Summary: Jesus presents a clear description of what it is followers are to be like internally and how they are to live outwardly in the Sermon on the Mount
Continue series on SOTM- Mtt 5-7- Called to Suffer.
SOTM begins w/beatitudes-last time-looked at 1st four
Lets review the beatitudes (slide for each one)
Clarify something I said about the 3rd beatitude-
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. V5
Talked about- individually, we are more concerned w/justifying ourselves rather than edifying others.
Corporately, the church is better at organizing against some injustice- than demonstrating God’s love.
While trying to present some examples, some thought I said- all environmentalist were going to hell.
I was not trying to send all environmentalist to hell.
I was trying to illustrate how the church does not always demonstrate God’s love to the world.
Introduction- looking at- Beatitudes Mtt 5:1-12
Beatitudes are more about what God wants to do in us, than what God wants us to do.
Blessed are- God- not talking about what makes us feel happy- but, what He thinks of the man/woman
who lives the life of the beatitudes.
Such a person is blessed in God’s eyes.
Fifth Beatitude- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. V7
Mercy- compassionate, not just having pity, but demonstrating true, active, compassion.
A compassion that motivates us to action.
Jesus does not tell us who to be merciful towards.
Is he thinking of people who experience tragedy?
30 Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.
33 "But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion … NASU
Or could it be mercy directed towards those who are hungry, sick, outcasts of society?
Perhaps He is referring to those who wrong/offend us-
… justice cries out for punishment but mercy for forgiveness. John Stott
God is a God of mercy, who continually shows mercy.
It is appropriate therefore that the citizens of His Kingdom would also show mercy.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. V7
This does not mean that if I demonstrate mercy, I now deserve mercy- that somehow I have earned it.
We find a similar principle concerning forgiveness …
Mtt 6:14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. NASU
Forgiving others does not earn God’s forgiveness.
What motivates us to forgive is the knowledge that we have been forgiven.
Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. NASU
I cannot receive the forgiveness/mercy of God, unless I repent of my sins, likewise.
I cannot claim to have repented of my sin if I continue to be unforgiving/unmerciful towards others.
We forgive because we have received forgiveness.
We extend mercy because we have experienced mercy
One earmark of revival- when people recognize their own spiritual poverty- need of forgiveness/mercy.
This in turn will lead them to the demonstration of God’s love and mercy towards others.
For to be meek is to acknowledge to others that we are sinners; to be merciful is to have compassion on others, for they are sinners too. John Stott
As Jesus said …
Lk 6:36 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. NASU
Sixth Beatitude- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. V8
“The blessed” in this beatitude- not the emotionally pious, nor intellectually astute, but- pure in heart.
In- Bible- heart is the center of man’s personality.
19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
20 "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." NASU
Purity of heart must never be confused with outward conformity to rules, but rather …
what do you think about in your mind?
to what do you pay consistent allegiance to?
what do you want more than anything else?
what or whom do you love?
to what extent are your actions/words a cover up for what is really in your heart?
The purity referred to here is an inward purity first, that works itself into the way we live outwardly.
Psa 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. NASU
Psa 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me. NASU
Jesus addressed with the Pharisees their obsession with external, outward purity …
Lk 11:39 But the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. NASU
As we look at the SOTM, we will see God desiring a heart-righteousness over a rule-righteousness.