What Must We Do to Be Righteous?

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. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:17-20

Jesus Christ has fulfilled the law and the prophecies of the prophets. Christ has fulfilled the law for us.

No, really, it’s true. The law has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s life and death and resurrection. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves right. We don’t make ourselves right. It is only Christ who can make us right. If we want to be right and righteous, and live a truly good life, that is balanced and along the narrow road, if we want to live by the law that we really need to live by, if we want to be enabled to live by the laws that aren’t too much and aren’t too little, then we have to put our faith in Christ, firstly. That is what we have to do.

We have to cling to Christ, allow Christ to live inside of us and cling to him living in us, and live from the place of his leading within us. We have to allow him to live in us and through us.

Our righteousness will never exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Christ living inside of us is the righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Christ enables us to act and do the good things we need to do, things that won’t be too much, and things that won’t be too little.

With Christ living in us, we won’t be an overbearing, helicopter parent or spouse, nor will we be a neglectful parent or spouse. We will find the balance of parenting and being a spouse, and we will know that at times we must speak and act, and at other times we will let and trust the Holy Spirit to speak to our children or spouse in other ways.

And yeah, it’s not easy when you’re in the heat of a conflict, or in the heat of responsibility, or in the heat of demands, but it’s a good foundation to know and have so that at least when you are in there in that moment you can remember. You can keep it in mind that Christ lives in you and you can ask him to rise up within you and give you wisdom and help you to be bold when you need to be bold, or to hold your tongue when you need to hold it.

Christ living in us is the only way we can be made righteous and live a really good life. When Christ lives in us we are not self-righteous, we are made righteous by him.


Heavenly father, again, just help me to get you living inside of me. Lord, come, live inside of me. Here I am. My arms are open wide. I receive you. And I believe that you have come.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle!

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory!

– Psalm 24:7-10

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