Summary: "Can’t we all just get along" is the social cry of the world. The fact is, we could all get along if we all walked in the light.
Text: Matthew 5:7-12
Subject: More Beatitudes
Title: Living With One Another
Last week we looked at the first beatitudes and if you look closely at them you can notice that the first four deal specifically with one’s relationship with God.
1. The poor in spirit recognize their spiritual bankruptcy in their own righteousness and turn to God’s righteousness in Christ Jesus.
2. Those who mourn do so for the sins of the nation as well as their personal sins and understand that sin separates us from God.
3. Meekness is our personal understanding of who we are in our own righteousness and recognition of our need to be changed by God. It is not to be confused with weakness for when we are meek we see our failings but firmly stand in the strength of God.
4. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness seek the bread of life and the living water that flows from God. They are not satisfied with just showing up at church but want to have a personal encounter with God every time they are in His house. A message in tongues and interpretation is something good for them but they realize that God wants to do more and they are totally dependant on Him and expect more every time they seek Him.
When we stop and consider the first word of every beatitude, we have to believe that God wants us to be blessed. It must be important to Him or else it wouldn’t have been repeated so much. What kind of blessings do we receive when we are blessed?
F.E. Marsh has enumerated some of God’s blessings:
An acceptance that can never be questioned. (Ephesians 1:6).
An inheritance that can never be lost (I Peter 1:3-5).
A deliverance that can never be excelled (2 Corinthians l:10).
A grace that can never be limited (2 Corinthians 12:9).
A hope that can never be disappointed. (Hebrews 6:18, 19).
A bounty that can never be withdrawn. (I Colossians 3:21-23).
A joy that need never be diminished (John 15:11).
A nearness to God that can never be reversed (Ephesians 2:13).
A peace that can never be disturbed (John 14:27).
A righteousness that can never be tarnished (2 Corinthians 5:21).
A salvation that can never be canceled (Hebrews 5:9).
The next four beatitudes deal more with our relationships with one another. They deal with mercy, purity, peace, and persecution. Because they deal with personal relationships in the physical realm does not separate them from the previous set of four. Actually, our relationships with one another are so closely tied to our relationship with God that they cannot be separated.
By understanding our relationships with one another we can better understand the relationship that God desires to have with us. Let’s look at the way God wants us to respond to one another.
I. Our blessed relationships with one another.
A. Verse 7: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”. What is mercy and what is its purpose? Webster’s dictionary says that, “mercy is compassionate rather than severe behavior towards someone in one’s power.” Mercy operates on two different planes: It offers forgiveness for the guilty. Stop and think about this. When was the last time that someone offended you and asked for forgiveness? Did you forgive them? Jesus went on to say at the end of Chapter 5, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Mercy provides compassion for the suffering and needy. Matthew 25:34-40, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ ‘Then the righteous will answer Him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothing and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” 1.Mercy does not wait for a situation to present itself to come forward. Mercy is a way of life. 2. The reward for showing mercy is not mercy shown by others in return but the mercy of God. 3. Our mercy is not something done to receive God’s mercy, but it is shown because of God’s mercy. Mercy follows perfectly with the context of the preceding verses. If we are meek we will be merciful. To be meek is to acknowledge to others that we are sinners totally dependent on God’s grace and mercy. To be merciful is to have compassion on others for they are sinners too!