“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” | Malcolm Cox

What would it be like to preach and teach through the filter of the beatitudes? What would the impact be on us as speakers and our congregations as listeners? Today, we will look at the fourth beatitude:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”(Matthew 5:6 NIV11)

The fourth beatitude follows naturally from the first three: ““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:3–5 NIV11)

  1. The Meaning in the context of the Gospel
    • The call is not passive. Although we can do nothing to ‘increase’ our own righteousness in God’s eyes, we are still responsible for hungering and thirsting after the right things.
    • Perhaps it is exemplified by the attitude of Paul, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:10 NIV11)
    • Act of righteousness means to create or maintain right relationships between people. To “do right by” someone.
    • Righteousness – in this context not that given us by God to be in right relationship with Him, but a pattern of life lived in conformity to His will.
  2. The Meaning for a preacher/teacher
    • A preacher or teacher fully invested in righteousness, is one who wishes to promote rightness in relationship for his listeners with God, and one another.
    • In preparation
      • Ask yourself these questions
        • In what way does this text show us how to be in a right relationship with God?
        • In what way does this text show us how to be in right relationship with one another?
        • Pray about your conclusions, asking God to help you live out the front of your study this week.
        • Look for opportunities to do right by God, and do right by other people.
        • Take note of how you experience being ‘filled’ when you live that way.
    • In presentation
      • Pass on what you have learned. Do so humbly, not using yourself as the ultimate example, but as someone who is learning and growing along with everyone else.
      • Aim to cultivate a hunger in your hearers for this righteousness, trusting that their experience can be as people who are fully filled, just like Jesus promised.

Next week we will get into the fifth Beatitude, but for today I’d like to know what you think. How can we preach and teach in a way that is informed by the fourth beatitude?

What kinds of questions does this bring to your mind regarding preaching and teaching? Why not pray over the beatitudes, asking God to reveal how they can flavour your speaking? If God reveals anything to you, please drop me a line.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, or practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

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