Summary: This sermon explains that Christ is the only way to Heaven.
Text: Luke 18:9-14
ETS: Jesus tells a story about a tax collector and a Pharisee.
ESS: There are three reasons why the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisee’s is not good enough for God.
OSS: The lost and religious will turn to Christ for their salvation.
PQ: Why is the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees not good enough?
Title: Still Not Enough
“For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” These words spoken by Jesus Christ in Matthew five twenty confounded those who heard them because the Pharisees were considered to be the most righteous men in all of Jewish culture. They kept the mosaic law with the greatest of strictness. They observed the Sabbath, temple rituals, and all Jewish feasts. They were teachers, priests, scribes, and judges. Yet Jesus is saying that there is something lacking in their lives. The Pharisees are not good enough to enter into God’s kingdom!!
The Jews were shocked! And I’m certain that many of us are as well. After all, the Pharisees were the most moral of individuals!! Surely a loving God would not deny such a person the gift of eternal life!!
Yes, I’m afraid he would because their righteousness is flawed!! In fact, it has three flaws.
Open your Bibles to Luke chapter eighteen. We’ll begin reading in verse nine. Please stand in honor of the reading of God’s word.
I. It does not measure up to God’s absolute standard of perfection (vv9-11)
A. In order to be acceptable to God I must be completely pure
1. God’s standard on murder
a. Man says “do not kill” (Matthew 5:21)
b. God says (Matthew 5:22-26)
i. “you have committed murder if” (vv22-23)
ii. “I do not want your offering if” (vv24-26)
2. God’s standard on sexual purity
a. Man’s law says “do not have sex outside of marriage”
b. God says (Matthew 5:28-30)
i. “If you lust you commit adult” (vv28-30)
3. God’s standard on divorce and marriage
a. Man’s Law says “If you want a divorce” (Matthew 5:31)
b. God says (Matthew 5:32)
i. “Only for sexual immorality” (v32a)
ii. “Do not marry a divorced person” (v32b)
4. God’s standard on stealing
a. Man says “swear to the Lord” (Matthew 5:33)
b. God says “Let your yes be yes and your no be no”
5. God’s standard on revenge
a. Man says “I don’t get mad! I get even!” (Matthew 5:38)
b. God says (Matthew 5:39-48)
i. “Repay good for evil” (vv39-42)
ii. “Love your enemies” (vv43-48)
6. God’s standard on religious practice
a. Man says “Do good to make a name for yourself” (Matthew 6:1)
b. God says “Do good to please me” (Matthew 6:2-4)
c. Man says “Say a flowery prayer” (Matthew 6:5 & 7)
d. God says “Come fellowship with me” (Matthew 6:6 & 8)
B. I am not in competition with other men (Revelation 20:11-15)
II. It is performance based righteousness (v12)
A. I cannot satisfy God’s demands for righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)
B. I cannot be saved by keeping the law (2 Corinthians 3:5-6)
C. I am not saved by my deeds (Titus 3:5)
D. There are no scales in Heaven (Matthew 7:21-23)
E. My best works are worthless (Isaiah 64:6)
III. It flows from an unrepentant heart (vv13-14)
A. Repentance means that I get out of myself and into God
B. Repentance means sacrificing my pride (2 Chronicles 7:14
C. Repentance means confessing my behavior (v13)
D. Repentance is required for salvation (Luke 13:5)
As I conclude this morning’s message, many of you may feel that there is no hope. If these men in all of their righteousness were not good enough for God, “then who can be saved”?
The answer to that question is simply – “Anyone”. Anyone who is willing admit that they cannot atone for their evil deeds, repent of those deeds, confess Christ as Lord, and believe in their that God has raised him from the dead will be saved. I make this promise to you on the basis of God’s word.
I want every head bow and every eye closed. If you would like to receive God’s grace this morning, repeat after me. “Lord, I have done evil in your sight. I realize that I cannot atone for my wickedness. I believe that you came and died on a cross so that I might be forgiven and that you rose from the dead so that I might live again. I ask to forgive my evil deeds and take control of my life. Be my savior and my Lord. Thank you for saving me, Jesus. Amen!”