Sep 15

The Beatitudes – Part 2

Sermon on Mount - BeatitudesWe have been examining the teachings of Jesus more closely so we might “adorn” His doctrine.  If we are going to wear the name of Christ (“Christian”), we ought to believe His teachings, obey them, and advocate them.  Otherwise, we are just shallow hypocrites playing religious games.

We began looking at the Beatitudes of Matthew 5 last week.  We noted that the Beatitudes are part of a larger discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew chapters 5-7.  We believe that Jesus spoke these words early on in His ministry.

We also noted that each beatitude (from a Latin word meaning “how supremely blessed”) consisted of two phrases:  a condition and a result.  Of these eight beatitudes, Jesus promised blessings to all who would conduct themselves in a specified manner.  Last week we considered the first three (“Blessed are the poor in spirit”, “Blessed are they that mourn”, and “Blessed are the meek”.) found in Matthew 5:3-5 (see last week’s post “Beatitudes – Part 1”).  Today, let us look at the next four (Matt 5:6-9).

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matt 5:6)

The word hunger used in this verse means to “crave food or famish to the point of the stomach pinching.  But, Jesus wasn’t talking about ordinary food.  He was speaking of spiritual food (Matt 4:4).  They who hunger and thirst for justification, holiness, and goodness will be “filled”.

The words “hunger” and “thirst implies more than a half-hearted quest for righteousness.  Rather, it implies the kind of diligent quest exemplified by David (Psa 42:1-2; Pa 19:12-14).  Do we hunger and thirst for righteousness?  That is a personal question, and I think we all know the answer to it.  The answer is revealed by our own personal prayer and bible study life.  The answer is revealed by our efforts to actually put into practice our Lord’s teachings.

They shall be “filled”.  The word “filled” comes from a word meaning to “feed or fatten cattle; to gorge, to supply in abundance”.  If we truly crave justification and holiness, and dedicate ourselves in our quest for righteousness, God will bless us abundantly.  We will be filled.

“Blessed are the Merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt 5:7)

The merciful are those who feel compassion toward those who suffer.  The merciful do not bask in the suffering of others, no matter how deserving.  The merciful posseses a forgiving spirit toward them who sin against them.  Steven demonstrated a forgiving spirit toward those who were stoning him (Acts 7:60).  Jesus demonstrated a forgiving spirit as He was being crucified (Lk 23:23).

Jesus taught the importance of mercy throughout His ministry.  He taught its importance as He taught His disciples how to pray (Matt 6:14-15).  He taught its importance again in His parable of the “Unforgiving Servant” (Matt 18:21-35).  Jesus ultimately demonstrated this great principle of mercy when He yielded to the cross for the welfare of all humanity.

There is a great blessing promised to the merciful:  MERCY!  God will bless the merciful with mercy.  On the other hand, we must show mercy if we desire to be forgiven (Matt 18:35).  We must forgive if we expect to be forgiven.  Being merciful and forgiving others is part of adorning the doctrine of Christ.

 “Blessed are the pure in heart:  for they shall see God.” (Matt 5:8)

The “pure in heart” are those who are sincere, honest, and without hypocrisy.  They are those who serve God without hidden motives are selfish interests.  They are not interested in their appearance only, but in the condition of their spiritual hearts.  This attitude is the opposite of the attitude the Pharisees of Christ’s day often displayed… whose hearts were full of corruption and defilement.

And, what is the promised blessing for the “pure in heart”?  They shall see God.  This was a common Hebraism (see examples of it in Psa 16:10; Jn 3:3; Jn 3:36) that simply means they would “possess” God (in a sense) and enjoy His benefits.  David, writing by inspiration, identified those who would stand in God’s presence as they who possed pure hearts (Psa 24:3-4).

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  (Matt 5:9)

The peacemakers are not just peaceable individuals (although Christians are to be peaceable people – Rom 12:18-21), but those who seek to bring about peace when peace does not exist (Rom 5:1; Eph 6:15).  If we are to wear the name of Christ and adorn His teachings, we must devote our lives to making peace BY FOLLOWING THE PRINCE OF PEACE.  Jesus gave His life to reconcile God and man, and to reconcile man with man.

The peacemakers will be blessed with being known as the “children of God”.  In the same way children resemble their parents, peacemakers will resemble their Heavenly Father by manifesting a spirit like His.  Since God is the Author of peace (1 Cor 14:33), all who endeavor to promote peace like Him will be worthy to be called His children.

Final Thoughts

When we adorn the doctrine of Christ, we manifest the qualities and characteristics of our Creator.  We become worthy to be called His children, and the benefits of being members of the Royal Family are abundant.  Our Heavenly Father has promised to provide His children eternal provision, protection, and eternal love (Jn 14:1-3).

We can become a child of God by being born again (Jn 3:5; 1 Peter 1:22-23; Gal 3:26-27).  And, we will remain in His house if we “hold fast” until the end (Heb 3:4-6).  We invite you to visit and worship God with us your next opportunity.

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