Summary: An 8 week series on the characteristics every Christian is called to possess as citizens of God’s kingdom.
Be- Attitudes January 15, 2006
Story: On a visit overseas, a wealthy man was fascinated w/ a powerful microscope that allowed him to study the petals of a flower. He was amazed at their beauty and detail, so he decided to purchase a microscope and take it home. He enjoyed using it until one day he examined some food he was planning to eat. Much to his dismay, he discovered tiny living creatures crawling in his food. Since he was fond of this particular food, he wondered what to do. He concluded there was only one option – he had to destroy the instrument that caused him to discover the distasteful fact. So he smashed the microscope! You might say, "How foolish!" But people do the same thing w/ God’s Word. It exposes their true nature so they try to destroy or ignore it.
Trans: Last week we began a study in Mt. 5 on the beatitudes – the attitude we are to be. Jesus offers (8) attitudes we’re to possess as citizens of His kingdom.
Verse: Read Mt. 5:1-10 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Mt. 5:4
Insert: We started our study by looking at the condition of our lives – we are poor in spirit (ptochos) spiritually destitute beggars. As we continue our study, we need to investigate the next logical step – mourning. It is one thing to be spiritually poor and acknowledge it; it is another to grieve and mourn over it.
Trans: There is a great need in the church today to cry instead of laugh. I say this b/c spiritual poverty should lead to godly sorrow. Unfortunately though it doesn’t always b/c we live in a world that’s constantly trying to convince us to shun mourning. The world’s says, “Forget your troubles, turn your back on them, do everything you can not to face them. Pain is bad; happy is good. Things are bad enough as they are w/out you going to look for trouble – so don’t worry, be happy.”
Note: The problem is that unless we grieve and mourn our sin and the sin of others, we will miss God and sin will gain a greater foothold on our lives.
Trans: Before we go any further, I want to remind you that Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the attitudes they are to possess as kingdom citizens. If our attitude determines our altitude then it also testifies to our disposition and determination. Let’s not forget that all of the beatitudes refer to a spiritual condition, and the beatitude of mourning shows the necessity of us coming face to face w/ our sin.
I The PROMISE
Word: Blessed (markarios) An inward contentedness unaffected by surrounding conditions whereby we’ll be approved by God and receive the applause of heaven.
Note: In particular, those who mourn over their sinful condition and of the sinfulness of others, God promises to comfort them through forgiveness and His Spirit.
II The CONDITION
Trans: There are (9) words in the N.T. for sorrow which reflects the commonness of mourning in a man’s life. Meaning, grief is woven into the fabric of the human condition. Yet of the (9) words used, Jesus uses the strongest word in this text.
Word: Mourn (pentheo) It represents the deepest, most heart-felt grief a man can experience. The word carries the idea of deep inner agony, expressed by outward weeping. It’s a word used for mourning for the dead and lamenting a loved one.
Note: Yet Jesus is telling His followers that we must mourn over the sinful human condition as we would for a death of a loved one. And when we do mourn over our sin and the sins of humanity, we will find comfort through His forgiveness.
Verse: Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and you joy to gloom. Humble yourself in the presence of God and He will lift you up. Jm. 4:8-10
Trans: This verse smacks in the face of the prosperity gospel. God says true faith isn’t found in prosperity but in humility/brokenness. David expressed in this in Ps. 51.
Verse: Wash me completely from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I confess my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in your sight… Purge me w/ hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit w/in me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not Your H.S. from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me w/ a willing spirit… For You do not desire sacrifice; or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Ps. 51