Summary: Hungering and Thirsting After Righteousness

I. Introduction

A. Mrs. Jones was reading a letter at breakfast. Suddenly she looked up suspiciously at her husband. "Henry," she said, "I've just received a letter from mother saying she isn't accepting our invitation to come and stay, as we do not appear to want her. What does she mean by that? I told you to write and say that she was to come at her own convenience. You did write, didn't you?" "Er, yes, I did," said the husband. "But I couldn't spell convenience, so I made it risk."

B. This is the next installment concerning the Sermon on the Mount and the beatitudes

1. We have discussed the first several of the virtues in our passage and we will continue this morning with Matthew 5:6 & 7

II. Body

A. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness

Matthew 5:6 KJV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled

1. Hunger and Thirst

a. I find it very interesting that our Lord used this terminology

(1) Hunger and thirst

(2) These two words indicate an absolute necessity

(a) Hunger, This is taken from an online dictionary; Hunger is the physical sensation of desiring food

i) When politicians, relief workers and social scientists talk about people suffering from hunger, they usually refer to those who are unable to eat sufficient food to meet their basic nutritional needs for sustained periods of time

ii) This is the idea we should use as we approach Jesus’ words Hunger

iii) Jesus is talking about a starving spirit

iv) It is real hunger and starvation of soul

(b) Thirst, this is taken from the same online dictionary, Thirst is the craving for fluids, resulting in the basic instinct of animals to drink

i) It is an essential mechanism involved in fluid balance

ii) It arises from a lack of fluids or an increase in the concentration of certain osmolites, such as salt

iii) If the water volume of the body falls below a certain threshold or the osmolite concentration becomes too high, the brain signals thirst

b. Jesus is talking about a person needing righteousness as much as a person needs food and water to sustain life

(1) It is a parched and dying thirst

(2) It is a gnawing hunger that shuts out every other human appetite

(3) It is a starving spirit and a parched soul that craves righteousness

(a) But there is something more: righteousness means all righteousness

(b) The true believer is starved and parched for all righteousness

(c) This is shown by the Greek, for the verbs hunger and thirst are usually in what is called the Greek genitive case

i) This simply means that a person sometimes feels a little hunger and a little thirst; therefore, he hungers and thirsts for a bit of something, for example, an apple or a glass of water

(d) But in the beatitude, hunger and thirst are in the accusative case

i) This is most unusual

ii) It means a hunger and a thirst for the whole thing-far all righteousness, not for little tid-bits

(e) This is significant

i) An entire meal? No, but a series of meals

ii) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

iii) It means that the promise of a filled life is conditional

(f) A person, a believer, must starve and thirst for all righteousness if he wishes to be filled with the fulness of Christ

2. We must take Notice of several significant points

a. Who is blessed? The person who hungers and thirsts after righteousness

(1) Lets turn to James 2:19 - 20

(2) That is to be righteous

(3) That is to do righteousness

(a) To do righteousness is not enough

(b) To be righteous is not enough

(c) Both are essential in order to be blessed

b. Think about this, many want just bits and pieces of righteousness, just enough to make them comfortable.

(1) There are those who stress being righteous and neglect doing righteousness

James 2:19-20 (NKJV)

You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe; and tremble! {20} But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

(a) James is not talking about salvation by works

(b) What James is saying is that true salvation accompanied by the Holy Spirit produces a strong desire to do what is righteous

i) Lets turn to 1 Corinthians 3:14-15

(2) This idea of being and not doing righteousness leads to two serious errors

(a) The error of false security

(b) It causes a person to stress that he is saved and acceptable to God because he has believed in Christ

(c) But he neglects doing good

i) He does not live as he should, obeying God and serving man

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