Vance Pitman

Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

Radical Red Letters: Kingdom Living in a Chaotic Land
Oct 11, 2020
Matthee 5:6

In this message, Pastor Vance continues our timely series “Radical Red Letters: Kingdom Living in a Chaotic Land” by teaching on a word that is often used in church but rarely understood: Righteousness. What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness and how does it apply to us in the midst of a chaotic land? That’s what we explore in this sermon!

Sermon Notes

Radical Red Letters

Blessed are those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (Week 5)


Radical: (adj) a way of doing something that is new and very different from the usual


The Beatitudes: Eight radical declarations of kingdom living resulting in contentment in the midst of the chaos


“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the [a]mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, Blessed are the [c]poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the [d]gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:1-6


What does it mean to “hunger and thirst for righteousness”?
“The hunger which this beatitude describes is not genteel hunger which could be satisfied with a mid-morning snack; the thirst of which it speaks is no thirst which could be quenched with a cup of coffee or an iced drink. It is the hunger of the man who is starving for food, and of the man who will die unless he drinks.”—William Barclay (The Daily Bible Study: Matthew, p.94-95)


Matthew 4:2 “And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.”


John 19:28, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty.’”



“Righteous are You, O Lord, and upright in all Your judgments.” —Psalm 119:137



“The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.” —Psalm 145:17


Righteousness is who Jesus is

Righteousness is who I am in Jesus

“There is none righteous, not even one.”—Romans 3:10


“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” —2 Corinthians 5:21

Righteousness is who I am becoming in Jesus

“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness…”—1 Timothy 6:11a


“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifest through us the sweet aroma of th knowledge of Him in every place.”—2 Corinthians 2:14


Righteousness is what Jesus is restoring to the world

“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”—2 Peter 3:13


Biblical definition of hungering and thirsting for righteousness: A passionate longing to see the righteousness that is mine in Christ be experienced in my life, my relationships, and the world


What does it look like for me to practically live “hungering and thirsting for righteousness”?

Personally—Am I experiencing the righteousness of Christ in my daily life?

Relationally—Am I experiencing the righteousness of Christ in my relationships with others?

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” —Romans 12:18


“For peace to ‘rule’ does not mean the absence of disagreements or conflicts in the Christian fellowship. Peace does not rule out or suppress disagreements; it resolves them in love.”—Harold S. Songer


Missionally—Am I leveraging my life (job, skill, passion where I live, work, and play) so that others may experience the righteousness of Christ in this world?

“Christianity revitalized life in the Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships able to cope with many urgent urban problems. To cities filled with homeless and the impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered immediate basis for attachments. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded family. To cities torn by violent strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity. And to cities faced with epidemics, fires, and earthquakes, Christianity offered effective nursing services.”—Rodney Stark (secular historian who describes himself as “not a person of faith”) (The Rise of Christianity, p.161)



“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”—Matthew 5:6

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