Summary: True Christian meekness, as preached by our Lord as part of the Beatitudes, can only grow in the soil of poverty of spirit and godly sorrow.
Scripture reading: Matt. 4:23 - 5:16
Text: Matt. 5:5
My text is Matt. 5:5.
Last time I preached on "Blessed are they that mourn."
I want to remind you of a few things before we look at our text.
Our Lord Himself is the speaker: therefore the greatest sermon ever preached.
He was the Lord of glory, the God-Man, the Logos, the Word of God.
It is the Manifesto of the King: it describes His subjects--those in His Kingdom.
None of these beatitudes are natural characteristics, but rather spiritual.
The whole sermon shows unity and progression. This progression can especially be seen in the Beatitudes.
Specific--i.e. the first two beatitudes
Let me remind you of the first two beatitudes.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit."--A description of every true Christian.
It is the realization that before a just and holy God we are totally bankrupt.
We have no righteousness of our own--"nothing in my hand I bring."
It is a WORK OF THE SPIRIT--a realization of my true state.
The Greek underlying "poor" indicates not mere poverty, but actual beggary--"Blessed are the beggars in spirit"--those who realize they have nothing and therefore are forced to cry out to God.
It is the cry of an Isaiah "Woe is me..undone..unclean lips."
It is the cry of a Job "Behold I am vile... I abhor myself and repent..."
It is the cry of a Paul "Oh wretched man...who shall deliver me?"
If you have never been there, you are still outside the Kingdom.
Therefore "poor in spirit" describes every true citizen of Heaven.
Mourning is the next logical step.
The "poor in spirit" of necessity becomes a "mourner in Zion."
This is why the mourning here is not any old mourning, but GODLY SORROW.
He who realizes his spiritual poverty necessarily weeps over it.
Therefore godly mourning characterises every true Christian.
Mourns his past sins, his present sinfulness and weakness, the sin all around him.
Our Lord was a "Man of Sorrows" and the true Christian follows His steps.
And so we saw also that one cannot be a Christian and not be characterised by godly sorrow.
Reminder of the meaning of "Blessed"
It means happiness--but the highest, holiest kind of happiness.
Not frivolity, not FUN.
It is that which characterises God Himself: 1 Tim. 1:11 "The happy God."
It has HOLINESS at its root.
It comes unbidden to those who live right--i.e. it cannot be purchased, earned.
Our text is REVOLUTIONARY--remember to whom He was speaking.
Jesus had announced the Kingdom, i.e. the King had arrived.
The Jews had carnal expectations of earthly power and dominion for their Messiah.
They thought of pomp, splendour, military might.
They must have thought there was some mistake--poor in spirit, mourners, meek?
Jesus WAS announcing a takeover--"shall inherit the earth"--but THE MEEK???
Meekness suggests lowliness of mind, humility, lack of self-assertion--how are these going to take over the world?
Once again, God’s ways are not our ways.
Not only revolutionary, but entirely RELEVANT.
How could it possibly be relevant to you and me tonight?
A man sits on a mountain and addresses a crowd of people almost 2,000 years ago.
It all seems so far away--surely it doesn’t apply to me at the dawn of the 21st century!
Nothing could be more relevant.
No question could be of more importance than this:
Do I possess Christian meekness?
Am I one of those meek ones of whom our Lord says "they shall inherit the earth."
Our Lord’s words are timeless--as pressing, as urgent, as relevant as they were to that crowd to whom they were spoken.
Not only is our text revolutionary and relevant, but it is RIGHTLY PLACED.
It is the third beatitude.
No way it could have been first or second--must be third.
Again it is a spiritual characteristic--the whole context shows that.
Just as the result of poverty of spirit = mourning or godly sorrow, so poverty of spirit and godly sorrow lead inevitably to meekness.
Our Lord is not talking about natural meekness.
Some people seem to be born with a certain meekness, lowliness of mind, attitude of non-resistance, let others walk over them--but that is not CHRISTIAN MEEKNESS.
This fruit does not grow on the tree of human nature in its native state--only from the nature of Christ implanted at the new birth.
So much by way of introduction.
I want us to examine Christian meekness. As we examine it, let us each ask ourselves the question: Do I possess this Christian Meekness?
As I said, it is relevant. Tremendous issues, eternal issues, turn on our answer to that question: Do I possess Christian meekness?
In order to answer that question, we first of all need to ask another question:
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN MEEKNESS?