Summary: When Jesus gave His famous Sermon called the Sermon on the Mount, he started with explaining who the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven were. He did this by explaining whattheir characteristics are and then He told them what benefits they will receive.
(This sermon has been adapted from the Bible study of Mark A. Copeland and can be found at ExecutableOutlines.com, where permission is given to use and share this as long as it is free.)
Last week we did a broad overview of the Sermon on the Mount.
We first looked at the theme of the Sermon and we determined that the theme of the sermon is: The Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Then we looked at the Content of the sermon.
We divided it into different parts and subsections.
Following that we looked the difference between the phrase Matthew used namely “The Kingdom of Heaven” and the phrase the other gospel writers used namely “The Kingdom of God”.
We determined that it is indeed one and the same thing and that the reason Matthew used that phrase was because he wrote to the Jews.
They were reluctant to use the name of God and Matthew also wanted to emphasize the fact that this Kingdom was a spiritual one and not a physical one.
Lastly we looked at the different meaning for Kingdom.
This morning we begin to take a closer look at "The Sermon On The Mount,"
In Matthew 5 we notice first the section referred to as "The Beatitudes"
Let’s read it from
Matthew 5:3-12 KJV
(3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(4) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
(5) Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
(6) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
(7) Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
(8) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
(9) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
(10) Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(11) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
(12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
So what is Jesus saying in these verses?
We find that, in these verses, Jesus is discussing two things:
• He is discussing the blessedness of those who possess certain qualities.
• He is stating what benefits they receive as a result of the qualities they possess.
If we summarize it we can almost say that it is as if Jesus was answering two questions the people might have been asking:
• Who are the citizens of this kingdom of heaven?
• What benefits do they receive?
In discussing these passages of scripture I will first discuss each beatitude and will then move on to the benefits.
Meaning of Blessed
But before we go on let’s quickly look at the word Blessed as used in this scripture and determine the meaning of the word:
The English word “Blessed” is translated from the Greek word “makarios”, which means: Happy, Honored
But this is not just the normal happiness that is spoken about here.
This is God-given happiness that is experienced by Believers.
Let me tell you a truth: This happiness is not based on physical circumstances, but it is based on inner joy.
So we can say that this blessedness, this God-given happiness, is both
• a current attitude toward God and life
• It is also a hope for the future.
So as we read this scripture we can take the word “Blessed” and replace it with the phrase God-given Happiness.
Let me give you an example by replacing verse 3 with this phrase:
The poor in spirit has God-given happiness: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If you are truly blessed it means you have God-given happiness.
Answer this question for yourself:
Do I truly have God-given happiness?
Is my happiness based on inner joy rather than physical circumstances?
If your answer is yes then you can truly say you are blessed.
So now we know the meaning of the word blessed.
Therefore let’s first look at "The Beatitudes" from the viewpoint of the question:
WHAT IS THE CHARACTER REQUIRED OF THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN?
The first thing we need to understand is that only those who have ALL of these qualities that I am about to discuss are truly Kingdom of Heaven citizens.
Let me explain why:
• You cannot be poor in spirit but you do not hunger and thirst for righteousness.
• You cannot mourn, but not be pure in heart
• You cannot be meek but not a peacemaker
Do you understand why all these characteristics have to be present?