Summary: This is a series I preached on the Beatitudes.
Title: The Beatitudes Script: Mt. 5:1-5
Type: Expos. Series When: 1-14-18
Intro: Happiness is the great question confronting mankind today. The whole world is longing for happiness and it is tragic to observe the ways in which people are seeking it. The vast majority are doing so in a way that ultimately will only lead to misery. Anything which, by avoiding the difficulties, merely makes people happy for the time being, is ultimately going to add to their misery and problems. This is where the utter deceitfulness of sin enters in, always offering happiness, yet it always leads to unhappiness, to misery, and to wretchedness. Living in Iowa City, we have all seen the droves of young people on their way to the bars Thursday evenings. The provocative dress, the confident guy, the bar setting, the alcohol, the loud music and press of people all communicates a good time…until The Sermon on the Mount says: “If you want to be truly happy, here is the way! This and this alone is the type of person who is truly happy, who is truly blessed. (From Lloyd-Jones p.32)
Prop: Today we’ll examine the first 3 blessings that make up the Sermon on the Mount.
BG: 1. The Sermon on the Mt., Mt. 5-7, is the longest unbroken section of Jesus’ teaching in the Bible. 2. It was and is to this day, nothing short of revolutionary. It is a standard of behavior that is expected of all Christians and is the standard of behavior in the KOG. 3. “Beatitudes” – cover verses 1-12, roughly translated, means “How blessed.”
Prop: Exam the 1st 3 blessing that make up the SOM will show us the different life Xst wants for us.
I. The Blessing of Being Poor in Spirit. v.3
A. What does Jesus mean when He declares that the “Poor in Spirit” are blessed?
1. First, let’s deal with a couple of considerations often associated with the Beatitudes.
a. “Poor in Spirit” – one may think of a person who is beaten down by the world and its efforts to humiliate and dehumanize us. “Poor in Spirit” as Christ states here means: poor and unable to help one’s self. It is the first step in spiritual blessedness to realize one cannot help him or herself. This verse does not say: “Blessed are the poor.” , as some denominations teach. The poor man by nature of his poverty is no nearer to the KOG than the rich man speaking of their natural condition. There is inherently no spiritual merit or advantage in being poor. It does not give someone an artificial standing with God.
b. Let me being very clear from the outset, the SOM in general and the Beatitudes in particular are not arguing to two different levels of Christians or experience. This isn’t the “higher” life as some Protestant groups want you to think. This is to be the experience of ALL Christians. The RC Church “canonizes” certain people, not the New Testament! Read virtually any NT Epistle and you will see that the author writes to the “Saints” at that church: i.e. Corinth, Ephesus, etc. According to the Bible, if you are in Christ you are by virtue of the finished work of Christ, a saint! It never was intended that a handful of believers live on the height of Swiss Alps and the rest of us live proverbially on the plains of Indiana!
2. What does Christ say is the condition of this Christian?
a. “blessed” – Remember that this blessing, this being “fully satisfied” in Christ, comes to the one who is fully committed to Christ and is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The satisfaction is NOT due to the circumstances of one’s life, but rather, is due to the indwelling person of Xst in the life of the believer. You want a blessed life? Be fully committed to Christ! Playing church won’t do. Being partly committed won’t do.
b. People can be and are in fact happy because of positive circumstances in life: being asked out on a date, graduation from HS, acceptance to college, getting an apprenticeship, paying of a mortgage…. List can be endless. However, someone can only be blessed if he or she is in a right relationship with Christ and is honoring Jesus and His Word.
B. We need to think as God thinks so as to enjoy God’s Blessing.
a. There is an essential aspect of the Gospel that I feel must be reiterated today: “Conviction must always precede conversion; the Gospel of Christ will always condemn us before it releases us!” In some ways, I think that this Beatitude is the perfect definition of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith, consider it: “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” Illust: Right now, I want you to examine your soul. Are you regenerate? NOT do I profess Christ, but rather, “Am I poor in spirit?” Or, are we proud in our spirit? Do we look down on others? Are we critical and condemning? Are we confident in our own abilities and secure in our own service. If so we are PHARISEES! A white washed seplecure with rotten flesh and dead men’s bones inside. Woe unto you and me if we are PROUD in our spirit. We are deceived in our spiritual condition by the father of lies and our own stubborn hearts.