Let Us Always Remember to Pursue Righteousness (Matthew 5:6)
1. This morning we examined 5 things that God's people must always remember. 2. #3 on the list: "Let us always remember the Words of Christ." 3. This evening our lesson is based on the Lord's Words in the 4th Beatitude (Matthew 5:6). 4. As a result of studying this Beatitude, "let us always remember to pursue righteousness." 5. Let us begin by considering . . . Discussion: I. SOME GENERAL MATTERS PERTAINING TO "RIGHTEOUSNESS"
A. Righteousness: "integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling, and acting" B. On his own, man is not righteous (Romans 3:10). C. The Scriptures show how and when God makes us righteous (Romans 6:3-4, 17-18). D. After we become His children, God wants us to live righteously (Titus 2:11-12). E. Those who live righteously enjoy great blessings, including: 1. the necessities of life (Matthew 6:33) 2. assurance that our prayers are answered (James 5:16b; 1 Peter 3:12) 3. eternal life (Matthew 25:46). F. According to these passages, "being filled with righteousness" is extremely important. II. HOW TO BE FILLED WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS
A. We must not be filled with our own righteousness. 1. Our righteousness must please God (Matthew 5:19-20). 2. Self-righteousness is condemned in the Bible (Matthew 9:10-13). B. We must "hunger" and "thirst" after righteousness. 1. Hunger: "to seek with earnest desire" 2. Thirst: "to desire earnestly" 3. The tense of these words is important. a. The tense indicates present and continuous action -- "they which are hungering and thirsting." b. In essence, Jesus was teaching: "Blessed are those who are craving and longing after righteousness, for they shall be filled with righteousness" (see 1 John 3:7). 4. Jesus set the proper example for us to follow (John 4:34). C. The first 3 Beatitudes will motivate us to hunger and thirst after righteousness. 1. A person who is "poor in spirit" is aware of his unrighteousness. 2. A person who "mourns" regrets his condition, and he has a constant desire to improve. 3. A person who is "meek" is submissive to God and His will. 4. These 3 Beatitudes will lead us to crave and long after righteousness. III. ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS THAT WILL HELP US
A. Study and meditate upon God's Word regularly (1 Peter 2:2). B. Pray regularly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). C. Worship regularly and associate with Christians (Acts 2:42). D. Stay focused (Philippians 3:13-15). Conclusion:
1. After Jesus gave the Beatitudes in His Sermon, He said that His followers are "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-16). 2. This is not accomplished by accident. 3. "Let us always remember to pursue righteousness."