Summary: What a topsy-turvy kingdom the kingdom of God is! Its priorities and attitudes seem comletely opposite to our inclinations and earthly ways. This is a sermon about Kingdom Attitudes.
Kingdom Attitudes Mt 5:1-12 WBC 14/3/4am
Mention: the Passion of the Christ. Be praying about who to invite. Video Clips next Sunday. Our Easter Services will focus on it
Interesting introduction: Jesus went up… sat down… opened His mouth (NIV ‘began to teach’)
- us: ‘well, yeah… AND!”
But it’s really like a 3 fold rum roll to get your attention:
- are you ready for this? Don’t miss this!
- Are you sitting comfortably (Rabbi’s sat to teach).
- Then I’ll begin: the Word of God is about to speak into your life
It’s a message to ALL (crowd, 7:28)- not just the 12… about the attitudes of the Kingdom of God (heaven)
= the rule of God, where things are done His way
- these are His attitudes
This is the toughest stuff, ever!
- Xianity is not for wimps. The sermon on the Mount is not for wimps
o (many love it but don’t KNOW it!)
1st things you realise is: “I can’t do this!”
- at all… on own
= part of its purpose
- can only attempt it with God
- it builds reliance on God
- shows God’s standards- perfection
o so even the ‘law perfect Pharisees’ aren’t good enough- and, like us, need God’s grace
2nd things is- this is a topsy-turvy kingdom
- not like… opposite to… the kingdom of this world
o has us acting differently
o sees things differently
the key thing it wants you to see differently is ‘blessing’
- now, unfortunately, we’ve got the wrong handle… used the wrong handle… for centuries here
- traditionally called the Beatitudes – from Latin Beatus- which means blessed/blessing
o “yeah, that’s right, blessed are the…!”
would be okay if the word here MEANT blessed!
- if it were blessed, then the Gk word would be eulogetus (like Eulogy- to bless, praise, make happy. Equiv of Hebrew barak)
o which- if it were would cause me a problem in this context because it just aint true:
“happy are the poor in spirit?”
• “those who are martyred, persecuted?”
Nope- it’s not eulogeo/eulogetus- blessed/happy
- it’s macarios (“I thought so!”, I hear you say)
- no, seriously- this is important. THIS word means fortunate, well off, approved, to be envied
get your heads around this one… this topsy-turvy principle of God’s Kingdom:
- if something… anything… happens in your life to make you realise you need God… to draw you to God
o you are fortunate. Well off. To be envied
- because- your eternal destination, wellbeing and blessing has been secured
o whereas others … who have had so much… only have the rewards of THIS life
that’s nothing to be sneered at- but infinity is infinitely better
Illustr: remember realising this at UKC. Who’s the fortunate ones, then?
Do you understand? OUR kingdom… THIS kingdom… puts priorities the wrong way around- as though this is all there is!
- God’s kingdom, God’s ways, are different. Eternity is prioritised. What WE think a curse can often be a blessing
ISA 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
ISA 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
And here’s the first group of fortunate people in Jesus’ eyes… the KOG
FORTUNATE ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
Not the financially destitute, materially poor, poor-spirited (those who lack courage), poor self-image (these things need healing, not affirming)…
… or external piety ‘I’m ever so humble’
ISA 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says--
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
"I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
= fortunate are those who are humble enough to know they need God
- that they are spiritually poor without Him
- that they need saving!
If you like= stage one of finding faith
‘Apart from me you can do nothing’
- certainly not save yourself
- certainly not keep these kingdom attitudes
(Sermon on Mt removes all self-grandeur, self-delusions. Grounds us in our need for God)
Yeah! Fortunate! Theirs IS the KOG/H
FORTUNATE ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
Not those who mope, moan, are morose.
- that horse has such a long face it must be a Christian!”
- Nothing fortunate about such attitudes, or the grief that comes from self-pity
What do kingdom people mourn about?
- the brokenness of the world… others
- “Oh God, how long?!” Their cry goes up
- those we’ve lost
- our own failings
Yes! Fortunate… but pained