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May 25, 2020 4:00 am
No matter how much you love your love more about how much you pray on three more matter how much you think like Christ you think like Christ more. This should be the consuming desire never in Blessed are they which do continually and then righteousness question is how do you build that hunger. Consider that today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues to study, based on our Lord's famous sermon on the Mount, the title of this study, the Beatitudes, but before the lesson it's memorial day here in the United States. It's a holiday. We set aside to honor Americans who have died in service to our nation and with that said, John, I'm wondering what would you say is an appropriate response to this holiday for believers.
How should a Christian think about Memorial Day. While I think just on the human level alone.
We enjoy special divine favor on the book of acts. Paul's message in Athens stated that God had ordained the nations and set the boundaries for the nations and to find the nations, and certainly in America we have enjoyed the providential kindness of God, to an extent that many other nations have not from a temporal standpoint we have been blessed with many advances we have been blessed with the freedoms we have and use those advances in those freedoms the way that God would've been honored by our use of them. Nonetheless, we still need to be grateful for those who gave their lives for sacrificially to provide these kinds of earthly benefits for us and I know we we are thankful to them for the sacrifice they made and thankful to the Lord for the provision that came through their sacrifice seems a little extra solemn this year with the pandemic.
Well, I think, because everybody has this over whelming sense of mortality. This pandemic demonstrated that there are there are deadly forces that we cannot control. This reminds me of the first interview I have with Larry King after 9/11 when he said to me, what is the lesson of the planes flying into the tower and all these people dying in and I said that the lesson is you going to die and you don't know when you can control that life is a dangerous situation. So I think those are the kinds of things that frighten people to actually good to bear those thoughts in mind, right. It isn't as we think about Memorial Day and we think about the sacrifice and the death of those who provided our freedoms we have to realize that all of us face the inevitable hour of death as well. Its appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment we want to make sure that we are in Christ and the death for us is not an ending, but a beginning. It's not a going alone with the going in the companionship of Jesus Christ into the kingdom of heaven right thank you John, that is really encouraging, especially during these difficult days and now friend.
For more encouragement let's get to today's lesson here is John continuing his study of the Beatitudes take a Bible clear look with me at Matthew chapter 5 in verse six. Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Happy are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness on this is a strong statement.
Food and water are necessities, beloved river that that's right there necessities so is righteousness. That's the first indication of this beatitude, you need righteousness like you need food and water. Is it wrong to hunger doesn't run on the thirst is the most formal thing is the most common drive is the most necessary drive and so it is with righteousness. Our physical life depends on food and water. Our spiritual life depends on righteousness. You can't live physically without food, water, and you will never live spiritually without righteousness. It's so sad to see people hunger and thirst for the wrong things. Hunger and thirst for happiness and meaning and fulfillment and inevitably try to fill themselves up with self-indulgent pleasure's possessions, power and praise prodigal son.
He longed for the pleasure he longed to possess long for the popularity of a riotous life. We went hungry in his soul, and finally had the sense to come to himself and say how many of my father's servants have bread enough and to spare.
Why am I doing this and he went back to his father's house and he was even a feast and that feast is a picture of a spiritual feast the world and its riotous living tries to fill itself with the husks of the swine tries to fill itself the pleasures of sin, and it comes up absolutely empty and those who respond to the spirit of God, come running back to the father and there is a feast to fill up the empty heart to fill up the hungry soul, the thirsty soul. First John chapter 2 warns that you can't get satisfied in the world love not the world, neither the things that are in the world what's in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and none of that stuff abides forever just wind so right at the start.
Ask yourself this, but as we begin our study. What you hungry for power.
Praise possessions, pleasure are you feeding yourself on the husks of the swine are you like the dog who lets his own vomit. The pig that wallows in his own mire. Are you looking to the only real source because the answer you give to that question will determine whether you're in the kingdom are not what you hunger for the blessed hunger and thirst after righteousness. Those in his kingdom. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. Now let's ask some key questions as we have for each of the Beatitudes's question number one.
How does this beatitude fit in with the others will notice first of all, in verse three it says Blessed are the poor in spirit. We talked about the fact that that means morally bankrupt and that is followed by the next one.
Blessed are they that mourn, and that is the response to that recognition.
When you see yourself and your broken and your spirit. You will mourn here is the sorrow that comes over the moral bankruptcy and then there is meekness and meekness says look at me in comparison to God. I am not saying and meekness is humility. And when you see your sin and you are broken and you mourn you will take the place of meekness before God and in your meekness before God, you realize that the only you have of ever knowing righteousness is to seek it out his hand and so you come to the fourth beatitude and you hunger and thirst after what you know is not yours on your stick a second question, what does it mean to hunger and thirst regarding hit it at it. It has to do with desire and by the way, a great and intense desire. The Greek verbs are just very powerful pain on tastes means to be needy to suffer hunger. It has the idea of a deed hunger not just superficiality. The word dips below to suffer thirst again carries the idea of a genuine thirst, and here they are the strongest impulses in the natural realm. Third question, what is this that we hunger for what is this righteousness to Kyle assuming righteousness, justification to be made right with God and what am I saying listen simple. The only real happiness in life is to be right with God. That's it. The only real happiness in life is to be right with God and I believe this points to two things. First of all, salvation, and second of all, sanctification.
First of all, salvation and second sanctification must talk about salvation for a minute somebody hungers and thirst after righteousness.
First of all, seek salvation, the righteousness that comes when you believe the righteousness is given you in Christ, he sees his sin he sees is rebellion. He sees himself separated from a holy God. He is broken.
He is mournful he is meek and he wants all Macs to restore himself to God. He wants forgiveness and so he hungers and thirsts. After the righteousness that comes in salvation, but there's a second I think it also applies sanctification.
I don't think once you get saved you stop hungering and thirsting, as I said then you hunger and thirst for sanctification for increasing holiness blood.
I don't how to express this strongly as I feel like I hope in your life. There is this hunger. Hunger that never stops the desires to be more and more like Christ. This is a mark of a Christian you keep on hungering to keep on thirsting to the desire of virtue a greater purity more Christ likeness that you never get to the place where you arrived. That is the most disgusting, revolting, sickening attitude. There is both by unregenerate people say well it we've saved ourselves and by Christians who think they were right sons of the kingdom never stop hungering. Paul says in Philippians 19 I pray that your love may abound yet more and more. See you not done. The matter how much you love you a lot more matter how much pray pray more matter how how much you obey will be more the matter how much you think like Christ you think like Christ more. This should be the consuming desire never ending Blessed are they which do continually hunger and thirst. Ella demonstrated truth I think is really richer. That shows you the totality of what you're seeking isn't that were just seeking bits and pieces of righteousness. We are seeking all the righteousness there is to get that we are seeking the totality of righteousness to be like Christ. Let me show you why this is important in the Greek language verbs like hunger and thirst are normally followed in the genitive case expressed by the pronoun of so the Greek would say he would say I thirst for of water. I thirst for other water apart of water enough for my thirst. This is normal. This is the normal expression for the Greek to use in his language and what fascinated me as I studied this is that in this passage that normal use of the Greek is abandoned, you would have thought that it would say Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, but it doesn't, it drops the genitive case altogether, which is normal Greek expression and it drops to the bottom of what we call the accusative case and it becomes a direct object unqualified. I hunger and thirst for righteousness, all or is the tremendous truth and by the way, the definite article is here.
They do continuously and now hunger and thirst after the righteousness, what is the righteousness the righteousness of God. So it begins with salvation, and it continues with sanctification and you can never be satisfied with a part of it. You can only be satisfied with all of its with all of its it fascinates me. Also so many things that I can't even came to clear my mind and keep going on. It fascinates me that hungering and thirsting after righteousness is commended rather than possessing righteousness is not right. The Jews were thought he would've said blessed are there to possess righteousness never bog on this.
We all possess, and he literally blasted Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness. In other words, the people who think they've got it aren't blessed the people who know they don't are that great, just when you think your righteous you're the most desperate you've ever been know he blesses those who hunger and those who thirst and in that very blessing is the thought that you can't ever be fulfilled.
Someone said this is a thirst, no earthly stream can satisfy a hunger that must feed on Christ or die. I call it divine discontent. So we see how this beatitude fits what it means to hunger and thirst, and the object.
What is the result. Let's look at first he says blessed and last. He says they shall be what filled the word filled with super we could spend a lot of time talking about basically it's a word used the fodder up an animal. It's a word used to feed an animal it means to be absolutely satisfied. They shall be set aside. God wants to make us happy and satisfied satisfy with what what we hungering for hungering thirst after righteousness present. Is this a fabulous paradox you're satisfied, but never satisfying. Negri you hunger and thirst, and your satisfied, but never really satisfy. Maybe it's this way if you ever had them. That really great pie. Your wife makes. I mean the best pie. My wife makes a good lemon pie special care and I'm always so satisfied when I eat that pie, but I always want more. I'm full, usually because it's after dinner, but I always want more. Because the taste and the fulfillment in the satisfaction of what I've already taken makes me want more. And so I'm satisfied when satisfied, so it is with righteousness we are filled and the filling is so sweet and so rich and so far all that there is more that we desire the word satisfy we could trace it through the New Testament it's it's just it's such a fabulous word it's used in many ways of thinking here of James 216 and one of you say under them. This is a brother or sister is destitute, depart in peace, be warmed and filled her here. The idea is satisfied just filled up with food. It's a word used with food and of course that's what Jesus is speaking of spiritual food and by the way the word filled is a strong word for Todd.
So, in the Greek is very strong word.
It's a word that means really filled. That's a great thing to know people and I think this is so wonderful that as Christians when we seek God's righteousness.
He grants you know what first time you sought is righteousness and salvation you got and then every day after when you sought his righteousness when you sought to do his will to fulfill the good pleasure of his will to obey to live out his righteousness. He granted that desire he fills you.
Psalm 1079 11. He says he satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness Negri.
He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 1079 and Psalm 3410 but they that seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing and what is it said he and Psalm 23 one. I shall not what you want. My cup runneth what over Jeremiah 31 in verse 14 says my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, Seth, the Lord, that great my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, Seth, the Lord Jesus said in John four to the woman at the well. If you drink this water you will what never thirst again in John six he said I am the bread of life. Eat this bread you will never hunger again.
Listen Jesus satisfy, and yet there is a blessed this satisfaction that even wants more and more and more and will only be satisfied when we see Jesus Christ. So Jesus is saying this, you can tell a kingdom person. He has a consuming ambition, not for power pleasure, not for possessions or praise, but for righteousness. So we see then where this fits what it means the object and the results of a nasty final question, personal question John say how do I know if I'm really hungry and thirsting after righteousness.
We give you test. I was, how do you know me ask you some questions. Number one, here's how you can tell are you dissatisfied with yourself or you dissatisfied yourself. Ask yourself, Thomas Watson, the great Puritan said he has most need of righteousness that least wants it. Are you deeply set, dissatisfied, you find yourself in Roman seven all the time saying O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death are you so self-righteous you think everybody else is on your right. Are you dissatisfied with yourself if there is in you any sense of satisfaction.
I wonder whether you know what it is to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Do you feel the constant pain always falling short. Are you like Esau, who, when he returned from hunting that says in Genesis was almost dead from hunger. Ask yourself, are you dissatisfied with yourself.
That's a symptom of someone who hungers and thirst after righteousness and no matter how good they may appear, they still are dissatisfied second does anything external satisfy you. Ask yourself, you find things very influence on how you feel things go better in your life. You just buy some new you fill up your appetite with the wrong stuff and then used appetite. Listen to this, a hunger for righteousness will be satisfied with nothing else you can bring a hungry man.
Flowers, you can bring a hungry man. Beautiful music.
You can take a hungry man pleasant conversation. But I want Susan food you can take a thirsty person knows but what he wants is water and one who hungers and thirst after righteousness will not and cannot be satisfied with anything else.
We ask you third question. You have a great appetite for the word of God. You know when it's not pleasant to watch a hungry man eat when he finally gets food.
What's our food. Where do we find the righteousness of God. Here are the rules. The obedience to which brings about righteousness in this word Jeremiah set five words were found right they if you're hungering and thirsting after righteousness, you will have such an appetite for the word that you will devour it. You never I've never seen anybody big a hungry man to eat you wish to become a please study about all I wish you read about all of you only read about.
Well, if you're not hungering and thirsting after righteousness is not functioning as a child of the kingdom should maybe you are a child of the kingdom.
Just being sinful maybe are not even a child of the King about your forfeiting happiness in either condition, ask yourself, you have a great appetite for the word fourth question are the things of God sweet to you are the things of God sweet to you so you're going to know what I'm talking about some of the art, but listen to this so beautiful.
Proverbs 2770 solicitors to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet dear that to the hungry soul every thing is sweet. You know, I could tell somebody hungry and thirsting after righteousness because when God brings devastation in their life there filled and satisfied because they know it's God. Even though it's painful to get that there are some people I can only rejoice when good things happen and when tough things happen like and whether or not hungering and thirsting after righteousness there chasing happiness superficially listen Thomas Watson says one who hungers and thirst after righteousness can feed on the murder of the gospel as well as the honey to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. Some of us notice to have God reprove us.
Some of us notice to have deep trials. Some of us notice have pain and anxiety in burdens and troubles, and you know something in.
I can tell you from personal experience in the midst of those it is as sweet as the goodtime is as sweet as the goodtime because to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet because God is in it, and God is working his purposes, and God is making us more righteous.
Finally, ask yourself if you're hunger or thirst is unconditional. Is it unconditional if you really hunger and thirst after righteousness.
It will be on conditional sewer to me but it later. The rich young ruler to music while I and Larson really going to sell all you have and give to the poor know he was hungry, but his hunger was conditional and he never was filled with about years so I want Christ and my sin, Christ, and my pride Christ and my illicit relationship Christ and my cheating at school Christ and my lying in my business Christ and my covetousness Christ and my surrealism Christ and Christ in you, not hungering thirsting after righteousness hungry man does not want food and a new suit, a thirsty man does not want food and parachutes care less about the suit and shoes just given the food and water. Someone 1920, says my soul breaks my soul breaks for the longing that it has guy judgments how to doing the test you personal hungers and thirst after righteousness or Isaiah said in Isaiah 26 nine with my soul if I desired the in the night EA with my spirit within me. Shall I seek the early say David thirsting for God. Early the wise virgins had their oil before the bridegroom came, they thirsted they prepared early and you know what, there are some people who are going to thirst too late and they're going to be like the rich man in Luke 1624. They're going to say all send someone who can dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue for I'm tormented in this flame and they'll finally thirst when there can be no remedy thirst now and be filled with father, thank you for speaking to us word. Thank you for how the Holy Spirit takes these fruits and wraps them all around where we are and applies them to us.
God we don't want to push them off on someone else want to deal with them ourselves because those who hunger and thirst. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is the Bible teacher here each day, and he's also the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He's also Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. Today's lesson showed you what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness. This is part of John study here on grace to you titled the Beatitudes that keep in mind all 10 messages from this series are free to download from GT Y.org or you can get the series and CD album to review at your own pace or to give to a loved one to get a copy of the Beatitudes.
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It's all part of John's current study called the Beatitudes. Tune in for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Tuesday's race team