Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
No one can live up to the
Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Many have tried
to, but it exposes our spiritual depravity.
A proper view of the Sermon on
the Mount always points to God’s grace, and then
tells us how we are to live as God’s redeemed
people. When we examine the nature of the kingdom of
God we realize our depravity, and our need for the
atoning death of Jesus Christ. This sermon of Jesus
forces us to turn to Jesus Christ for salvation, and
then demonstrates how we are to live as believers.
When we study it we realize that we cannot possibly
live up to its demands without God’s saving grace in
Here is a description of the
person who has received the special favor of God’s
grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This person
lives above the chances, changes and circumstances
of life. What are the spiritual characteristics of
someone who is blessed by God?
The person described as
“blessed” (makarios) is identified with pure
character. It is “a sense of God’s approval founded
in righteousness.” He is the spiritually prosperous
person because he has experienced God’s favor.
“Blessed are the poor in
spirit” (v. 3). The word “poor” is used for a person
in abject poverty who begs for everything he eats.
However, Jesus is not advocating living in poverty.
I see the ravages of poverty every day where I live
and there is nothing good about it. Jesus is
stressing our spiritual poverty in relationship with
God. It is to be bankrupt spiritually. We cannot do
anything to affect a right relationship with God
because we are sinners. We are spiritual beggars. It
is to be in utter spiritual destitution and helpless
before God (Rom. 5:6; Isa. 1:6; 6:5). The only thing
we can do is plead for God’s mercy and cast
ourselves upon His saving grace in Christ. To be
“poor in spirit” is to confess that I am a sinner,
and that I cannot save myself.
“Blessed are those who mourn”
(v. 4). The idea is to mourn as one is mourning for
the dead. It is to mourn over our depraved spiritual
condition. It is spiritual grief manifested which is
too deep to conceal. It is a deep sense of
conviction of sin. The comfort that comes is the
effect of the saving gospel. God comforts us when we
confess our spiritual poverty before Him and believe
on Christ Jesus as our Savior. The Holy Spirit
comforts those who mourn over their sin.
“Blessed are the gentle” (v.
5). The King James Version uses the word “meek.”
Jesus is describing the person who quietly submits
himself to God. He accepts the true view of himself
under God’s control. Here is the God-controlled
person who yields every passion of his life to the
Holy Spirit. There is an absence of pride in a life
in submission to the will of God.
“Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness” (v. 6). Jesus is
stressing the actual righteousness of the believer
who yields his daily life to Christ and the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is the imparted
righteousness of Christ living in us that
characterizes our lives (vv. 10, 20; 6:1, 33). We
depend, not upon our own efforts to achieve
righteousness, but upon God to produce it in us.
This is a righteousness freely given to us and
received by God's grace. It is not
self-righteousness. The spiritually
prosperous person hungers and thirsts for it. The
person who has a strong intense desire for a right
relationship with God will also want to live that
This righteousness is a gift of
God to the person who confesses his spiritual
poverty. It is not something we can produce in our
own self. God in grace fulfills the longing in our
hearts for this right standing before God. God
fulfills His promise in full measure.
Do we have a passion to produce
God’s kind of righteousness in our lives? The only
way a believer can have a right relationship before
God is through Christ’s atoning work on the cross.
How then shall we live? The gift comes to those who
seek it wholeheartedly, but not of themselves; it is
a gift of God. Only those who “hunger and thirst”
after righteousness will be “filled.”
Christ brings about a radical
change in our lives. We are new creatures in Him (2
Cor. 5:17). He creates a hungering and thirsting,
like a beggar, to be like Christ.
Just as it is impossible for a sinner to be
justified by good works of self-righteousness, it is
just as impossible for a justified sinner to live
without producing good works as a result of a right
relationship with Christ.
“Blessed are the merciful” (v.
7). This is the character of the believer who has
received God’s mercy. We do not deserve it, but
Christ had mercy on us and saved us. We give back
what we receive. God has been merciful to us;
therefore we treat others with that same kind of
mercy. It is compassion in action. We see the hurt
caused by sin in others and we want to do something
“Blessed are the pure in heart”
(v. 8). “Those who have experienced the purifying
influence of the Holy Spirit become pure in heart.”
Only the pure in heart will “see God.” One day we
will experience our full redemption and “when He
appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him
as He is” (1 John 3:2). The next verse tells us,
“And every one who has this hope fixed on Him
purifies himself, just as He is pure” (v. 3). Do you
have that single eyed devotion with absolutely
unmixed motives focused on Christ?
“Blessed are the peacemakers”
(v. 9). Once you have experienced peace with God you
want to tell everyone about it. You tell other
beggars where they can find the Bread of Life and
feast on Him.
“Blessed are those who are
persecuted because of righteousness” (vv. 10-12).
This is the acid test of our new relationship with
God. The emphasis is on the persecution that comes
to all believers because they are like Christ. If
you have a right relationship with God through His
free grace you will be persecuted. The world system
hates Christ and His values, and it will hate you,
too. Persecution demonstrates that we are in the
company of the committed.
Beatitudes of Jesus Series
of 10 full length messages on Jesus' Beatitudes. "If
you want to have power in your life and to be
blessed, go straight to the Sermon on the Mount. . .
.as you do so the promised blessings will come . . .
it is a description of what we Christians are meant
to be . . . " (D. M. Lloyd-Jones).
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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