Summary: How would you describe what a Blessed life looks like in the 21st century.
Stepping up to Blessedness
May 26, 2013
How would you describe what a Blessed life looks like in the 21st century.
Bryan Wilkerson came up with these 21st century Beatitudes
* Blessed are the rich and famous, because they can always get a seat at the best restaurants.
* Blessed are the good-looking, for they shall be on the cover of People magazine.
* Blessed are those who party, for they know how to have fun.
* Blessed are those who take first place in the division, for they shall have momentum going into the play-offs.
* Blessed are the movers and shakers, for they shall make a name for themselves.
* Blessed are those who demand their rights, for they shall not be overlooked.
* Blessed are the healthy and fit, because they don't mind being seen in a bathing suit.
* Blessed are those who make it to the top, because they get to look down on everyone else.
Bryan Wilkerson, in his sermon "The Heartbreak Gospel," www.preachingtoday.com
SERMON ON THE MOUNT
They may have been preached as one message. A detailed synopsis of his teaching.
5 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying: . . .
* neither an impractical ideal
* nor a set of fixed legal regulations
* An epitome of the teachings of Jesus
* kingdom focused, its subjects and their life
* a statement of the principles of life essential in a normal society
* Held the first place of attention and esteem among the sayings of Jesus
* Condemnation is addressed against the self-satisfied religious teachers and their religious formalism.
SERMON ON THE PLAIN
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: . . .
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said: . . .
* The Gospel of Luke has been called the social Gospel because of its sympathy with the poor and its emphasis on the duty of kindliness of spirit.
* This social interest is especially prominent in the Sermon. Here the Beatitudes deal with social differences.
* Condemnation is addressed to the rich and their unsocial spirit are the subject of the woes.
* There is a social bearing to the Beatitudes.
Themes: We'll be exploring
The following are some of the leading ideas and principles underlying and expressed in the Sermon:
(1) Character is the secret of happiness and strength.
In the Latin church beatitudo was used not only as an abstract term denoting blessedness, but in the secondary, concrete sense of a particular declaration of blessedness and especially of such a declaration coming from the lips of Jesus Christ.
Begins with the Abrahamic Blessing
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
Men of the qualities described in the Beatitudes are called "blessed." Happiness consists, not in external blessings, but in the inner poise of a normal life. The virtues of the Beatitudes are also the elements of strength. Humility, self-control, purity and loyalty are the genuine qualities of real strength. Men of such qualities are to inherit the earth because they are the only ones strong enough to possess and use it.
(2) Righteousness is grounded in the inner life.
6 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.