Page Four: “Blessed Are They Which Hunger” 07/08/2012
And fourth, it’s given to each one who believes. It comes to you by faith. As you will see from this next passage, there’s only one way to enter into this kind of righteousness. Turn with me to Romans three and verse twenty to see that way.
Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
(21) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:…”
Folks, the LORD isn’t interested in our attempts at good works as the means of obtaining a measure of righteousness. All we evidence when we do that is a hunger after our own righteousness. We want others to acknowledge and praise us for our attempts at it.
Yet, the hunger and thirst Jesus speaks about here must be for God’s own righteousness. And that kind of righteousness is a free gift from God to those who receive it by simple faith. Turn to Romans four and verse three.
Romans 4:3 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
(5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
(6) Even as David also describeth the blessedness [happiness] of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7) Saying, Blessed [happy] are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
(8) Blessed [happy] is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (9) Cometh this blessedness [happiness] then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.”
Since the Garden of Eden, people have attempted to please God with their own righteousness. Do you remember the attempt Cain made when he offered the fruits of his labor to God? Cain’s offering was made after God had plainly commanded that it be an offering from the flock. Cain, like us, thought he would offer something he himself had chosen. Abel, on the other hand, simply brought what God commanded; an animal from his flock. He brought and offered to God a sheep.
The kind of righteousness both Paul and Jesus speak about is righteousness that comes by faith apart from good works.
According to Paul both Abraham and David were given this gift of righteousness. And how did they attain it? By faith.
Romans 4:3 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” That’s Abraham. He believed God and God counted it unto him for righteousness.
And David? (6) “Even as David also describeth the blessedness [happiness] of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7) Saying, Blessed [happy] are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”
These men are no different than you and me. They were sinners just like you and me. Yet, when they chose to believe God, they had righteousness imputed to them.
Righteousness was put on their accounts. Why? Because Abraham and David were so good and so obedient? No. Rather, it was because they believed God.
Folks, the kind of righteousness that really matters is the kind you and I don’t have by nature. Actually all your righteousnesses are compared to filthy rags in the Bible. The Prophet Isaiah put it this way when he preached to the Jews of old. Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”