Matthew 5:3 - 12
ESV - 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
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Jesus often said "The kingdom of God is like....." and then illustrated the spiritual truth with a practical story that the people could understand. In these 8 verses that introduce the Sermon on the Mount, I believe Jesus is giving us a "word picture", a "blueprint", a "road map" that describes everything we need to know about the activity of the Kingdom of God. During this age of grace that Jesus was introducing, the Kingdom of God has three purposes: 1) bring people into the kingdom by salvation, 2) train Christians to become mature and complete for every good work, 3) use Christians through the church to transform the world so it will look more like God's intention at creation. God the Father brings people into his kingdom. Because of his mercy he draws them to himself. By his grace he enables them to repent and believe in what Jesus has done for them. God the Son trains Christians to become mature and complete for every good work. He unites himself to each believer in body, soul and spirit. Our lives become his hands and feet on earth. He builds his character into us. He trains and equips us to complete the good works that have already been prepared for us. God the Holy Spirit uses Christians through the church to transform the world. He lives within each believer. He gives us the wisdom and knowledge to understand God's will for our lives. He gives us the courage and strength to carry out God's will to transform this world into the place he intended it to be. In my view, the first 4 beatitudes describe the process of salvation. That is, what spiritual realities must be present in a person's life for them to receive God's salvation. The first 4 beatitudes also describe the process of sanctification. That is, the process of developing the character of Christ in us so we look and act like Jesus. The last 4 beatitudes describe the process of transformation. That is, what happens when the church overwhelms the world with the grace and glory of God. In the process of salvation, each beatitude describes an important spiritual reality: poor in spirit - God wants each person to recognize and understand their spiritual condition. Separated from God we are poor in spirit - impoverished, bankrupt, dead in our trespasses and sins. And there is nothing we can do to change our condition. Only God can bring spiritual life. mourn - God wants each person to recognize and understand that their sinful nature is causing them to rebel against God's commandments for their life. God, as the creator, has the right to tell people how to live their lives, but they constantly rebel. But God sent Jesus to suffer and die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sin. God wants to see our sorrow over our sins, our desire to repent, and then he is willing to comfort us with his forgiveness. meek - Jesus used a peculiar word here which is translated from the Greek as "meek". The most common usage of this original Greek word in the culture of 1st century life referred to "a fully trained war horse". So a better translation might be "Blessed are the fully trained, for they will inherit the earth. The only way we can be trained is if we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, who is our trainor. God wants each person to recognize and understand that because Jesus was willing to be our Savior he has the right to become our Lord. Once we were slaves to sin, but Jesus freed us and now we are slaves to Christ. hunger and thirst for righteousness - God does not force his salvation on anyone. God wants each person to recognize and understand that having a right relationship with God is the single most important decision they will ever make. He wants each person to hunger and thirst for this righteousness more than anything else in life. Once these spiritual realities are present a person is ready to receive God's salvation and enter the kingdom of God.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT (The Beatitudes) Matt. 5:1-12 The opening verses of this sermon indicate that this message deals with inner states of mind and heart, the indispensable absolute of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestations of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples. Thus the life of the believer, described by Yeshua (Jesus) is a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone (v.5). In this sermon Jesus states the spiritual character and quality of the kingdom He would establish. Blessed, means “happy” and this is a basic description of the believer’s inner condition as a result of the work of God. The Beatitudes describe the characteristics of one who has been saved. The poor in spirit are the opposite of the proud or haughty in spirit. They have been humbled by the grace of God and have acknowledged their sin and therefore their dependence upon God to save them (v.3). Those who mourn for sin shall be comforted in confession. Those who mourn for the human anguish of the lost shall be comforted by the compassion of God (v. 4). The meek are those who have been humbled before God and will not only inherit the blessedness of heaven, but also will share in the Kingdom of God on earth (v.5)—(a balance between the physical and spiritual promise of the kingdom). Hunger and thirst after righteousness (v.6) are those who experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself, a proof of spiritual rebirth. Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognize the depth of their need and they hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them---“they shall be filled”, that is, receive complete satisfaction. Those who are merciful shall obtain mercy (v.6), refers to those who have been born again by the mercy of God. Because Divine Love has been extended to them, they have the work of the Holy Spirit producing mercy in them that defies man’s explanation. Yeshua (Jesus) is the ultimate example of this when He cried from the cross, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Those who are truly saved shall see God; they are the pure in heart (v.8). Their lives have been transformed by the grace of God. They are not sinless, but their position before God has been changed. They have the New Birth, saving faith and holiness. The process of sanctification is ever conforming them to the image of Messiah (Romans 8:29) which is righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24). The peacemakers (v.9) are they that are in peace with God and desire to live in peace with all men (Rom. 5:1). Their peace with Messiah enables them to be ambassadors of God’s message to a troubled world; as such they are children of God. Throughout this sermon Yeshua (Jesus) clearly underscores that only those who have the qualities of a changed life are citizens of His Kingdom. Jesus clearly teaches that such a life causes His people to be in direct contrast to the world in which they live. Therefore, He reminds us, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake” (V.10); indicating that He foresaw this persecution as touching all His followers. (“Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim.3:12). In V.11, Jesus states that the persecution first involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted and a personal attack of slander against them. Rejoice (v.12) is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. I personally call this Sermon Pursuit of Peace and Happiness. Why? Because when we are in pursuit of happiness and peace in Messiah we: • Humble ourselves and recognize our desperate need for God.(v.3) • We demonstrate self-control even when we are mistreated.(v. 5) • We recognize the awfulness of our sins and are sorry.(v.4) • We are longing for holiness and purity.(v.6) • We show mercy to others as God shows us mercy.(v.7) • We show sincerity in our devotion.(v.8) • We show peace
The Sermon on the Mount or also known as the Beatitudes are characteristics that God(Jesus) wants His people to have on earth so that their life can show love for Him and their neighbors. (Mat. 5:1-12. Jesus blessed: 1. Poor in Spirit. - Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven 2. Those who mourn. - Shall be comforted 3. Be meek. - Will inherit the Earth 4. Hunger for righteousness - They will be filled. 5. Be merciful. - They will obtain mercy 6. Pure of Heart. - They will see God. 7. Be a Peacemaker. - Will be called Sons of God 8. Persecuted for His sake - Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven 9 You who is persecuted for His sake - great is your reward in Heaven Jesus is taking about the people that have accepted and trust in Him. They will enter the Kingdom and live with Him forever. God brought actions to the individual for He knows our life and what we do every day of our life. God will bless you for the good individual things that you do every day for His Honor and Glory and not do them for your own honor and glory. God knows everything and He will reward us for loving Him first and loving Your neighbor as yourself.
The beatitudes, while they are not a means by which people can receive eternal life (since that comes only by faith in Christ, rather than by any actions we perform) nevertheless describe attitudes and attributes that should characterize the lives of people who have been saved, and who know of the love and mercy of God that made their salvation possible. As such, they are also qualities that are (now) and also will be (in eternity) evident in the kingdom of God. They also act in this life as a witness of our salvation to others, since they in many respects are the opposite of the way in which "the world" says people should behave, and, as such, should make Christians "stand out", and cause people to be drawn to the source of their peace and joy. I would paraphrase these attributes as follows: Blessed are the poor in spirit -- humility, rather than pride, or regarding oneself as better than others; viewing oneself in relation to God, rather than in comparison to other people; Blessed are those who mourn -- turning to God as a source of comfort in times of grief or sadness, rather than turning away from Him, or blaming Him for troubles or problems; Blessed are the meek -- considering others' needs as important as one's own, rather than being solely concerned that one's own wants and desires are met; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness -- continually striving to know more about God, and to emulate His perfect holiness, with a desire that is just as intense as meeting the physical needs for food or liquid, rather than ignoring God or having a self-satisfied feeling of already knowing all that is necessary, or of being "good enough"; Blessed are the merciful -- forgiving others' actions, especially because of being aware of one's own faults and shortcomings (particularly in relation to God), and wanting both God and other people to forgive those faults; Blessed are the pure in heart -- purposely shunning sinful thoughts and actions, rather than mentally harboring them or physically indulging or yielding to them; Blessed are the peacemakers -- promoting understanding and harmonious living, both between oneself and others, and also among others, rather than emphasizing differences or intentionally promoting conflict or disagreement; Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake -- not seeking revenge against persecutors (especially on the grounds of one's relationship with God, or because of doing what God's word says is right), and allowing one's words and actions to be a witness to those persecutors, rather than trying to "get even", or compromising one's fundamental beliefs in the face of opposition.
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