Summary: How to hunger and thirst after righteousness
Fantastic News for Living from the Sermon on the Mount PART 2
Lying on his deathbed, a loving husband was wavering between life and death when he thought he smelled chocolate chip cookies baking. They were his favorites. So he dragged himself out of bed, crawled to the kitchen and was just reaching up to take the cookie off the plate when his wife slapped his hand with a spatula. “Don’t touch!” she commanded. “They’re for the funeral.” Today we speak of hungering after something so you can be filled… and it’s not with chocolate chip cookies.
OT Background of Jewish expectations:
1. Expectation of Great Feast
Isaiah 25:5-8 (NIV)
And like the heat in the desert; You silence the uproar of foreigners;
As heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled
On this mountain, the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples
A banquet of aged wines – the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain, He will destroy the shroud (covering NKJV) that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet (veil NKJV) that covers all nations.
He will swallow up death forever,
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces;
He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth;
the LORD has spoken.
2. Based on the Exodus experience
Deut. 6:10-11 (NLT)
“The LORD your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land filled with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant…
3. Based on the Invitation of God
Is. 55:1,2 (NLT)
“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free! 2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul!
Not meant to hunger and thirst after happiness of this world
Lloyd Jones (1959,p.75) wrote: “We are not to hunger and thirst after blessedness; we are not to hunger and thirst after happiness. But that is what most people are doing. We put happiness and blessedness as the one thing we desire, and thus we always miss it, it always eludes us.”
Illus. Pain - symptom of disease. But most focus on pain, rather than disease. If doctors merely treat the pain and not the disease, the result will be death.
Not meant to hunger and thirst after experiences.
But we meant to hunger and thirst after something more permanent… righteousness…
So how can we find it when obviously are in short supply…
Romans 3:19-31 elaborates for us where true righteousness is found:
Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses and to bring the entire world into judgment before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God’s law, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying it.
21 But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight—not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. 22 We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.
23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. 25 For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times. 26 And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus.
27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds. It is based on our faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.