Summary: A challenging message in our series through the Beatitudes which explores hungering and thirsting after righteousness and the satisfaction that God provides.
God’s Satisfaction Guarantee • Matthew 5:6
Introduction: The challenge of this Beatitude is rooted in the reality that it is possible for a Christian to be DISGUSTED and DISTRESSED by the world while VOLUNTARILY clinging to the world.
Example: If you consider the life of Lot (Genesis 13f, esp 19) one never would have even thought Lot was a true believer. But 2 Peter tells us 3 times that this conflicted and compromised man was “righteous” (2 Petere 2:7-8). I find it interesting but strangely understandable how Lot was revolted by Sodom and at the same time Sodom was a part of his soul. From all signs, Lot was of no benefit to the people of Sodom. Lived there for years… prominent in its gates (many opportunities to influence others). When judgment fell on Sodom, not one righteous person could be found. No family, no friends, no acquaintances, o neighbors, not one of his servants.
Lot did what often times we do, he turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the social and sexual abuses of Sodom. He didn’t practice them… He didn't approve… He hated them… but he didn’t speak out against them. Peter affirms him as a righteous man… but he was a righteous man who lived as close the edge as you can.
TRANSITION: That seems to be our struggle… even though we might verbally say we trust God, in our spirit we just aren’t sure. And we grow accustomed to being satisfied by other things. Often times we are just like Lot. We are repulsed by the ways of the world and at the same time it’s what we know so we strangely cling to it.
3 OBSERVATIONS FROM MATTHEW 5:6
I.The HONEST DETERMINATION that is necessary.
(ILLUS. VOLUNTEER TO HOLD WATER WITH THEIR HANDS CUPPED)
Step 1: THE ASSESSMENT – THE BIBLE MENTIONS AT LEAST THREE ASPECTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: LEGAL, SOCIAL, MORAL
Legal Righteousness – Justification. Those who have a right relationship with God are legally righteous. (Rom. 9:30-10:4
Social Righteousness – commitment to integrity and freedom and a desire for our communities to please a righteous God (not just personal)
Moral Righteousness – Righteousness of character & conduct which pleases God. Not external obligation but internal transformation.
The assessment how am I managing these in my life? Do I continually desire and pursue these in my life? Can I continually attain these on my own?
Step 2: THE ADMISSION
Step 2: THE ADMISSION (Jeremiah 2:13)
Based upon the authority of God’s Word and the experience of life, you and I cannot attain righteousness. Jeremiah 2:11-13
broken cisterns—tanks for rain water, common in the East, wells scarce. tanks can’t give forth an ever-flowing fresh supply as fountains can, but cannot even retain the water poured into them; the stonework within being broken, the earth drinks up the collected water. Contrast humanly & heavenly
It’s a picture of a grown man, trying desperately to hold onto something that is not humanly possible.
II. The WHOLEHEARTED MOTIVATION that is required.
In order to understand this fullness of this point, Greek grammar gives us insight. GRK hunger & thirst are participles (-ing) typically adverbial… and are typically followed by genitive nouns. Usually attaches possession… love of God… peace of mind… etc. The GRK would express a feeling of hunger with a statement like “I am hungry for of food.” Partitive genitive. Part of the food. In this verse righteousness is not in the genitive… it is in the accusative… direct objects… it means as we hunger & thirst for righteousness its nor for partial righteousness.. but the object of our hunger and thirst is whole, perfect righteousness.
a. Am I hungry for the WILL of God? The person hungering and thirsting for righteousness is not drifting in a sea of empty religion… not distracted by trivia that doesn’t matter or by the temporary things of this world…
b. Am I hungry for the WORD of God? Where else do we find God’s will? God’s Word never changes and it speaks volumes of the effects of Christ’s righteousness in my life and His call to be Holy as He is Holy.
For the man or woman of God to embody this verse, it requires wholehearted motivation… not for the faint at heart.
III. The HOLY SATISFACTION that is guaranteed.
Jesus says simply, those who hunger and thirsty for righteousness will be satisfied. The Lord gives to the spiritually famished person the desire of their heart… that which they seek…
If we look back thus far in our journey of the Beatitudes there is a spiritual progression, isn’t there? One step leads to the next… Poor in spirit – declare spiritual bankruptcy and we “mourn” over the sin in our lives and othes and as a result we are “meek” towards others as our spiritual poverty influences our behavior toward others and God as well.