The Self Righteousness Scribes and Pharisees: Matthew 5:19-20
“19) Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20) “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew‬ ‭5:19-20‬
Jesus now states that unless your righteousness is more genuine than that of the Scribes and Pharisees… your salt is tasteless and your light is dim. They were religious, but it was only skin deep. They had two primary problems.
First, they made up religious traditions that empowered them to selectively keep Gods Word. They kept some points of the Law but openly neglected others. For example, they publicly tithed to look good before others, but they neglected caring for their elderly parents or showing love and compassion toward orphans and widows. Their religion was a façade.
This led into the second problem. They looked good outwardly, but were filled with lust, greed and evil passions inwardly. They appeared righteous in public, but were wicked in private. They were filled with hypocrisy and lived double lives.
Revival is needed whenever Gods people live double lives. When righteousness is done for show but the true condition of the heart is filled with sin and corruption, you are tragically lost.
This exposes the fallacy of mere religion. Unless you have a deep personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ, you are a fake. Self made religion is void of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It leaves you legalistic but lost.
When the Spirit of God moves in revival and awakening, many religious people are exposed and genuinely converted. It is not uncommon for pastors, elders, deacons and Sunday school teachers to come under conviction from the Holy Spirit and repent of their lost and sinful ways as they humbly bow before God with deep contrition. Being born-again by the Spirit of God is radically different from being self righteousness.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global