Updated: Jul 19
"For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:20) - ((NOTE: This verse says the Kingdom is OF heaven - NOT that it is IN heaven)).
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican." (Luke 18:10)
Pharisees were known to have obeyed the Torah with a "fence around the Law" attitude.
In other words, if they didn't - in their minds/opinions even get close to breaking the Law, they could then keep it better/perfectly, (albeit vainly!) -
It was kept by them in minutiae physical detail (ie; "counting anise & cumin" - tiny seeds, found in Matthew 23:23), not traveling more than a certain distance on the Sabbath, not carrying anything on Sabbath or picking even a grain in a field to eat, (which they accused Yahshua & His disciples of doing in Matthew 12:2). Nowadays this even takes the form of pre-tearing toilet tissue, leaving lights on (to not "work" switching on/off a light switch), and not turning on a stove-burner etc.
Sadly, one of the most evil things they did was, in order - in their minds - to not break Exodus 20:7 - the Commandment pertaining to not taking Yahweh's Name in vain, they decided it would be best not to pronounce it or say it at ALL.
The thing is, doing this does exactly what the commandment says not to do - because "taking it in vain" means "bringing it to naught/nothing." What better way to do this, than to cover it up & forbid saying it?
So they replaced it with "Hashem" which means literally "The Name."
Anyway, all of these things are physical things - done out of fear, and not out of love.
How do we excel and exceed and overcome (sin)?
By obeying Almighty Yahweh out of love for Him.
He loves us SO much - and knew and loved us even before we were born!
We cannot do this overcoming alone - we need a "helper;" "“And when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of the Truth, who comes from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me," (Yohanan/John 15:26).
When Yahweh first calls us, (John 6:44 / John 6:65), it is done through the power of His holy spirit - that spirit is with us, as long as we continue to respond to the calling.
However, for the spirit of Yahweh to actually dwell within us, we must be immersed in the "only Name under heaven by which we might be saved" (see Acts 4:12) - which is Yahshua, the Name of our Savior and Messiah. His Name literally MEANS "Yahweh is Salvation!" - the immersion, (Matt 3:16) in Yahshua's Name is an outward sign of leaving our past life behind; "burying the old man," and coming up out of the water in a newness of life. "Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, (Yahshua) he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinth 5:17). See also Romans 6:6.
Then, after being baptized / immersed completely under water by the Elder of Yahweh, we must have hands laid on us by an ordained Elder of YHWH - (to receive the Holy Spirit within us; Acts 8:13-17). This will give us the help we need to overcome sin.
REMEMBER: This is a commitment; a lifelong process that we undertake - on a narrow path, "uphill and down" - so strive not to have a "check-off list" mentality - that's linear or "Greek/Roman" type thinking.
Hebrew thinking is layered, and includes the concept of "Teshuvah" - (some use the word repentance; which means not simply being "sorry" - but to "turn and change!") - The word Teshuvah means literally to turn back to something you've strayed or looked away from. During the journey we are going to have to do this over and over; daily. repenting & changing & overcoming sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (Yohanan Aleph/1 John 1:9).
Yahweh's will for us is ultimate SUCCESS - becoming a spirit being and dwelling with Him forever and eternally in His coming Kingdom! AND - not only "dwelling," but teaching others about His Way! Helping them to understand Yah's beautiful plan for them also.
Remember also, that our loving Father, Almighty Yahweh is not constrained by time. "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With Yahweh a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Pet 3:8) and "YHVH is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Pet 3:9).
HALLELUYAH and Shalom.