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Summary: Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Beauty of Poverty

Matthew 5:3

The Sermon on the Mount: a new way of viewing how

one has a right relationship with God.

blessed=makarious (Greek)=supremely happy.

OUR secrets keep us from discovering THE secrets Jesus is revealing about how to gain supreme happiness.

Secret #1: Poverty is beautiful!

* What secret is Jesus revealing? There is wealth in humility

* What secret keeps me from being poor in spirit? Denial of my condition

“All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment.” Isaiah 64:6 HCSB

Denial is the #1 enemy of supreme happiness

“God—I can’t.”

The Beauty of Poverty

opener of someone who was desperate to find the secret of something; or a key to unlock

Turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 5. Now, beginning this morning, we are going to move away from using the NIV translation in the services and begin to use the Holman Christian Standard Bible (PIC). There are a lot of reasons why we are doing this and you will become aware of them throughout this year. But the primary reason is that it is a better translation, more exact than the New International Version, yet still very readable. If you’re looking for a good study Bible, the Holman Christian Study Bible is excellent. Now, if you have an iPad, (let’s have mine hooked up on my teaching table for them to see my screen), it has a great app for $?? That a links the study notes with the text like this….

This past May, 18 of us flew to Israel for an 11 day tour of the Holy Land. On the 3rd day there, we came to what is called the Mount of Beatitudes (PIC). This is where many believe that Jesus preached the greatest sermon of all time. MATTHEW 5:1 SAYS, “WHEN HE SAW THE CROWDS, HE WENT UP ON THE MOUNTAIN, AND AFTER HE SAT DOWN, HIS DISCIPLES CAME TO HIM. THEN HE BEGAN TO TEACH THEM.”

That word mountain is notable. MOUNTAIN: HIGHER PLACE. When we think of mountains, we think of the Rockies. But in biblical time, a mountain was a higher place; most of the time what we would call a hill. Rising up off the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus gathered the crowds together on a high place. The word DISCIPLE: FOLLOWERS. Sometimes the word refers to the twelve disciples, but many times it refers to those who were following. Here it refers to the crowds that were following Him.

And in what follows, Jesus lays out the principles and the values and His vision for a new kingdom & a new existence. THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: A NEW WAY OF VIEWING HOW ONE HAS A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

In His audience would have been people desperate to discover the secrets of kingdom living; of freedom living; of supreme happiness. They were poor, needy, disenfranchised, powerless, diseased, and trapped. But most importantly, they would have been people hungry to know how they could be right with God. Because the Pharisees did all they could to keep them in doubt about the issue. If the Pharisees could keep them in doubt about their relationship with God, then they had power over them.

In THIS audience today there are those who are desperate to discover the secrets of kingdom living; of freedom living; of supreme happiness. But there is someone who does NOT want you to discover those secrets. Yes, Virginia, there is a Satan, and he wants to keep you in doubt about your relationship with God; he wants to keep you from discovering the secrets of supreme happiness. Why? Because that gives him power over you.

When I was very young, my brother and I had bb guns and we’d go shooting birds in the woods at the edge of our house. On Saturdays we’d walk about ½ mile to an Army Surplus store and buy more bbs. One time my brother stole some bbs and I threatened to tell my parents. I promised not to reveal his secret if he would do some of my chores. If he ever balked, I’d just go get a pack of bbs and jingle the pack (need a pack of bbs), and he’d get the clue, do my chore for me, and I’d keep his secret. I had power over him as long as he wasn’t willing to come clean about his secret. When we hold on to our secrets, they have power over us.

Obviously, Jesus knows this. So He begins this great sermon with what is called the Beatitudes. Why the name The Beatitudes? Well, the earliest translation of the Bible was in Latin, called the VULGATE (4TH CENTURY A.D.) A man name Jerome took the Hebrew text and the Greek text and translated them into the official language of the day: Latin. So BEATITUDE=BEATUS (LATIN)=HAPPY, FORTUNATE, BLISSFUL That’s how it came to be known as the Beatitudes.

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