A Closer Look at The Beatitudes
The Sermon on the Mount gives us the Qualifications for the Inheritance of the Kingdom of Heavens, found in Matthew, Chapters 5-7. The Sermon on the Mount is to regenerated Believers. It is not instruction on how to receive eternal life, but how to qualify for the Kingdom to be set up by Jesus upon His Return.
Made up of 3 parts… Blessings or Beatitudes, the Similitudes, that is to say “the quality of being similar” to Jesus Christ seen in salt and light, and the longest section being the Commandments of Jesus, “the law of Christ…”[Galatians 6:2] One must first understand “the law of God” as opposed to “the law of Christ”. Jesus Christ filled the Law of God given by Moses with meaning, that is to say, once a person receives Him who filled that Law with meaning, he is placed now under the Law of Christ. Now these 3 chapters are addressed to those who are His by re-birth and are now no longer under the Law of Moses, but under the Law of Christ, the keepers of which are promised a glorious inheritance in the kingdom of heavens. The believers who keep them, and teach others to keep them, will be called great (have great reward) in the kingdom of heaven. The believers who break only the least of these commandments, and teach others to do so, will be called the least in the kingdom (loss of all reward).
Certain Key thoughts prevail in the Sermon: The qualifying for the Kingdom of Heavens’ inheritance, the Law and Grace dispensations, the one stopping with John and the one beginning with John. Spiritual Growth is required to inherit this kingdom. Seek first this kingdom of God and His righteousness….the way and gate are narrow….. not all who call Jesus Lord will inherit the kingdom of heavens.
Sandwiched right in the heart of the Sermon is, “The Lord’s Prayer”.
Prayer….what can be said about prayer that will cause us to see its vital importance? All things spiritual begin and are perpetuated in prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is the pattern for the Believer that has to do with the success in inheritance of the kingdom of heavens. [Matthew 6:9-13]
As we have little time today, let us just look primarily at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon….called, ‘The Blessings’. The Spiritual growth progression is seen in the order of the blessings.
Verse 3 says, “Blessed are “the poor in spirit”, for this is the action of the Spirit at the time of regeneration, the realization of the Believer that he is nothing in the light of God’s demands upon Him (seen in the law of God through Moses), and is renewed in his spirit, in the Mercy and Grace of Jesus Christ’s Atonement.
“Blessed are they that mourn:….” Then, next in his spiritual growth are those who continue to mourn, as the tense is present not past, and that throughout their lives in the growing understanding of the exceedingly sinfulness of sin, the depraved condition, that of the flesh nature within, increasingly aware of our flesh’s propensity towards pride and self love, and a great sense of the need of the power of the Spirit daily in our heart. “…for they shall be comforted.” The discovery of the Comforter in the process of working out our salvation. [Romans 8:26]
Blessed are then those who are in and remain in the state of being meek. Meekness is the summary of different workings of spirituality being wrought or brought to bear upon the heart by the hearing of the Words of Jesus and making Him Lord of our lives, humbleness, lowliness, teachableness, a condition free from the wrath of God, a state of ongoing imputed righteousness in forgiveness, a walking in spirit/Spirit with washings and forgivings and cleansings. The Meek condition is one of patience and wisdom in suffering persecutions, [James 1:21] “wherefore….” ….who return not evil for evil…does not threaten but prays and blesses those who persecute.
How can we grow spiritually, and qualify unless we have learned the lesson of meekness and made it a part of our makeup in character? Jesus set us the example in the Cross, and ours is to also, in like manner, to pick up the cross and willingly suffer as a consequence of righteousness, being practically played out daily in our lives. Thus, “… it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake” [Philippians 1:29]
Meekness must be incorporated in our lives before we can make real spiritual progress in the inheritance of the Kingdom. Mourning and being meek are continuing traits of some who are wise [Matthew 25:1-13], who have received imputed righteousness and continue hungering and thirsting after additional righteousness.
Righteousness is an acquired taste. To hunger and thirst after Righteousness is a spiritual state of growing or hewing out in capacity. No need to encourage hungering and thirsting after something you have no additional need of. Setting your affections on things above [Colossians 3:2] causes hunger and thirst for righteousness which God continues to feed with His Word. Being lukewarm [Revelation 3:16] is descriptive of having no hunger or thirst for righteousness, a state of satisfaction with worldly things, it is the sad and sorry state of a Christian discovered at the Judgment Seat of Christ who had received Jesus Christ’s gift of righteousness and refused to be hungry and thirsty for the great prize of promised blessing.
Being merciful is the first action directive here of Jesus to the disciple thus exercised in righteousness. It is the early Spring fruit of the beneficiary who has abided in the vine of the Benefactor. [John 15:1-8]
Mercifulness is actions in sympathy for others. Having more fully comprehended His Mercy towards His Creation, and having like kind of mercy is the evidence of granted wisdom and understanding in the knowledge of God. [Ephesians 1:17,18]
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”….. Pure in heart speaks to the spiritual condition of the Believer in Christ. What is implied by Jesus is that NO Believer who is merely born again is pure in heart. The old nature contaminates the heart. Progressively, we are to attain pure hearts. The Words of Jesus are the filter through which we run our natural nature, and that by our wills. The heart condition of every Believer will be judged by Jesus Christ. Purity speaks to reception and application of Truth brought to bear upon the old nature by three means: “enter into the holiest …..” initially through the renewed spirit by belief in Jesus Christ’s Saving Atonement Blood. Secondly, by daily communion with Jesus, “…Let us draw near… through the Word and prayer, and power of the spirit/Spirit …in full assurance of faith, in our hearts sprinkled, the cleansing or purifying affect, that is through the “conscience”, perceiving and willingly putting on the clothes of righteousness and denying flesh life. Thirdly, persistence in that Power so energized, “ Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.” [Hebrews 10:19-23] with [Numbers 19:19,20]…“But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the Lord…” “Blessed….for they will see God”. Pure heart speaks to access to God, close proximity, not eternal life. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from God of his salvation.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children [Greek= sons] of God.”
The term, “son of God” in Scripture always denotes maturity in a Christian. All born again are His “children”, but only mature ones does He address as “sons”. The novice or immature child is not fitted to be a peacemaker. Peacemakers are mediators. They are Priest-like. Knowing and known by the Father. The Millennial Kingdom of Christ will be made up of sons of God, those found worthy to be the Peacemakers and to rule and reign with Jesus Christ.
“Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom heaven(s).”
The promise of blessing is not eternal life, for that has already been attained by these whom He addresses, but a reward in a place in His Kingdom of the heavens just above the earth when He returns to Rule on and over this Earth for 1000 yrs. [Revelation 20:4-6]“……and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” [Romans 8:17] with “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” [2Timothy 3:12] The reality is this….the World hated Christ Jesus and He declared that the World would hate His followers. If we are Christlike, the World will hate us. The simple fact is that if we choose not to be hated and suffer in this World, we may have our life here, but it will be at the price of losing the life promised in the kingdom of heavens. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us….” at the Judgment Seat and will lose the great blessing of Matthew 5, the kingdom of heavens.
Changing His address in general; “blessed are they….” He now speaks directly to His Disciples before Him….“Blessed are YOU, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” The progression of spirituality is evidenced now in the personal ministry of those Christ-like. Ministers, who for His sake now give their lives purposefully. These He compares with prophets before. These He is more intimately revealed in. Those who have been sown into, who now are sown into the world. [Matthew 13:23,37,38] Wise ministers in these last days of apostasy should rejoice and be exceeding glad when they are persecuted for their faithfulness to the Word. [Acts 5:41; 1Peter 2:21] [CLICK LINK TO DOWNLOAD NOTES]