An Exceeding Righteousness

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones commented on Matthew 5:20:

“For to receive the grace of God in Jesus Christ means not only that my sins are forgiven because of His death for me on the cross…but also that I have been given a new nature [regenerated spirit].  It means that Christ is being formed in me [in my soul], that I have become a partaker of the divine nature, that old things have passed away and all things have become new [in my new spirit].  It means that Christ is dwelling in me, and that the Spirit of God is in me.  The man who has been born again, and who have the divine nature within him, is a man who is righteous and his righteousness does exceed that of the Pharisees [through justification and regeneration]. He is no longer living for self and his own attainments, he is no longer self-righteous and self satisfied.  He has become poor in spirit, meek and merciful.  He hungers and thirsts after righteousness. He loves God, yes, unworthily, alas, but he loves Him and longs for His glory [actually in the new spirit and progressively in the believer’s soul and behavior]. (This) is a righteousness that far exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.”

Quoted by Tom Wood,

Bracketed words added to demonstrate the clarification provided through trichotomy. – JBW


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