Summary: Part 9 preaching through Matthew, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, covering the first of the Beatitudes.
Sermon-2/9/03-Matt. 5:1-3-Poor In Spirit/Dependance on God
The Sermon on the Mount-Vintage Christinianity-Taught on this passage more than possibly any other in the Bible-learn more and more each time.
When we look at the Christian faith as it is practiced today it can appear to be clouded by century’s of tradition, in vintage Christianity going back to the beginning.
Dictionary.com defines vintage as-of or relating to a vintage, characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal, classic.
So in vintage Christianity we are going to go back and look at the core, The way it’s supposed to be. Not what does our culture say it means to follow Christ, not what do I say, not what does our church say, but what did Jesus say it meant to follow Him. When Christ came He laid it out, very plainly how those who follow Him should live their lives.
Address some objections/ways people have mis-interpreted the Sermon on the Mount.
Primary problem is that some teachers have interpreted this entire sermon of Christ to the future. Look at the impossible standards of righteousness here and say that this is only applicable in the future, during the Millenium when Christ’s kingdom is established on earth. I’m sure some of you have even heard that teaching before.
As we begin 4 reasons why I believe the Sermon On The Mount is applicable for believers today.
1-no indication that it is for another age in the text
2-Christ taught these to His disciples who were not living in the Millennium
3-Many of the teachings become meaningless if they are applied to the Millennium (5:10-11, 43-44)
4-After His resurrection Christ commanded His disciples to teach others “everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
Christ began His ministry announcing "repent the Kingdom of heaven is at hand"
Natural questions on the heart of every Jew would have been, “Am I eligible to enter Messiah’s kingdom? Am I righteous enough to qualify for entrance?” The only standard of righteousness the people knew was that laid down by the current religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees. Would one who followed that standard be acceptable in Messiah’s kingdom?
The sermon showed how a person who is in right relationship with God should conduct his life.
And the most obvious thing should be as we look at Christ’s teachings here-it is impossible for any of us to live this way on our own. Any study of the Sermon on the Mount must bring us to the understanding that the only way we can live the life that Christ is calling us to is through Him, when we come to God through Christ and are indwelt by the power of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to control our lives, then and only then can we begin to live the kind of life that Christ outlines in the Sermon on the Mount, the kind of life that He tells us will lead to real happiness.
That is where Christ begins-Beatitudes
Series of 9 statements each beginning with “Blessed are…”
Blessed-blessed/happy/fortunate all at the same time Greek & Hebrew meanings, but all that is actually captured in our English word as well.
Origins of our word blessed-development of the English language
3 different words that sounded similar but had different meanings became our word for blessed
First-set apart, consecrated (Old English-blod (blood) set apart for God by a blood ritual
Second-speak well of someone or something-latin (benedicere)
Third-happy or joyful-Old English word-bliss
Here I believe that Christ is saying that when we live the holy/consecrated/set apart life that He is calling us to here, then and only then will we experience the happiness and contentment that God created us to enjoy. The Bible teaches us that holiness is the source of peace, satisfaction and contentment-all that we include in our word happy.
But once again-and this is the whole point of the first of the Beatitudes-it is impossible for any one of us to live this life-a holy life that Christ has called us to live- on our own.
Look at that as we dive into what it means to be poor in spirit
Understand the word that Christ chose here for poor.
Not simply someone who didn’t have much, that would have been the ordinary poor, (widow-Lk. 21) they at least had some resources they could use to take care of themselves, but the word Christ uses here was their word for the “begging poor”, used of those who had nothing.
The word literally means “to shrink, cower, or cringe” because someone who was a beggar would have been so humiliated to admit that they had nothing, that when they would beg they would crouch or cower as they held out their hand to ask for help.
So when Christ said Blessed are the poor in spirit He was saying “Blessed are the spiritual paupers, the spiritually destitute, the spiritually bankrupt ones”