Summary: Introduction: A Saint & Sinner alike are familiar with these phrases, “Blessed are the . . . poor in spirit, those who mourn, gentle, those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted.”
The Beatitudes: Summer Sermon Series
Introduction: Setting Our Sights on the Super 8 (1 of 9)
June 7, 2015 CFBC Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A Saint & Sinner alike are familiar with these phrases, “Blessed are the . . . poor in spirit, those who mourn, gentle, those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted.”
1 These “blessed are” declarations are the preamble to arguably the most recognizable of Jesus’ teachings, The Sermon on the Mount.
a Even though this sermon is widely known, it is also perhaps the least understood (& obeyed) of all of Messiah’s teachings.
b The essential theme of the whole Bible from beginning to end is God calling out a people for Himself, set apart from the world to belong to Him, and be a “holy” or “different” people; it is our calling to be “different” than people who are not called/saved.
2 The beatitudes are as close to a Jesus manifesto (verbal declaration of intention, motives) as you’ll find concerning what He wanted His followers to be and to do.
a They are revolutionary, counter-cultural, radically transformational.
b The greatest sermon ever preached can be read in 15 minutes, printed on a single piece of paper; yet it has changed the world more than any other speech ever made.
aa Gandhi found nothing as rich in his 6,000 year-old Hindu tradition to equal it.
bb Even atheists, agnostics, & humanists testify to its greatness.
cc The world stares at in an ecumenical orgy of agreement of it; yet the whole world fails to follow it.
c The reason for failure to follow the Beatitudes is that they are ONLY for Christians, members who belong to the a very unique flock that God owns.
aa Without the life-changing power of Justification by faith, the Beatitudes are a list of ethics, ideas, morals.
bb Once a person has been saved, justified (which belongs to God alone), the justified person can begin to be sanctified/virtuous (which belongs to us and God.)
cc Virtue implies a mysterious power to accomplish something; that makes something real, have real effect, strength, potency, force. (IL. Flashlight without batteries is still a flashlight, but it doesn’t fulfill its purpose.)
dd Ethics without virtue is an illusion.
d James said it like this, “But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works . . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. " -James 2:18,26 (NASB)
aa We can’t just sit back and say, “God will work it all out. It’ll be okay!”
bb He’s not just called us, the sheep of His pasture, to wait upon Him, He’s called us to holiness, action, virtue.
e IL. Matt. 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth but if the salt has become tasteless (lost its virtue), how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing any more, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
aa Salt was used to cure meat (keep it wholesome), to prevent it from rotting (decaying) and if meat if properly cured it will keep indefinitely.
bb The Christian has been called to keep the world whole, prevent the rot/decay, to share the “cure” of the world’s sinful condition.
B This is how God put it to the people of Israel shortly after freeing them from Egyptian slavery: “Leviticus 18:2-4 (NASB)
2 "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'I am the LORD your God. 3 ~'You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes.4 ~'You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the LORD your God.
1 Note that the same six words begin & end this appeal, “I am the LORD your God” because He was their covenant God.
a IL. Simplification: “I am your daddy and you will do as I ask because I am your daddy.”
aa Israel, God’s Chosen People, were to follow His commandments, not the lead from the people around them.
bb Although Israel was called to be different, we see throughout history they forgot their uniqueness.
b Although Balaam said, “lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” Numbers 23:9b (KJV); in reality they kept assimilating into the people around them.
aa Other nations had kings, they demanded God give them a king to govern over them “like all nations.” (1 Sam. 8.20)