The Beatitudes (Part 8): Blessed are the those we Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (Part 1)

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Morning 14 May 2023


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Psalm 52:8–9 ESV
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.


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Matthew 5:1–12 ESV
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Semon on the Mount
Citizen of the Kingdom of God
Assurance of God
Joy the positive outlook, and contentment, in the darkest of moments
What Christians Are:
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
Recognise their sinfulness and position before a Righteous God
Blessed are those who mourn
Mourn with regard to Sin
weight and guilt of our sin and the corruption of our hearts
Blessed are the Meek
Power under Control
Humble Submission to God, as undeserving sinners
responding graciously to the hurtful attitudes and actions of others
Unsatisfied Satisfaction
Matthew 5:6 ESV
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
NOW - What Christians do
John Blanchard ...
The Beatitudes for Today Chapter 9: Unsatisfied Satisfaction

Those who have a true sense of their sinfulness and a holy hatred for sin, and accept that they have no right to be favourably treated either by God or by other people, have also come to realize not only that they are spiritually destitute and helpless, but that they are utterly undeserving of either sympathy or help.

compare to wealth & prosperity gospel
they confuse worthiness with God’s Blessings
distressed when they think God fails to help them
compare to counselling which teaches self worth to be happy
CH Spurgeon
The Beatitudes for Today Chapter 9: Unsatisfied Satisfaction

‘The man who does not like self-examination may be pretty certain that things need examining’

Self-examination is not self-pity
Jesus turns from reflectingon our spiritual sickness to its only solution
Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The Beatitudes for Today Chapter 9: Unsatisfied Satisfaction

Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls this particular Beatitude ‘the outstanding declaration of the Christian gospel to all who are unhappy about themselves and their spiritual state, and who long for an order and quality of life that they have not hitherto enjoyed’

The Gospel Promise ...
The Beatitudes for Today Chapter 9: Unsatisfied Satisfaction

the promise is not made on the basis of human sincerity or merit, but as part of God’s gracious provision to meet his people’s spiritual need

Matthew 5:6 ESV
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
not hungry and thirsty
hunger and thirst
gives emphasis to the point that the fulness of which Jesus speaks is promised only to those who make a determined effort to receive it.
Key Word: Righteousness
The Need: Hunger & Thirst
Most would only eat meat once a week
Many lived close to the border line between hunger and starvation
Water was a precious commodity
Life was planned around the availability of water
Compare life in Bangladesh with England
Hunger & Thirst - the raging pangs of those who will die if they do not eat & drink
Greek gramatical construction
Bread & Water
Not for a portion of the break and some water
For the whole loaf of bread and all the water
Not for a portion of righteousness
For Total Righteousness
Passionate desire to be right with God and to get rid of sin
Psalm 42:1–2 ESV
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
John Blanchard.... about many professing Christians

Outwardly, everything seems fine. They live respectable lives, they attend church regularly, they use religious language, but inwardly and spiritually they are very nearly empty. There is no sense of need, no hungering and thirsting after God. Even worse, they are not aware of it. They are dangerously like members of the New Testament church in Laodicea, to whom God said, ‘You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked’ (Revelation 3:17).

Vital Sign of a Christian

Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, ‘I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this. If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture you can be quite certain that you are a Christian; if it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again.’

Hunger is a sign of life
1 Peter 2:2 ESV
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
Hunger is a sign of health
Doctor: How is your appetite

When a professing Christian has little or no appetite for the things of God, something is seriously wrong, even if outwardly everything seems perfectly in order.

Scottish preacher Thomas Guthrie

‘If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any house better than the house of God, any table better than the Lord’s table, any person better than Christ, any indulgence better than the hope of heaven—take alarm!’

What is the most important for you?
John Blanchard tells of churches...
closing evening services even with morning attendances of 1000
closing June, July & August to give people a break
Surely this is a sign of sickness in the church !!!
Restles and fidgetty
Barely sing hymns, rarely open a bible and treat the sermon as a lullaby
Church has become a spectator sport
drama & music
rather than the Preaching of the Word
Example: music at a meal and the person does not touch the food .... clearly not hungry

A terrible tragedy is being enacted in our churches today. We have never had so many Bibles, versions of the Bible, and books to help in studying the Bible, yet there seems to be distressingly little hunger and thirst for God. Many seem to have a restless search for ‘power’, exotic spiritual gifts, happiness, peace, emotional ‘highs’, or some other undefined ‘blessing’, but comparatively few seem to have a deep desire to master God’s Word and to be mastered by it.

Matthew 5:6 ESV
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Do you thirst for Righteousness?
God calls us to focus our attention and appetite on Him
Not the benefits that he may give us
Next time: Righteousness

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Closing Prayer


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