Summary: Just what is this righteousness that we are to hunger and thirst for? The Bible speaks of three kinds of righteousness.
WHAT ARE YOU THIRSTY FOR?
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote, "If every man and woman in the world knew what it was to ’hunger and thirst after righteousness’ there would be no danger of war."
We live in a world that is hungry and thirsty. The problem is that people are hungry and thirsty for the wrong things. Notice that Jesus did not say:
"Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for:
6. Experience (the latest religious fad)
Concerning quest for experiences, someone has said, "it’s not how high you can jump but how straight you can walk when you come down."
Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Just what is this righteousness that we are to hunger and thirst for? The Bible speaks of three kinds of righteousness.
I. THERE IS LEGAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This legal righteousness is sometimes called "justification." The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:1: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Note that this justification is received by faith not works. And the result is peace with God. This is foundational to righteous living.
In Romans 9:30-10:4, Paul mades a contrast between self-righteousness and the righteousness of God received by faith.
The Jews persued their own righteousness and did not submit to the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
II. THERE IS MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This refers to that righteousness of character and conduct which pleases God. Note Matthew 5:20. Jesus said, "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."
A. Pharisaic righteousness: Concerned with external conformity to rules and regulations. ie self-righteousness.
B. Christian righteousness: Internal. That inner righteousness of heart, mind, and motives based upon a personal relationship with Jesus. The believer wants to live right but he recognizes that in himself dwells no good thing. So he submits to God’s righteousness. The hunger and thirst for righeousness he has comes form within him.
The believer has desires:
1. He desires to be free from sin in all its manifestations.
2. He desires to be right with God
3. He desires to be free from the desire to sin.
4. He desires to be Holy
5. He desires to live to the fullest his new life in Christ.
6. He desires to be like Jesus.
II. THERE IS SOCIAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The believers desire for righteousness goes beyond the desire for personal righteousness. He longs to see righteousness done in the community, in his nation, and in his world.
The Prophets of the Old Testament expressed God’s concern for the un-righteous life style of His people Israel. The eighth century BC prophets preached during a time of relative prosperity. They preached against the sins of the people. Sins such as Idolatry, moral decline, spiritual decay, oppression of the poor. (the rich gained their riches at the expense of the poor). Drunkenness, violence, etc. There message was not popular, Amazia the priest told Amos the prophet
"O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prphesy there; but prophesy not again any more at Beth-el; for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the floc, and the LORD said unto me, Go prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD:" (Amos 7:12-16)
Micah wrote, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good: And what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love merch, and to walk humbly with thy God? (6:8)
Are we concerned with what is going on in our world? Do we hunger and thirst for righteousness in our wordl? There is a sense that this hunger, and this thirst will not be satisfied until Jesus comes, and we hunger and thirst no more.
CONCLUSION: This hunger and thirst for righteousness in our personal lives and in our world has its roots in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus has given us living water. He said to the Samaritan woman "Everyone who drinks this water, will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." So our spiritual thirst is satisfied in Jesus Christ. There is within the believer an artesian well producing living water so we will never have to be hungry or thirsty again.