Summary: This sermon explains that Christ is the only way to Heaven.

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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?

UW: Flaw

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

(Matthew 5:21-6:8)

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”

(Matthew 5:27)

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”

(Matthew 5:34-37)

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)

C. I am not any better than anyone else (Matthew 5:17-19, Isaiah 53:6, & Romans 3:10)

II. It is performance based righteousness (v12)

A. I cannot satisfy God’s demands for righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)

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