Summary: Final message in Approved series through the Beatitudes explores the idea of being persecuted for righteousness sake.
Suffering for Jesus • Matthew 5:10-12
Two Common Approaches re: Suffering for Jesus: Too Light-hearted about it…
Confuse Temptation and Trials with persecution…
Introduction: Persecution is more about our spiritual preparation than it is about our personal situations.
Transition: This APPROVED series & the Beatitudes provides a complete portrait of a Kingdom disciple. V3 spiritual bankruptcy v4 spiritually broken v5 meek in all relationships v6 hungers for righteousness & longs to grow v7 not withdrawn showing mercy to those battered by adversity & sin v8 pure in all things v9 role of peacemaker now we come to the reality that the Kingdom Disciple is often times not thanked for his efforts, but rather opposed, slandered, insulted, persecuted on account of the righteousness of Christ for which we stand.
I. A RESTRICTION is provided. (persecuted for righteousness)
Those determined to live as Jesus lived. Persecution can take many forms… in our country ridiculed by family, viewed as an outcast by family… physical…
This is the 2nd bookend to our inclusio… from v 3.
Not promised for being a nuisance or just difficult or foolish or even insulting to non-Christians… This beatitude becomes maybe the most searching of all b/c if the disciple of Jesus never experiences any persecution at all, it may be fairly asked where righteousness of Christ is being displayed in their life…
II. A REJECTION is promised
Righteousness condemns by implication…
Righteousness either repels or attracts…
3 Promises from the New Testament
1 John 15:18-27 – partnership w Father/Son/Holy Spirit
2 Philippians 1:27-30 – privilege of the faith
3 2 Timothy 3:10-12 – promise from Scripture
(Paul – Antioch, Iconium, Lystra Acts 13-14)
III. A REJOICING is proclaimed (imperative verb)
3 Insights (v 11-12)
1 Persecution is the result of Christ being primary and our selves being secondary
2 Persecution fuels faith in Christ both in us and others
3 Persevering through persecution requires Kingdom perspective
IV. A REWARD is prepared.
Reward to the Kingdom Disciple is not crowns… not character building… not conversions (although these are all results)… the reward is Christ & His glory!
Illustration – First believer in Cambodia & his persecution but more importantly His perspective re: Glory of Christ