In Greek mythology, Erysichthon was a greedy rich man who was cursed by Demeter, the goddess of harvest because he cut down the tree that was dedicated to her. Demeter sent Limos, the sad goddess of starvation to inflict Erysichthon with a hunger that is never satisfied. He was so hungry that he wasted all his wealth and even sold his daughter as a slave just to have the food to satisfy his hunger.
Because of his hunger, he made a lot of extremely wicked things. But still he died with his hunger unsatisfied. Of course we don’t believe in Greek mythology. But we see here, see here from this made-up story, and also in our lives, in general, that the word hunger is often associated with unpleasant words such as sad, angry, diseases, malnutrition, famine, etc. On the contrary, the Lord Jesus Christ will associate the word hunger to a very unusual and positive word. Our text shows that there is a different kind of hunger. There is a BLESSED HUNGER there is a HAPPY HUNGER.
Our text this morning is Matthew chapter 5 verse 6. But we will begin reading from verse 3 to verse 12. Matthew 5 verse 3 to 12. These are the words of God “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. Thanks be to God for the reading of His word. Again, the gospel of Matthew was written in order to prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the King of kings who came to save His people from their sins. In chapter 5, Matthew begins to present the sermon of the King where the Lord taught his disciples what are the marks of the members or the subjects of His kingdom.
The King began His sermon by proclaiming who are the ones who are
really blessed in a portion called the Beatitudes. Here, the word “blessed”, can be loosely translated as “happy.” But this is a kind of happiness that does not depend on the external and temporary happenings. Instead it is a happiness caused by a believer’s internal understanding of the truth that God is pleased with him. That God is pleased with him. Medyo allergic tayo dun ‘no, mga Calvinists. God is pleased with him. Now we must understand that a person can only be pleasing to God if Christ’s perfectly pleasing life was imputed to that person by grace alone, through faith alone and In Christ alone. Apart from that, there is no other way for us to be pleasing in the sight of God. But the question is, what is the evidence that someone’s life has been made pleasing through Christ? The answer is that person will exhibit the marks of someone who is a citizen of Christ’s Kingdom. And the Beatitudes are one of those many marks. These eight Beatitudes are not random collection of good attitudes we cannot cherry-pick our favourite beatitude and forget the ones that we don’t want. Gusto ko lang yung poor in spirit, ayoko ng persecuted, hindi pwede. These qualities are like chains linked to one another. The next beatitude is a result of the previous one. So for example, in our text this morning, Matthew 5 verse 6, the hungering and thirsting for righteousness is actually a result of the first three Beatitudes. Notice that because Christ’s Kingdom citizens are poor in spirit, that is they understand their sinful and helpless depravity, they will mourn over their sins and the sins of others. Because of that mourning, they will have, they will not have a proud posture, but rather a meek posture before the Lord and others. And as a result of those three, those three will, will push that believer to actively and desperately desire for what is, the what is the true need of them, and that is righteousness. Righteousness that can only be found in Christ, their righteous King. And that leads us to our message this morning, Christ’s Kingdom Subjects Desperately Desire Righteousness And That Desire Is Satisfied In Christ, The Righteous King. Ang Mga Nasasakupan Ni Kristo Ay Lubhang Nag-Nanais Ng Katuwiran At Ang Pagnanais Na Iyon Ay Natutupad Kay Kristo, Ang Matuwid Na Hari.
Now we will divide this message into two points. We will focus on
the unique desire of the subjects of Christ in our first point, RIGHTEOUSNESS DESIRED and on the final point we will see how the Lord satisfy that desire for righteousness. We will examine that on our second point, SATISFIED DESIRE.
Let us consider the first point RIGHTEOUSNESS DESIRED. Righteousness desired. We’ve already read in our text that Christ proclaimed blessedness or happiness to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Now that also implies that the quality, that that quality, hunger answers for righteousness is a mark that someone is a citizen of Christ’s Kingdom. Christ’s Kingdom subjects are people who are both happy and hungry. Mahirap po pagsamahin po iyon ‘no, ang madalas ano heh hungry tsaka angry, di ba? So, happy and hungry. But what does it really mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? When Christ used the illustration of hunger and thirst, hindi lang hunger and thirst na dulot ng delayed food delivery yung nasa isip nya. And to give us a point of comparison, the same word was used in Matthew chapter 4 verse 2. Matthew chapter 4 verse 2 where it says that Jesus was hungry after 40 days of fasting. Now imagine that kind of hunger, not just one hour ,not just one day, not just one week. This is not a shallow type of hunger. Hindi ito yung hunger na mababaw lang na pwede ka pang gumawa ng ibang bagay kasi medyo gutom ka lang, no. Instead, this is a hunger, it is a kind of hunger na wala ka nang maisip kundi pagkain.
Hindi ka na makagawa ng ibang bagay. Hindi mo na maisip ang mga tao
sa paligid mo because you are so hungry; ang pumapasok na lang sa isip mo ay pagkain. Or, pwede ring sobrang uhaw mo at wala ka nang ibang maisip kundi tubig or inumin. Now that is some intense, desperate desire and desperate desire is the point of Christ’s illustration of hunger and thirst. But the people in Christ’s Kingdom, hindi lang sila may desire, desperate desire merely for food and water. Instead they desperately desire their spiritual need, and that is righteousness.
Now according to one commentary, righteousness here could be concisely stated as “all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves and all that He provides through Christ. Yun ang gutom ng mga tao ni Kristo. Now desperately desiring after righteousness marks a kingdom citizen. But you see, nowadays when you look around our world, you will see people who are also desiring desperately. They desire for things and people but they never desire for righteousness. Now we can see here that the deepest desires of the believers it’s different or they differ from those of the unbelievers.
See, brothers and sisters and friends, those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, have an extremely different, desires. The world wants a lot of things. There are those who are power hungry, who will try to manipulate everything and everyone just to satisfy their hunger. There are those who thirst for popularity who will please as many people as possible just to maintain the spotlight on them. There are those who hunger for possessions who possibly work hard but not to the glory of God but to the glory of gold. And there are those who are thirsty for pleasure, who will do everything just to get the next high no matter how high the cost is. Now this desires for power, popularity, possessions and pleasures, are just some of the world’s desperate desires. The evil heart can invent more idols than the four of this. And the world screams at us all day desire all you want desire all you want. Just don’t desire God and His righteousness. And brethren, don’t you remember the time, para sa mga kapatid ko in Christ, don’t you remember the time when you were not yet saved? You and me, we also hunger and thirst for this worldly things. We don’t care about God. We hate Him.
The desire for righteousness is not natural for a sinful man, for a
natural man. Our dead souls do not and cannot hunger and thirst for His kingdom and His righteousness. But here’s the question, why, bakit mga kapatid? Bakit ngayon, you desire righteousness? Why do you desire righteousness? What happened? You don’t care about this before. You see, this is, this is the God that we don’t desire. The God that we don’t desire desires that you and I be saved. Christ came to us lived a perfect and righteous life, died on the cross for our sins, resurrected after three days ,so that we might not receive the penalty for our sins.
Instead what do we receive? We receive a new heart and along with that regenerated heart, our spiritual appetites that hunger and thirst to know Christ,, to love Him and seek Him and His righteousness, His kingdom. Be reminded brethren, that even the desperate desire for righteousness that you possess, is also a grace from God. Aren’t you grateful and joyful that we have such a glorious and gracious God!
Now, out of that gratitude and joy, may you continue to seek His righteousness by that blood bought hunger and thirst for His righteousness. And that leads us to our first challenge this morning. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Seek First The Kingdom Of God And His Righteousness. Binasa natin kanina sa ating scripture reading and the context is the Lord Jesus Christ is differentiating the gentiles, those who are not part of His kingdom, and those who are part of His kingdom. He says that the Gentiles run after all these things — what shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear. But for the true disciples, He says, seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. Now the unbelievers hearts are seared and that is why they desire and seek all things except God and this righteousness. If you are an unbeliever today, and you are hearing this, my friend, repent of your idolatry and run to Christ. Ask the Lord to give you a new heart with new desires for Him. Repent and trust the Savior. And to my brethren, my brothers and sisters in Christ, how is your hunger and seeking for the kingdom of God and his righteousness? Is it first? Do you prioritise it? Or are there competing desires that hinder your hunger and thirst for God? Now the problem comes when we see, sorry, when the problem comes when we as kingdom citizens of Christ, still believe the lies of the world, that we need power, possession, popularity, pleasure, etcetera more than we need God and His righteousness. Our hunger for Christ, The Living Bread is hindered when we eat of the junk food of lies that the world daily offers us. Naaalala niyo pa ba nung mga bata pa tayo? Pag malapit na ang oras ng lunch or dinner, ta’s nakita ka ng parents mo na kumakain ka ng chichirya, ng junk foods, anong sasabihin nila? Itigil mo yang pagkain ng junk food dahil mawawalan ka na naman ng gana. You will lose your appetite. At ganun din mga kapatid, kung nanghihina na yung gana natin for the real food that God offers, beware. Baka ang dahilan nun ay masyado na tayong busog sa mga makamundong bagay at Gawain. Do not believe the lies of the idols. They promise that they will satisfy your hunger, but instead of satisfying you, this idols will enslave you. Un to Christ. Go back to Him. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness because He alone promises satisfaction. And He truly satisfies His people. And that leads us to our last point.
Satisfied Desire. Now we see in the latter portion of our text, the promise of the King for those who will desperately desire righteousness. And Christ declared that their desire shall be satisfied. Now the word satisfy here is often used in feeding. It’s a language that is used in feeding the fattened animals. It is a word and I quote it is a word, this word was used of the feeding of the animals until they wanted, wanted nothing more. They were allowed to eat until they were completely satisfied. The picture is of animals who stayed at the feed trough until they wanted nothing more to eat. So sa mga farms siguro, may mga pinatatabang mga hayop, mga baka; so, hindi pinipigilan ng may-ari na pakainin sila ng pakainin until ayaw na nilang kumain, okay. That is the word satisfied that, that was used here in this verse. Now the same word was used in Matthew chapter 14 verse 20 where it says that the crowds of five thousand; you remember the crowds of five thousand? They were fed miraculously by the Lord by only uh five loaves and two fishes. And it says that they were satisfied. So ang hitsura po nun ay hindi lang isang beses binigyan tapos, uh, magtiis na lang kayo kasi may iba pang bibigyan. Hindi po. Kundi, binigyan sila, kapag gusto pa nila, babalik pa sila, hanggang sa hindi na nila gustong kumain. But even after that, even after five thousand people ang ginagawa yun, pabalik-balik sila sa Panginoon para kumain. Still after the feeding of the five thousand, there are 12 basketfuls of leftover. You see this this is the kind of satisfaction that the Lord is promising here. It’s not just a satisfaction where there is only enough na parang okay, sapat na sa yo, bukas na ulit, ‘no. No. What the Lord is saying is that you’ll have enough and you’ll have more until your heart’s content. Ganun ang righteousness na kayang-kayang ibigay ng Panginoon sa atin. Now if you think of it, it’s impossible for any man to provide for many people with that kind of satisfaction when it comes to physical needs. So for example po, para sa ating mga Tatay ‘no kung dumadami ang mga anak, parang mas mahirap mag-provide, ‘no. Mas challenging mag-provide. Lalo na kapag yung anak mo, gustong parating umulit sa pagkain. So mahirap po iyon. What more if it is a spiritual need like righteousness now who can provide not just enough but overflowing righteousness? Mahirap po ito. Wala po sa ating kayang magbigay ng righteousness sa isa’t-isa. Now, who can provide? Not just enough but over-flowing righteousness? Who else but the infinitely righteous King, the Lord Jesus Christ. We see here that The One who promised to satisfy the hunger for righteousness is also The One Who will fulfill that promise. The believer’s deep desire for righteousness is satisfied in Christ and in Christ alone. As believers whose heart have been regenerated to desire God, we really need and hunger for righteousness in different areas of our lives. But Christ will satisfy them all. Let us take for example, our salvation. When we’ve heard God’s effectual call as unbelievers, the starting, starting point nung tayo ay maging believer, we saw our need for righteousness since we knew that our own self-righteousness is not, it’s no righteousness at all. Then Christ began to satisfy that need by imputing His perfect righteousness on us and we have been justified. We have been declared righteous because of our King’s righteous robe. Then, after that, in the beginning of our sanctification, we noticed na hindi nawala yung sin. That the battle against sin is a daily war and there are days that we lose the battle and that humbles us and shows us again the need and hunger for practical righteousness. But also if we are winning the battle, meron din pong good problem. There is a good problem.
The more we grow in righteousness, the more we grow in holiness, the more we see how sinful we are. And so the more we will desperately desire genuine righteousness and who provides the example? Who provides the strength for that? None other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Christ our righteous King provides all that we need in our path of sanctification until we reach glorification, where we will see our perfect spotless righteousness face to face and First John 3 verse 2 says when he appears, we shall be like Him. The struggle for sin, mawawala na mga kapatid. When we see our righteousness, our perfect spotless righteousness, face to face. Christ is able to satisfy our hunger for righteousness because He is infinitely righteous.
Knowing that our righteous King is able to supply for our hunger, for righteousness brothers and sisters, seek to grow in righteousness by feasting on Christ, who is our Righteousness. Seek to grow in righteousness by feasting on Christ who is our Righteousness. But if you are not yet in Christ, friends, if you are not yet saved in Christ know that there’s no other righteousness that can please God the Father and save you from your sins. Christ and His righteousness alone can save you, not your own righteousness, nor your family’s righteousness, nor your religions’ righteousness can save you from your sins. Repent now and believe the gospel of the righteous King Jesus Christ, for you cannot grow in practical righteousness if you were not declared righteous through Christ in the first place. And for my brethren, my brothers and sisters, now that we are still, we are still in the process of sanctification, this is my challenge for everyone continue to Seek To Grow In Righteousness As A Preparation Before We Meet Christ Our Righteousness Face To Face. And how do we do it?
Paano po tayo mag-p-prepare sa pagkikita natin sa Panginoon na ating Katuwiran? How do we do it? We grow in conformity to Christ’s likeness when we behold the glory of Christ more and more. Christ’s glory is a glory that transforms. Kung naalala niyo po si Isaiah ‘no. Nung nakita niya ang holiness ng Panginoon na sabi niya, I am a man of uncleaned lips, pero ano ang ginawa ng Panginoon? Nilinis ang kaniyang bibig.
Ganun po ang epekto kapag tayo ay na-e-expose sa kaluwalhatian ng Panginoon. We are being transformed as we behold His glory. And the more we are exposed to it, the more we become like Him in His righteous image. Now where is the glory of Christ seen? Saan ba nakikita ang glory ng Panginoon? You see, maraming mga ano ngayon, mga nangyayaring, mga sinasabi nila “revival”’no, makikita nila doon, maraming mga bumabagsak na mga, ano ba yan? Glitters? At yun daw yung glory ng Panginoon. Hindi po doon nakikita ang glory ng Panginoon. The glory of Christ is revealed in the scriptures, the 66 books of Old and New Testament. That is why the hunger for righteousness, pag tinignan natin sa scripture, the hunger for righteousness and the feeding in the word of God is closely related.
That is how we feast on Christ, who is our righteousness. We feast on Him by exposing ourselves to His word. And may we expose ourselves in the glory of Christ revealed in the scriptures and also in, in word- centred means of grace, like what we are doing right now. So that we might be conformed more and more to Christ’s righteous image. Now ano pong prublema? What is our problem? Ang prublema po, pag nakikita natin na yung sarili natin, enough na yung righteousness natin apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. When we have this false righteousness, this self-righteousness, hindi natin nakikita yung sin natin because, alam mo yun? Hindi tayo na-e-expose sa word ng Panginoon that reveals our sin. Yun po ang prublema. Hindi natin i-lo- long yung righteousness ni Christ if we think enough na yung righteousness natin. That’s why it’s very important na ma-expose tayo sa word of God. Ngayon, naalala nyo po siguro dati ano, kung nakaranas kayo ng mga small groups, laging tinatanong ito: Nag-p-pray ka ba? Nagbabasa ka ba ng bible? We are being reminded na kailangang gawin natin yung mga private disciplines. But the question is paano kung nag-fail ka na? What if hindi ka na nagbabasa ng bible for weeks? for months? Paano kung hindi ka na nagp-pray for many days? And it’s sad kapagka naranasan nyo rin ito dati siguro na sabihin sa yo, hindi, pilitin mong magbasa, pilitin mo mag-pray. Well there is siguro naman ginagamit din siguro yun ng Panginoon para siguro matulungan yung tao. Pero anong binigay ng Panginoon? When we fail on our private graces, when we failed in our private devotions, anong ginagamit ng Panginoon? It is the preaching in His local church. Kaya pumupunta tayo dito minsan wala na tayong lakas, wala na tayong kakayahan. And then we will go here, pag-step mo pa lang diyan sa pintuan, uupo ka, you will hear the word of God. And you will be recharged. You will be reminded of your sin. You will be reminded to repent of your sins. But not just that, you will be reminded of your hope in Christ. That it is not your own righteousness ang tinatanggap ng Panginoon kundi ang righteousness ng Panginoong Hesukristo. And that is our hope, that is our hope. Let us feast on Christ who is our righteousness by exposing ourselves to His word. Now as a conclusion, Jesus the righteous King gives His people a heart that desperately desires righteousness. And it satisfies that by giving Himself lavishly to them so that they might feast on Him and be conformed to His righteous image more and more. Let us pray.
Our Father in heaven, Lord, we thank You o God that in our hopeless situation, Lord, we are in a, in a position where apart from Christ Lord, our righteousness is not acceptable to You. We might be righteous in front of other people, pero Panginoon, sa harapan po Ninyo, hindi po talaga. Kaya kailangan po namin Panginoon ang righteousness ng aming Panginoong Hesus. Thank You oh God for, for declaring us righteous through the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ and thank You oh God na even na kami ay niligtas Mo na Panginoon at dineclare mo nang righteous, You are also helping us to grow in practical righteousness daily by Lord showing us the glory of Christ. And when we fail oh God in our private means of grace, in prayer, in, in the study of your word privately, Lord thank You that You have provided the preaching in the local church Lord to call us back, Lord to, to give us new strength oh Lord para lumaban uli sa sin. At Panginoon, kami ay magpatuloy until we see our perfect, spotless Righteousness face to face. Marami pong salamat Panginoon sa hope that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His name we pray, amen.