Old Doxoblogy

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Do All Christians Hunger And Thirst After Righteousness?

In the Beatitudes, Jesus says:
(ESV) Matthew 5:6 "“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Is this a characteristic that will be found in all Christians?
Yes. The Beatitudes is not a pick and choose list. You can't say, "I want to inherit the earth so I'm going to be meek, but righteousness isn't very high on my list of priorities so I'm not going after that one right now." Or, "Righteousness just seems so unattainable that I'm not going to even try for that one."

The Beatitudes are not a unit unto themselves either. They are part of Christ's larger Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is Christ's teaching on Kingdom living. Since we believe that the Kingdom is present now, all those who are part of the Kingdom are bound by it.

Granted, these Beatitudes are not in the imperative. They are not commands. But they are descriptions of Christians and the rewards that await them. But I would also say that absence of these rewards equals absence of salvation. For instance, the pure in heart will see God. We know that all Christians will see God. Therefore all Christians will be pure in heart. This doesn't mean that I'm perfect now. I still have the rest of my life to live and grow in sanctification, however long or short that may be. But I do long for the day when sin is done away with in me and I am truly pure in heart and receive my reward, seeing and knowing God even as I see and know my family.

So I would say that longing for righteousness is a characteristic of all true believers. They are in the process of being filled with righteousness now, and will one day be righteous.

7 comments:

Rose~ said...

Hi Jeremy,

Hungering and thirsting are passive feelings, not actions, right?

You say:
I still have the rest of my life to live and grow in sanctification, however long or short that may be.

What if you die while you're still just beginning your trip down the road of sanctification? The Lord will take you the rest of the way, right ... whether you took one step or two thousand?

One more question:
I tell my kids they can get in the van and ride ... or walk ... to the library. Nobody wants to get in the van, because they want to walk. One of them sits on the front porch thinking about walking ... one of them makes it to the end of the street ... and the third makes it halfway there.
I wish they would have just depended on me and my van.

(Just a little sweet roll to start your day) ;~)

bluecollar said...

Jeremy,

I would have included in that post the fact that the very instant a person comes to faith in Christ they are instantly and eternally justified, even before ANY conformity to Christ is evident. I know you believe that, but I would have said that had I written that post. Good post, though.

Mark

bluecollar said...

I like what you say here...

"Granted, these Beatitudes are not in the imperative. They are not commands. But they are descriptions of Christians and the rewards that await them. But I would also say that absence of these rewards equals absence of salvation."

That person who is justified sanctification WILL follow.

Rusty said...

Jeremy,

Great post and I totally agree. I would add this though. I believe that there are justified people out there who have not been taught this. Christ had to teach it. In fact from what I have experienced most people see heaven as having a big house and seeing all the family, when in fact the treasure of heaven is to be with Christ and to be righteous.

God Bless, Rusty

bluecollar said...

I think what must be pointed out is that this hungering and thirsting for righteousness is the direct result of regeneration...
"4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit," (New International Version)

Titus 3:4-5 (Amplified Bible)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation


"4But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared,

5He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit,"

Our resulting new nature hungers and thirsts for the things of God.

jazzycat said...

Jeremy,
Good point by Bluecollar that it all begins with regeneration. The first beatitude “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. shows that a conviction of sin and realization of a need for righteousness will exist in a born again Christian. Even though Christ provides the righteousness we need for justification, a Christian will still thirst for the actual righteousness that will not come fully until glorification. This will of course bring on a desire for sanctification and a continued need for God's grace.

Jazzycat

Rusty said...

So in essence what you are saying is that, at a minimum a person must be taught to hunger and thirst for righteousness as part of the gospel message and of course being convicted by the Holy Spirit which produces instantaneous regeneration. This would be the motivation behind preaching repentance. Yet at infancy this hunger may be small or great or in between, according to the faith that is given, correct? The regenerated soul is nourished by the Word and Spirit, and that hunger increases and is more evident not only to the believer but to the people around him/her. So yes I believe it is a characteristic of every believer, but not as evident in sum as to others.

Would you agree?