Summary: In the Beatitudes Jesus lays out the road to true happiness, not the happiness that the world promises but the happiness, fulfillment and contentment that can only come as we live as God created us to live. This message covers the second of the Beatitude
The Road to Happiness-Matt. 5:4
Sermon On The Mount- Vintage Christianity we are going to go back and look at the core, The way it’s supposed to be.
Not what does our culture say it means to follow Christ, not what do I say, not what does our church say, but what did Jesus say it meant to follow Him.
When Christ came He laid it out, very plainly how those who follow Him should live their lives. That’s what we want to get back to.
Jesus begins with laying out the road to happiness. Not happiness as the world defines it, but true happiness, fulfillment that can only come as we life the life we were created to live.
Jim Carrey interview from ReligionNewsBlog:
Q: Does the spirituality provide some refuge from the pressures of Hollywood?
A: It’s been incredibly helpful. I used to think that the parts I did or the fame would define me and someday complete me. After a while, I understood that those things could be crossed off the list of things that will do that. I wish everybody fame and fortune so they can cross it off the list and move on to something else.
Someone who from the worlds perspective has it all– and he is saying this isn’t it. It’s something else-hasn’t found it yet, but here Jesus lays it out.
Last week saw it starts with our realizing our dependence on Him-poor in spirit, to come to him must first realize our need for him, our spiritual bankruptcy without him.
So Christ started with our attitude toward ourselves. Next he addressed our attitude towards our sins.
Vs. 4-Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
1. God blesses those who mourn.
Often confused by this-
-not the mourning over the loss of a loved one, but mourning over the loss of our innocence, our righteousness and our self respect-the sorrow over sin that leads to repentance
This is the natural progression from recognizing our spiritual bankruptcy to mourning over our lost condition. Experiencing godly sorrow leading to repentance because we recognize that we come to Him with nothing.
So Christ calls us to mourn over our spiritual poverty.
This obviously happens in the lives of all who desire to follow Christ, recognizing our need for Him and repenting of our sin is where we all have to start when we come to Christ. But this is also something that must continue on in our lives after we have come to Christ. In the same way that we have to continually recognize our need for God our dependence on Him, we must also continually mourn over the sin in our lives.
This morning I want to help us see the difference between being poor in spirit and mourning over our sin. Because it is one thing to recognize our spiritual poverty and acknowledge that before God, but it is something more to grieve and mourn over that.
Recognizing our poverty is the intellectual side, & we’re good at that part, as conservative, protestant evangelical Christians we’ve mastered the art of intellectualizing our faith. but that is not enough. The great commandment wasn’t just Love God with all your mind. It is love God with all that you are heart, soul, mind and strength. Emotions, intuition, intellect, and body.
Today we live in a holistic world: internet search for holistic. 4 years ago 1.4 million hits. Thursday about 33,000,000. From holisitic medicine, holistic design, holistic dog food, holistic horses, holistic aromatherapy, dentistry, to food. Today the church must provide a place for a holistic spirituality--we have been called to follow Him as whole persons-Love with heart, soul, mind and strength.
In repentance we must come to him emotionally broken as well. The word that Christ used here for mourn was the strongest of the 9 Greek words for sorrow used in the New Testament. Same word used of Jacob’s grief when he thought Joseph was dead (Septuagint). Word used of the disciples mourning for Jesus before they knew He was raised from the dead. (Mark 16:10)
Our emotional response to our need for God, our being poor in spirit must be that deep Mourning over our own sins and the sins/evil in the world-
Examples from scripture
Christ mourned over the city of Jerusalem Luke 19:41-44
“And when He drew near and saw the city he wept over it saying, “would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation”