Summary: Third in my sermon series, Being the Believing! A series through the Beatitudes
There are eight beatitudes found in Matthew chapter five which are the start of the greatest sermon ever preached by the greatest Preacher that ever lived, Jesus Christ. They define and describe the responsibilities and expectations of the Christian and reveal the rewards for such a life.
Scholars have divided the eight beatitudes into two areas: the first four deal with our relationship TO God and the last four our relationship WITH each other.
1. First: if we have learned anything from the law (Judaism) it is that we lack the capacity to fulfil it and are void of the desire to complete it. This is the beauty in Christianity: all that God requires of us, He provides us with both the capacity to fulfil and the desire to complete. Culture after culture has tried to legislate morality, in other words blanket external resources over humanity, and hope they do good. This has always failed, it always will. Why? We simply lack the capacity and desire to do good, "As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." -Rom. 3:10-12
The beauty of the beatitudes is found in the division: The first four our relationship TO God and the last four our relationship WITH each other. In other words before God lays out His expectations for living FOR Him He reveals the capacity and desire come FROM Him. Perhaps the reason you have no power in your life is because you have no power in your life!
2. Secondly in this division of the beatitudes we find something else amazing the Christ has done. From the initial 10 commandments in Judaism there sprung over 600 commandments recognized today. Don't miss what Jesus Christ has done and the freeing beauty in the religion of Christianity. During the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ someone stepped up and asked Him "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets" Matt. 22:36-40. Did you get that? Jesus looked at Judaism with hundreds of complicated laws expected to be kept by an incapable humanity and basically said Love God and love each other¡KAnd, I will give you the capacity and desire to do it!
So, our first rung on the beautitudnal ladder, our first step in our relationship TO God was found in Matthew chapter 5 verse 3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." To start a relationship with God you must come to the place in your life where you need a relationship with God! "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Then, last week we read our second step in our relationship with God found in Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Once we discover that God loves us and surrender to that love by loving Him we hurt when He hurts. And, what hurts Him the most is when His creation sins against Him. So, we mourn over our sins and the sins of others because those sins hurt the very heart of the only One that has loved us with an everlasting love.
Now we come to the third of four steps in our relationship with God found in Matthew chapter five verse five, and when you find that verse, please stand in reverence to the reading of His Word.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
1. The rendition of meekness (what it is):
Let me define meekness by first stating what meekness is NOT. Meekness is not:
a) A lack of confidence or being wishy-washy: Meekness is not speaking of someone that is shy, withdrawn and goes with the flow of culture. Paul tells us that "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." -I Tim. 1:7. If anyone ought to be walking around with confidence and boldness, exhibiting power in their lives and demonstrating conviction, it should be the Child of the King!
b) Weakness: And, meekness is not speaking of someone that is a doormat to those around them. There are two reasons Christians allow others to dominate, control, manipulate or use them: The first are motivated extrinsically-these folks have been told for so long, by so many around them that they are worthless, no good and inferior that they now believe within themselves that they have no voice and no value. The second group is motivated intrinsically; these folks have a desire to be pushed around by others because they think meekness means weakness and that they are being weak for God. Paul says in Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Christ does not expect weakness for He Himself provides strength!