Summary: In a state of humility (poor in spirit), mourning (the natural response of brokenness), and meekness (submitting to Christ), they have a passion to rid themselves of the sin that fills them and to be filled with what they see in Christ (Hunger and Thirst
“Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
The single most important lesson we have learned about the Beatitudes is that they are not eight separate and distinct classifications of Christians. But that they are eight qualities that every Christian should display in their lives
Furthermore, we have learned that the beatitudes are intimately tied together. After last Sunday’s message, I had a church member come up to me and say they had never viewed the beatitudes like this (intimately tied together) and now they are looking ahead to see how each one will tie into the next.
First, we looked at the “poor in spirit.” They are those who come to the realization that they are spiritually bankrupt before God.
Second, we looked at “those who mourn.” This is the natural response of those who are “poor in spirit.” They see the darkness of their sin before a Holy God and it leads them to cry out in deep anguish.
Third, we looked at “the meek.” These are those who know that the only option left for them is to turn to Christ. This develops a new attitude in the life of the Christian.
Today, we look at “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
Before we look at this verse, can someone tell me what the connection is between this beatitude and the others?
Here’s the Connection:
Those who have realized their spiritual bankruptcy, mourn their sin in deep anguish. In that deep anguish they realize that their only hope is to turn to Christ. In that state of humility, mourning, and meekness, they have a passion to rid themselves of the sin that fills them and to be filled with what they see in Christ.
Blessed are those who ...
I. Hunger and Thirst...
A. “Most of us have never experienced life-threatening hunger and thirst. We think of hunger as missing a meal or two in a row, and of thirst as having to wait an hour on a hot day to get a cold drink. But the hunger and thirst that Jesus refers to here in this passage is much more intense than that.” (MacArthur, 180).
B. The Greek word used here expresses a passionate longing for something without which one cannot live.
1. Psalm 42
2. “A starving person has a single, all-consuming passion for food and water. Nothing else has the slightest attraction or appeal.” (MacArthur, 179).
3. Psalm 63:1 — “O God, You are my God. I seek you earnestly; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
C. The question that I am faced with this morning is, How hungry am I for the things of God?
1. Have you ever used the expression “I’m stuffed, I can’t eat another bite”?
2. That is a statement by someone who is filled and has no appetite.
3. All too often, we fill ourselves with the things of this world and are no longer hungry for the things of God.
Illustration: Once a young man kneeled before a beautiful young woman beside a placid lake. “Darling,” he said, “I want you to know that I love you more than life. I want you to marry me. I’m not a wealthy man. I don’t have a yacht, a Rolls-Royce or lots of money like Johnny Green, but I do love you with all my heart.” The young woman paused for a moment and said, “Darling, I love you with all my heart too. But before I say ‘yes,’ tell me a little more about Johnny Green.”
That humorous story illustrates a universal truth; that our passions can be misguided.
4. The problem is, our thinking is flawed. Like that old country-western song, we’re Looking for love in all the wrong places.”
No amount of money, power, fame, relationships or success can fill the hungry part of our souls.
5. The Lord asks through his prophet Isaiah, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and yuour wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2)
II. Hunger and Thirst for ...... RIGHTEOUSNESS.
A. There are two kinds of righteousness.
1. Self-righteousness — Philippians 3:3-6
2. Righteousness of God — Philippians 3:7-10
B. To know the Righteousness of God, we must know the righteousness of self:
That it is worldly,
That it is of no value,
That is obscures our vision of self and our vision of Christ.
And with an obscured vision of Christ, it is impossible to live according to these principles taught in the beatitudes.
That is why Christ reveals these principles in a logical progression:
1. Poor in Spirit — Conviction — bankruptcy.