that of a Pharisee
• Unless our strictly- ness for regulations exceed that of a Pharisee
• Jesus has a new approach to righteousness that is not based on rigorous law-keeping. Instead, he wants his followers to be salt of the earth and light of the world, fulfilling the law in new ways -- as he does.
3. What exceeds the Pharisees? According to the text
• People that look like salt. Or that does what salt does Jesus says that they are "the salt of the earth" (v. 13). In the ancient world, salt was a valuable commodity used for sacrifice, purification, seasoning and preservation. Christians are to play all of these roles in the world, and are to remain salty by staying true to their mission and avoiding contamination. "If salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?" asks Jesus. It cannot, of course. Contaminated salt "is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot"
• Remember Salt is valuable, a salty Christian is valuable
• Remember salt is used for sacrifice we are used in our times we sacrifice our time for God
• Remember salt is used for purification sure enough Jesus want us pure
• Remember salt is used for preserving and seasoning as people attempting to exceed the righteous of the Pharisee we are preserving lasting we are the seasoned we have been in the valleys we have been on the mountain top.
• Martin Luther King said, I have been on the mountain I have been in the valley and in the valley I have a dream. On the mountains I have a dream. Thank God I am free thank God I am free at last.
4. What is it that will make us salt?
• Note that Jesus doesn't say, "Try to be the salt of the earth."
• He doesn't say, "It might be good for you to catch some classes at Salt and Light University to learn how to be salt."
• He doesn't say, "Go to the rabbi and elders and have them lay hands on you to beseech God to grant you saltiness."
• He doesn't say, "Take 30 minutes every morning to meditate and try to reach, and to be in touch with, your inner saltiness."
• His comment is quite straightforward. "You are the salt of the earth. This is what and who you are. Don't forget it."
• His statement is not a command but a description. Too often, we're afraid that we're not "salty" enough, and when we get agitated like that, we're essentially making this all about ourselves instead of about Jesus.
• Whatever Jesus actually had in mind when he said, "You are the salt of the earth," we know that salt as an element has no value to itself. It's not about making salt better salt. Salt is salt.
• The value of salt is in its application to other things. That steak, that potato, that hotdog, beans, corn, even water melon is much better