Real Righteousness: the old and the new

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount by looking at a very long portion of Scripture in Matthew 5:17-48. This long passage of teaching by Jesus looks at what it means to truly be righteous before God and in relation to others. Jesus has not come to abolish the Jewish Law but to fulfill it. He offers examples of what that looks like that are very important for us to consider.

You can view the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  (Matthew 5:17)

Jesus’ Arrival and the Time of Fulfillment (5:17-19)

  • Jesus and fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets
  • The continuing value of the Law and the Prophets
  • Real righteousness in the time of fulfillment

Different Pathways of Righteousness (5:20)

  • What is righteousness?
  • Moving from exterior to interior (Ezekiel 36:24-28)
  • A contrast between:
    • The old, deficient righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the law
    • The new, surpassing righteousness of Jesus and His disciples

Six Examples of Real Righteousness (5:21-47)

Theme & text“You have heard it was said…”“But I say to you…”
Murder & Anger
(5:21-26)
Don’t murderDon’t be angry toward others; instead seek reconciliation
Adultery & Lust
(5:27-30)
Don’t have sexual intercourse outside of marriageDon’t look at others with lust in your heart
Divorce
(5:31-32)
If divorcing, give the necessary certificateDon’t divorce in this way
Oaths & Vows
(5:33-37)
Don’t break oaths or vows used to convince othersDon’t use oaths or vows at all; just speak the truth about things
Retaliation
(5:38-42)
Repay injuries on par with what has been inflictedInstead of harm, help the one who inflicts harm on you
Love for Enemies (5:43-48)Love neighbors and hate enemiesLove and pray for your enemies

Living as Disciples of Jesus with Real Righteousness (5:48)

  • Disciples’ vision: the incarnate righteousness in Jesus the Messiah
  • Disciples’ power: the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit
  • Disciples’ goal: the completeness (perfection) of God’s character

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in one or more of the following ways:

  • Consider memorizing Matthew 5:17, 20, or 48 this week.
  • Take some time to prayerfully consider one or more of Jesus’ examples of surpassing righteousness. Let God search your heart and life about this. Reach out to a friend to discuss what you’re learning. Perhaps you could pray for one another about this.
  • Consider reading Dallas Willard’s article, “How Does a Disciple Live?” or his outstanding book The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God

2 thoughts on “Real Righteousness: the old and the new

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