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Summary: Introduction to the Beatitudes focusing on the description of all who have Kingdom attitudes.

“Blessed”

The Beatitudes

FCC – September 30, 2007

Text: Matthew 5: 1-2

Introduction: Today we are beginning a brand new sermon series based on the Beatitudes found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5. We are also going to begin introducing some concepts from Celebrate Recovery, which is a nation-wide Christ-centered recovery program. Each Monday at 6 pm folks are gathering at the church to pray and plan and we are prayerfully considering launching this important ministry in November. It is the providence of God that I would sit down in January, pray and plan for this year’s sermons feeling led to preach on the Beatitudes in October and November…at the same time God is prompting some in our church to start CR.

Starting next week we will hear Celebrate Recovery testimonies and learn 8 basic principles of Celebrate Recovery as we look at the Beatitudes. Let’s read the Beatitudes together this morning. As we read notice one word that is repeated over and over again. The word is “blessed.” Let’s read together:

Matthew 5:3-10 (NIV)

"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.

The Bible begins and ends with the idea that those who follow God are blessed. Let’s do a quick survey of God’s Word:

Genesis 1:22 (NIV) God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth."

Genesis 9:1 (NIV) Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.

Genesis 14:19 (NIV) and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.

Deut. 33:29 (NIV) Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places."

Psalm 1:1 (NIV) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

Psalm 32:1-2 (NIV) Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him

and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Rev. 14:13 (NIV) Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

Rev. 22:7 (NIV) "Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book."

The Message puts the first two verse of Matthew 5 this way: Matthew 5:1-2 (Msg)

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said…

Wow. That’s what I want to be…one of Jesus’ climbing companions. I want to lead us up the mountain where Jesus first taught these powerful Kingdom word. So this morning, let’s begin by looking at what this word, “Blessed” means for us. For followers of Jesus, blessed means:

1. We are fully satisfied. Some translations use the word happy for blessed. That’s not a bad word except that in our day, happiness is so tied to our circumstances and our moods. The root word for happiness is ‘hap’ which we get our word happenstance. Jesus is talking about something much deeper than our moods or feelings. Happiness is not the best word to use here.

Life Application Notes: “Each beatitude tells how to be blessed. “Blessed” means more than happiness. It implies the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God’s kingdom. The Beatitudes don’t promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. To Jesus, “blessed” means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances. To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.”

If you look up the word “Blessed” in a Greek dictionary, you will find the word, “makarios,” which means ‘fully satisfied’ and refers to the joy that comes from salvation. We usually think of being blessed as getting more and more, when Jesus simply meant that in Him, we will be blessed or fully satisfied.

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