If you're following the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, then you'll read Matthew 5 today, it's a wonderful, but challenging chapter:
'Unless your righteousness is better than the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of God.' (v20)
'If you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!' (v22)
And if that's not enough, the chapter ends with:
'you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.'
The Pharisees righteousness was largely external, Jesus elsewhere called them 'white-washed tombs', our righteousness is to be internal and is to come from having a new heart. The way we are to live is to be different, we are to be salt and light....but never getting angry, being perfect?! The chapter leaves us once again seeing our need for the serpent crusher, the one who lived the perfect life and loved us so much as to die in our place, to deal with the seemingly endless problem of sin and death (Gen 4&5). As the old hymn writer put, there is nowhere else to turn:
”Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.'