Pickering, Saturday 10th July 10




















Loaded and Ready.

Market Place and Park Street

Market Place


One young woman browsed the table and lifted the leaflet, ‘Are you good enough to go to heaven?’.

I asked whether she’d like to know the answer before she read it, she smiled and nodded, so I said the answer was ‘no’!

I could see the surprise in her face, like so many she’d probably assumed that while not perfect she’s somehow ‘good enough’.

“I’ll take it home and read it” were her parting words, I pray she has and that the Lord has used it for her salvation.


Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter 5 and verse 20 make clear the need for a high standard of ‘righteousness’.

“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Paul explains in Romans chapter 3 and verse 10 that no one is ‘righteous’

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

The New King James Version. 1982  Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Psalm 116 and verse 5 tells us that God is ‘righteous’

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.

The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Those who would enjoy his heaven must be righteous before they arrive, they can’t change themselves and therefore need a Saviour.

Jesus Christ is the only one who can make people righteous and therefore fit to live forever in the presence of our righteous God.

The Apostle Paul explained the process in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 21:

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The New King James Version. 1982 (2 Co 5:21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The word “righteous” goes back to a base, reg, meaning “move in a straight line.” Thus, “righteous” (rightwise) means “in the straight (or right) way.” Used with reference to morality, “righteous” means living or acting in the right way.
But what is the “right” way? In our society, people commonly say that everyone must determine what is right for oneself. However, Scripture offers a different standard—indeed, the ultimate standard of rightness or “righteousness,” God Himself. God’s character reveals what is absolutely right. He is the measure of moral right and wrong.
He is also the source of right living. It’s important to understand that righteousness involves more than just determining whether or not one has lived up to the perfect standard that God sets. The fact is, no one has except Jesus (Rom. 3:23; 5:18–21). Thus, in a legal sense, all of us stand guilty before God. We are all “unrighteous.” We have all “sinned” (literally, “missed the mark”).
But the message of Romans is that God has done and is doing everything that needs to be done to restore things to the way He originally intended—to the right way. For example, He dealt with sin through Jesus’ death on the cross (5:6–11), and He transfers the righteousness of Christ to those who trust in Him (5:1–2). As believers, we can enjoy a restored relationship with God.

The gospel, then, is “good news” because it reveals God’s right way. It tells us that He is a good God who, in love and mercy, has done something about the wrong way that the world has taken. How have you responded to that good news of God’s righteousness?

Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.

Among the Greeks, righteousness was an ethical virtue. Among the Hebrews it was a legal concept; the righteous man was the one who got the verdict of acceptability when tried at the bar of God’s justice. Christ’s death took away our sins and made it possible for sinners to have “the righteousness of God,” i.e., right standing before God (Rom. 1:16–17; 3:22; 5:17). That gift of righteousness is to be followed by upright living (Rom. 6:13–14).

The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton , IL; 1984), p. 356

Plenty of time to look at a locomotive, its time to look at yourself.