Summary: The Beatitudes are markers of growth for the Christians.
How many of you want to live a blessed or happy life?
Today we are going to start a series on what many have called the greatest teachings that have ever been taught.
What Jesus gives to us here is a pathway to being blessed or happy.
What is the world’s formula for “blessings” or “happiness”? In most cases the world’s formula for happiness is just the opposite of what Jesus taught and what He teaches us in this sermon. Who better to give the formula to happiness than Jesus, the author of giver of life?
Most of the beatitudes are paradoxical, being the very reverse of the world’s view. For those who have put these to the test, there is no question that God’s way to blessings and happiness is the best way.
This is the beauty of Jesus teachings, it is like when Jesus said in Matthew 16:25 that whoever wishes to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. To the skeptic, that statement does not make sense. To the skeptic, Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:1-12 does not make sense either.
In Matthew 5:1-12 we find what has been called “The Beatitudes.” The word “beatitude” comes from a Latin word that means, “blessed” or “happy”. In this section of Matthew, Jesus gives to us the formula to spiritual bliss and spiritual prosperity.
As we delve into this passage we will see a progression of thought. One step seems to build on another.
What we find in this passage is attitudes that Jesus expects people of the Kingdom to strive to possess. Jesus wants all of His children to live in a state of blessing. With each corresponding attitude or action, a blessing follows.
Today I want us to look at the path that Jesus has laid out for citizens of heaven.
I. POOR IN SPIRIT V3
This is the first step involved in growing in Christ. READ VERSE 3. Being poor in spirit is recognition on our part that we are missing something very valuable in our lives.
Another way of reading this verse is, “Blessed is the man who has realized his own utter helplessness, and who has put his whole trust in God.”
On the surface this does not make sense. How many people want to be spiritually poor?
When we are poor in spirit we understand that we have a need, an emptiness within us that only a relationship with Jesus will fill.
In the book of Revelation, the bible tells us that the church at Laodicea did not have this awareness and they were condemned because they thought they had no spiritual need.
REVELATION 3:17-18 says about this church, ’Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
A good example in the Bible of someone who was poor in spirit is found in Luke 18:9-14. READ and EXPLAIN
This is where many people fall short; they feel that they are a good person, so they do not need God. This is why for many people they have to hit bottom before they come to Jesus. It takes them hitting bottom before they realize just how poor in spirit they are.
Jesus says that those who are poor in spirit will have the opportunity to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. They will have the opportunity to be a part of the Church now and later when the church is taken up into heaven as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-29)
II. MOURNING OVER SIN V4
There are many people who start to recognize a need for Jesus, but you cannot stop there. The next step that comes after recognizing your need is that we mourn over our sin against God.
READ VERSE 4
This verse could be written as John MacAurthur writes, “Happy are the sad.” How many people are happy when they are sad? The paradox of the second beatitude is obvious. What could be more self-contradictory than the idea that the sad are happy, that the path to happiness is sadness, that the way to rejoicing is in mourning?
The mourning that takes place happens because of the recognition of our spiritual poverty and by the fact that we understand that the path we have been going is the wrong one.