Seek God’s righteousness, not our own!

In Mathew 5:6 Jesus says that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness they will be filled. Wilkins makes a very interesting observation, “Although the teachers of the law and the Pharisees focus on attaining righteousness through studying and interpreting the law, their efforts resulted in self-righteousness… Jesus’ disciples see firsthand the contrast between the self-righteousness of the religious leaders and God’s righteousness in Jesus life and ministry.”[1] Some of the Pharisees became self-righteous people and the biggest obstacle, they did not see and understand that there was a need in their lives for Christ. The law was designed to show sin and not to save anyone from their sins as Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection would ultimately do later to save us from our sins. Romans 10:3 explains how one establishes their own self-righteousness by not knowing who God is. Which they did not become subject to the authority and righteousness of God.

John MacArthur explains the hunger and thirst for righteousness, “those who seek God’s righteousness rather than attempting to establish a righteousness of their own (Rom. 10:3; Phil. 3:9) as the self-righteous Pharisees do. God’s righteousness will fill those who seek it. It will satisfy their hunger and thirst for a right relationship with God.”[2] As we continue to put the Sermon on the Mount in proper context, Jesus is speaking on salvation and Elwell explains so clear the meaning of the Sermon, “Jesus concludes the sermon by setting up certain requirements that relate directly to one’s being saved or lost…those who follow Him, do not follow Him, and pretend to follow Him.”[3] When looking at the fourth Beatitude we are reminded that when we hunger and thirst for God and his righteousness not only will we find it, but we will be filled and blessed with a right relationship with Him. We must always remember that Christ will satisfy those who are starving for His righteousness and He fills those who are seeking with his Holy Spirit, there will be a  peace, and joy of fulfilment in our lives as we surrender to His authority and most importantly His righteousness. MacArthur explains what the law did and how by faith we can become justified through God’s grace, “This proper use of the law with respect to salvation closes off every possible avenue of human merit and leaves sinners dependent on nothing but divine grace for salvation (Rom. 3:19,20; Gal. 3:23,24).”[4] A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way (John 11:25; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9; 1 John 1:9; and Ephesians 2:8, 9). If you are hungry and thirst for God’s righteousness, He said we would be filled. (John 6:48, 4:10, and 7:37) talk of Christ being the living bread that came down from heaven and the living water that one would drink and never thirst again. Next time we will look at the 5th Beatitude, blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Mathew 5:7), God bless you,

Pastor Ken.

            [1]. Michael J. Wilkins, The NIV Application Commentary: Mathew (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 208.

            [2]. John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 1129.

            [3]. Walter A. Elwell, ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 1095.

            [4]. John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005), 1128.

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