Sunday, September 2, 2007

Part 1 - The Beatitudes

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 5:1-12

1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

PRAYER FOR HOLY SPIRIT AND UNDERSTANDING

INTRODUCTION

Jesus began His ministry in about 26AD.

We know from scripture Jesus was baptized and began His journey on the Passover of that year, which would have been the 15th day of Nisan (24th of March), which was a Sunday.

Scholars estimate that the Sermon on the Mount took place sometime in early 28AD, approximately 1 ½ to 2 years after Jesus was baptized.

Most of Jesus’ ministry of 3 ½ years that is recorded in the scriptures, takes place in 29 – 30 AD.

The Sermon on the Mount is considered to be the standard that Jesus set forth for Christian living.

Verses 1 – 12 are generally referred to as the Beatitudes.

5:1 – Jesus was giving the ‘New Law’, which came with the ‘New Covenant’ in His blood.

This new law was laid out for man, by God in the form of Christ, just as the Old law had been given from a mountain by God to man (Moses).

We see in the scripture that Jesus sat down before He taught, because this was the custom of the time.

The word “disciples” used in verse 1 here is literally translated to “learners”.

Later in this passage we will read that the crowds expressed amazement at Jesus’ teaching, so the scriptures are more than likely referring to a broader scope of “learners” than just the Twelve Apostles.

Remember by this time there were many followers, called disciples, and it was from them that Jesus had chosen the twelve to be apostles.

I. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

a. Blessed is to receive from an outward circumstance.

b. Blessed in this case is to receive joy from the Holy Spirit.

c. A well-being which comes to those who share salvation in the Kingdom of God.

d. Poor in Spirit is a contrast to the spiritually proud and self-sufficient. When we are self-sufficient, we rely on ourselves instead of God.

e. The Kingdom of Heaven is not earned, but given to those who are humble and not prideful in their spirit. It is a gift. The Kingdom of Heaven becomes our Kingdom and Christ our King when we receive our Salvation.

II. Blessed are those who mourn, for the will be comforted

a. Blessed in this sense is to receive from the Holy Spirit.

b. What do we receive? Comfort.

c. Why do we mourn? For the moral decay outside of the Kingdom of Heaven (and for our personal sin) which we do not realize until we are adopted into the Kingdom of Heaven.

III. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth

a. This term “meek” is taken from Psalm 37:11 – “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.”

b. When will those who belong to the Kingdom of Heaven inherit the earth? During the thousand-year reign of Christ, where we will enjoy great peace!

c. Meek – is not referring to our attitude toward people as much as our disposition before God. To be humble…

d. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

e. The NEW EARTH is our promised land of the New Covenant! Just as the Israelites had their promised land in the Old Testament.

f. And just as it was in those times, some of us here today will not make it to the Promised Land.

IV. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled

a. We hunger and thirst for righteousness within ourselves.

b. Jesus told the Samaritan Woman, “drink of this water and your thirst will be quenched, you shall thirst no more!” This comes by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

c. We hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness in our lives, in our behavior, actions and words. This only comes by God’s Spirit.

d. BUT…to be filled, we must first be emptied. We must empty ourselves of our self-worth. Becoming an empty, humble vessel for God’s Holy Spirit to work in us, and through us.

V. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy

a. “Forgive our sins, as we forgive others sins…” Matthew 6:12

b. To obtain mercy from God, we must show mercy.

VI. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God

a. The heart is the center of your being; it is your mind, will and emotions.

b. From the overflow of your heart, your mouth will speak. Matthew 12:34

c. We receive a NEW MORAL NATURE when we become children of God. Salvation and the Holy Spirit make us a NEW CREATION; a NEW CREATURE for the old has passed away!

d. The Holy Spirit renews our hearts.

e. We are judged by our hearts, for only God knows the heart and intent of man.

f. If our motivations are pure, if we have emptied ourselves and allowed God’s Holy Spirit to fill us, if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He has given us a pure heart, and we shall see God!

g. Not just when we go to heaven…We can see God manifest Himself in our lives today! See the power of God working and answered prayers and all of the benefits, protection and promises of the Lord in our life! We shall see God.

VII. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God

a. Peacemakers – those who promote peace.

b. In doing so they reflect the Character of God, which is what we, as the children of God, the Body of Christ are supposed to do here on earth as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.

c. We are to show God’s character to the world. We represent the Kingdom and all of its glory!

VIII. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

a. Persecuted? I thought everything was going to go my way when I got saved?

b. This verse Jesus gives says basically this – If you belong to the Kingdom of Heaven… (Saved Christians, here on earth right now), you WILL be persecuted because of the Character of God the Holy Spirit will display in your life (spiritual fruits), righteousness.

c. The scriptures do not promise a perfect care free life when we belong to the Lord, but that there will be trials and tribulation. But He promises never to leave us nor forsake us!!!

Jesus ends the Beatitudes with the following;

11 "Blessed are you when (not if) people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, (Not the Kingdom of Heaven) for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

The prophets were persecuted, the disciples were persecuted, the Apostles were persecuted, and Jesus was persecuted.

John 15:18 & 19

18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

So REJOICE and BE GLAD! For Christ has called you out of the World!

You no longer belong to it!

You (those who have accepted Jesus) belong to Him, and He loves you as His own!

ALTAR CALL

No comments: