The Righteousness That’s Right

Kalos is a Greek word used in the New Testament that speaks of a quality of goodness that’s beyond us. It comes from the Spirit and fills believers. It is higher than moral behavior and works. It was Simeon had as he held the infant Jesus. (Luke 2:22-26)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Chris Moore
Sermon # 11379
6:30 PM on 12/6/2017

 

P. Schaller

We have Pastor Chris Moore with us from Houston. I want to incorporate P. Chris in my message so he’s going to be on standby. The H.S. has to do it all. I have a little exercise for you. I’m going to say two words and I’ll ask you to stand and talk to your neighbor as much as you can about these two words. It will help us in our message.

I once met an unbeliever who was an atheist who had an attitude and he goes I’m an atheist. And I believe in man and we’re going to save the planet. In the tone and the nature of what he said, he’s saying, what are you doing? Who are you? You believe in God, but I don’t believe in God. I believe in mankind and we’re going to save the planet. Here are the two words. It’s part of the nature of man to be self-righteous. What does it mean to be self-righteous? Do you know? The Jews didn’t dare eat shrimp or lobster or Finnish blood pancakes. They didn’t dare eat unclean food and insects of a certain variety. They were in the eyes of men and eyes of God self-righteous. Religious people can be self-righteous and believers can be self-righteous and say I am right somehow.

I’m reading from Spurgeon: “Ever since man became a sinner, he has been self-righteous. When he had a righteousness of his own, he never gloried in it, but since he lost it, he is pretending to be the possessor of it.”

Meaning in the Garden of Eden, he didn’t glory in his own, but then when he lost what God had given him, now he has his own righteousness. I was thinking, why do we have it? Psychologically I need to be right. It’s only normal I would feel I’m right. My religion is right. My behavior is right. Or I am better than you I have figured out how I would live and as I live that way, I glory in it.

Martin Luther said “he scarcely ever preached a sermon without inveighing against the righteousness of man.” And yet he said “I find that still can’t preach it down.”

We are self-righteous by nature. It’s part of the way we are.

Rom. 10:3-4, when we are without the Gospel, then we are self-righteous or natural in our way of thinking. We kind of build our ideas out of our own attitude and activity. Being Spirit filled, believing in Christ resulted in our new birth.

With the new birth, we have something like Simeon in the Gospel account of Luke 2:22-25. Simeon is who we want to speak about. Talk about a word KALOS. It is translated “good” but it has another meaning. AGATHOS is another word for good. But this word (KALOS) has a meaning that is beautiful. When a thing or person is AGATHOS it is good in the moral and practical sense of the term. KALOS adds the idea of goodness, beauty, loveliness, graciousness, winsomeness. AGATHOS appeals to the moral sense but KALOS appeals to the eye. In Latin, the word is translated HONESTUS (?) and Cicero defines that which is HONESTUS, where we get the word “honesty,” as being such that even if it’s utility is taken away, and even if any rewards or fruits which come from it are removed, it can still be praised for its own sake. It’s a noble word. It is meaning good, attractive, and beautiful. Used about 100 times in the N.T. Simeon in the story is not a self-righteous man but a man filled with the H.S. and there is something he’s doing and it’s very attractive and good, beautiful and appeals to us as people. Whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, Simeon is a picture of a Spirit-filled Christian who is like in our Christmas season considering something high and noble and awesome. That is what happens to us because we are Spirit-filled people. When a man is self-righteous, there is something boring about him and empty. He could be a good man, but nothing beautiful about his life, his way or his words. It’s not so attractive to be self-righteous. When we are obeying law and doing our duty, there can still be something empty in our hearts. I did my duty. I did what was right. That is good but not as attractive as we read in this story here. William Barclay uses the Greek and uses it in Greek literature to make a point. It bears goodness on its face. It’s self-evidencing power. KALOS is a noble word. It describes that which is beautiful and commands love and admiration. That which is useful, honorable. A lovely thing. Goodness that satisfies the conscience but also delights the heart and gives pleasure to the eyes. The woman who poured out the box of ointment and the disciples were murmuring. Christ said leave her alone. The KJV says she has done a good thing, ESV says she has done a noble thing. It’s more than moral value. There is something from her heart that I can see. Christianity is like this. There is something about the beauty we have as we gather together, make decisions to follow Christ, love him and adore him.

vs. 25. I called P. Szabo this morning. He said he did five messages on how we need the H.S. He used it from our Sept. rap session that we had and talked about that subject. We could say God speaks by the H.S. on the outside of us and the H.S. on the inside of us hears what the Holy Spirit on the outside says. When the outside touches the inside, there is something beautiful or good or attractive happening in our lives. This was an old man but the Holy Spirit was upon him. That is the end of the life we are living in this Christmas season. Something exceptional about the holiday because we love to worship what God has done. It’s extraordinary. We are many times consumed with our self-righteousness. Religious self-righteousness, political self-righteousness, moral self-righteousness, save- the-planet self-righteousness, man’s good self-righteousness, and we’re falling asleep when we look at it. When Christ said an evil tree brings forth evil fruit and a good tree, KALOS, brings forth good fruit. It also has the meaning of a beautiful shape. You can look at the tree and even the shape and the fruit is good fruit, also beautiful like us. And like Simeon. He is going to say something exceptional. He knew he would see the Messiah before he died. This is beautiful. He knew the H.S. had said to him he would see Christ the Messiah. Maybe he would see him coming in the clouds or as a fully grown man, but he didn’t know he’d see him in the form of a baby. When he saw him, he knew. A Spirit- filled life is attractive. In pagan Rome in the first century, it says Christianity was little islands in a sea of paganism. Paganism was rampant. Many gods and many lusts. POIKILOS. If you looked at a rock of granite, red, and then kind of dark, and this way and it shined. It has the meaning of complicated. Many faceted or many colors. It could also be not so simple because on this angle it is that way and this angle it is that way. Grace is POIKILOS. You think you know it and another trial you see it this angle and see it a different way. It’s beautiful. The Spirit filled life is KALOS, beautiful, attractive.

1868 story of missionaries reaching Indians in Canada. How they lived and what they practiced and how empty it was. They sang and chanted and conjuring medicine men and demon worship. The Methodist missionaries went there at great expense. They left their churches in Toronto. They went up 300 miles in canoes and flat rafts and dog sleds. Harsh winters. They ate fish 21 times a week. They heard from the outside world twice a year. They buried their young in the frozen ground. The Indians that got converted gave testimonies and it was beautiful to see the Spirit of God move. The black coats was their word for the Europeans and they thought they couldn’t be trusted. They heard the religion of the black coats and they ministered in the power of the Spirit of God and these Indians explained I was drawn. This is the place where the Great Spirit is. When they heard the black coats and the other Indians singing who had been saved, they said the Great Spirit is here. They learned to be very quiet and the Spirit of God ministered to them. That is good but more, KALOS, attractive, beautiful, fascinating, anointed, and moving. It draws us. I like to know about this man, Simeon. He knew. The Spirit showed him.

Spurgeon said, “I don’t know of anything against which God’s fury burns more than against this, self-righteousness. This touches him in a very tender point. It insults the glory and honor of his Son, J.C. Be aware of self-righteousness. The black devil of licentiousness destroys its hundreds but the white devil of self-righteousness destroys his thousands. Self-righteousness is as much an insult to God as blaspheme. You may as easily be lost religiously as irreligiously, unless your religion is God’s religion and based on the faith of his dear Son.”

I’m fascinated on this subject because I can see it in my heart. I also found that amazing Spirit-filled life where you are not thinking of your own righteousness. You’re not thinking did I behave the correct way or incorrect way? The righteousness of God is a marvel. This is what we see in the story.

vs. 27-30. Spirit-filled people and we are doing some caroling in December. Forming groups in neighborhoods…we’ll go and sing about Christ by faith. It will be beautiful. As you sing in front of a home…we do all things for the sake of somebody being saved. We are doing things by faith realizing that the R of God is revealed from faith to faith. We are celebrating the great miracle of miracles that God so loved us he sent Christ into the world to be our R. Therefore, I don’t care about my own. I don’t have any anyway. We don’t have any. I have found something like this man did where he said – he’s not afraid of death. I’m secure. I’m saved. I’m forgiven. I’m redeemed. The Spirit of God is my teacher. I have something going on in my life. It is all by God’s great grace.

vs. 30-33. There is the work of something beautiful. People are touched by your life and my life. I love it so much. I’m so encouraged by it. Things don’t matter that matter to others because this is not our R. This is the one revealed to us by Christ. What are the beautiful things attractive in our New Testament? The good ground, the good seed, the law is good, the name of Christ is good. The Word of God is good. Good deeds, good works. We don’t become weary in well doing. We are renewed again, refreshed again.

Heb 13:18 people see you don’t care about things others care about. This is not the righteousness of man but the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith and glory to glory. There is a shine. I don’t know if we see it all the time. There is a charm. There is something attractive to people because of the R of God. The self-righteousness of a man is not attractive. It’s dull, boring, good in a moral sense but who can show me any good? A group of students go to a nursing home and holding their hand and loving them and caring about them.

I remember we sang in front of a home in Baltimore city, singing some hymns. And a student came out on the porch and said who are you? He went in and got his girlfriend and we sang. Something happened and he said can I talk to you. I am Jewish. I don’t know what you are singing about. I said do you want to believe in Christ? He said, yes. We had a prayer with him on his porch.

There is something about the season, the Spirit- filled believer, the song on the radio, the testimony, the R of God in this man Simeon. He is saying I have seen him. I have seen him. I know who he is. I have a message that is needed. One in five Americans get cancer. What kind of message do they need to hear? Not about our goodness but Christ’s love. About mercy, grace, the church, the message, the answer to prayer, a word from the Bible, encouragement. This is what we are doing in this world today.

When I read about our sisters and brothers gone up to Canada to reach the Indians, the Sue Indians in the Dakotas. These people driven out of home and land and killed. Fighting against us. How tough it was in many ways. The missionary going in there with another message. The missionary with the Gospel. The missionary has something that is good and attractive and beautiful. The missionary brings the message of Christ. That’s what our church is about. It’s about the Spirit of God like Simeon. He had the Spirit of God. It’s the Spirit of God who says go into all the world. Lift up Christ. He is the answer, good attractive, appealing, and magnetic. We are part of it. Don’t lose it. Don’t become self-righteous. “I can’t believe they did that. I would never do that.” And on and on they talk and you yawn and fall asleep as they magnify themselves in the sight of other people.

Let’s go for the great thing, the glory of God, the Spirit of God and the moving of God’s Spirit. That’s what we are thinking about.

 


 

P. Chris Moore

Great to be here. My wife and I are here a few days visiting. So great to be a part of this Body and be part of the KALOS work of God, the Gospel.

Mk 10:25 Jesus looked at them and said with men it’s impossible but with God all things are possible. Peter says look at me. See, look where I’m at. We have left everything. In Matthew’s account, an additional part says what is left for us. Many of us have felt the weight of the Gospel and leaving things because of the KALOS Gospel of Christ that burns in our heart, the vision for lost people in our neighborhood, our city, our mall, our schools, in our prisons and nursing homes. Jesus says to the disciples that are feeling the weight of the separation, truly I say to you no man that has left – and he uses the word “home.”

How many of us have left homes. I think it will be 30 years 800 families moved here to Baltimore. We left homes behind. We did it for two reasons. He said having left homes and then he says for my sake and the Gospel.

I was flying here and tomorrow P. Jason and I go to Phillie and drive three days to Texas. What so many of you have done for the Gospel’s sake. Sometimes it hits us by the decisions we make and why we do what we do. We are on a tight rope or on the ocean walking on the water. Why am I doing this again? Am I ok? Am I thinking soberly? Do I need to see a doctor? Should I check myself in? I was thinking of this on the plane. It was basic economy fare and I’m thinking why again are we doing this?

We do what we do because of Jesus. There is a bema seat. Every one of us will stand at a bema seat and see him. That’s the reason. A resurrected glorified man, not an angel. We will see him and say that’s the reason. Jesus said for my sake. These guys that reached up to the Eskimos in Canada, Jesus said for my sake. Jesus is so precious to us. He becomes more precious as the days go by, as all the craziness in our life we find what is precious and what is not precious and what falls by the wayside. To you who believe, Peter said this to troubled people because of persecution, to you who believe he is precious.

P. Matti said, P. Schaller had us talk about our mission field and we were kind of long winded and he says, God has chosen to love me in Istanbul. He who is precious for my sake.

That’s why we do what we do, for the gospel. It’s the most amazing message and makes our ministry what it is. The Gospel can be defined like this: we are much more sinful than we can imagine or dare to imagine yet we are much more loved and cherished in Christ than we could ever dare to hope.

Amazing season. Great to be here. Thank you P. Schaller for your love and support for us, your love and prayers. God bless this Body. We love you.


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

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