Summary: Part two of the beatitudes describing our relationship with others as instructed in the final four beatitudes by Jesus.
Title: A series on the Beatitudes of Jesus (Part II)
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-12
[ILLUS: Helen at the checkout at Walmart.]
A man got saved one Sunday night and before he left the service he spoke to the CO about how the other men were going to receive him at the lumber camp (he was a logger). The following Sunday, he came back to church not seemingly to look any worse for the wear. During the testimony meeting he talked about how he got saved Sunday past and wondered how he would be received at the logging camp. He went on to say things went much better than he expected. In fact, the men didn’t notice anything different about me. I don’t think they even found out I got saved.]
As we discussed this morning there are to be some major differences between those who profess Christ as Saviour and those who don’t. You ask: what differences should there be between believers and nonbelievers?? They are listed in point form in what we call the beatitudes in Matthew 5.
The noted the first 4 had to primarily deal with our relationship with God, whereas the final four deal primarily with our relationship with others. Remember you can only learn how to properly deal with others, after you have your relationship with God in order. In other words, the 1st four deal with what it means to be a Christian, the 2nd four deal with how a Christian ought to behave. In the first four the focus is on the person’s need. In the later ones, the focus is the person’s responsibility.
5. BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL: (v. 7 – READ)
The first work that is required of the Christian is that of mercy, not piety or religion, but mercy. Mercy is a sense of pity plus a desire to relive the suffering. In other words, mercy = pity + action. Therefore, just to be emotionally moved by a story or event is not being merciful. Those who take pity and don’t act are like the saying “Too heavenly minded to be of any earthly value.”
[ILLUS: Good example - The Good Samaritan. Luke 10:25-37 – review story.]
[APPL: When we give our lives to God, our view of ourselves and others changes in such a way that we not only see people as people BUT we see them as individuals who desperately need to be saved of their sin. You see people as being victims of satan and his tactics. Our attitude should be like that of the Good Samaritan, who acted w/o judgment BUT with great love and mercy.]
Scripture says that those who are merciful will be shown mercy. It is almost like the measure by which you show mercy to others, God will also show mercy to you. Just as much as we need the merciful hand of God each day, likewise we need to extend our merciful hand toward others.
6. BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART: (v. 8 – READ)
This beatitude shifts our attention from charity to purity; from practical Christianity to internal holiness.
What is meant by the heart? We discussed last week that God is only interested in your heart. If one contains purity of heart then it’s almost a guarantee that the rest of him/her is pure as well. The opposite is also true: if a person’s heart is impure then you can be sure so is the rest of him.
Jesus said in scripture: “He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’”
What kind of internal purity does Jesus have in mind? A pure heart is a heart without defilement or contamination. The word “pure” literally means clean. A pure heart is a clean heart that is free from dirt. But purity is more than the absence of dirt. It is also the presence of good things. Paul says that we must fill our minds with Christ.
Because each and every day we are being bombarded with the filth of this world. Therefore, it is necessary to as much as possible to stay away from such harmful and impure activities.
[APPL: Is it realistic for you and I to even think it is possible to be pure? I’ll say one thing: in the world in which we live it certainly is not easy…
Ø TV programs exploiting sexuality and the family unit,
Ø Peer pressure to conform to the world standards,
Ø Global erosion of morals and values (starting at government levels),
Considering the type of person you are and the world that bombards you – is it possible for you to have a pure heart? ABSOLUTELY!!! HOW??? We can never do it on our own. Is can only be possible through the grace and mercy of God.]