Summary: Following "brokenness" (Poor in Spirit) comes the natural response of "mourning."

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“Those who Mourn”

Matthew 5:4


The Sermon on the Mount is a Constitution -- guidelines.

The Beatitudes define TRUE HAPPINESS

The term “blessed” literally means “approved.”

True Happiness comes when one receives God’s approval.

The fundamental question that everyone who reads the Sermon on the Mount is faced with is, who’s approval will you seek? Will you seek man’s approval, or God’s approval?

Also, keep in mind that the beatitudes are not eight separate and distinct classifications of Christians. They are eight qualities that every Christian should display.

Last Week

“Poor in Spirit” -- we are spiritually bankrupt before a holy God -- as such, we are totally dependent upon Him.

This realization is what it means to be poor in spirit and it is the deepest form of repentance.

Trans: What is the natural response to this realization?


Those who Mourn

I. What it is not.

A. It is NOT the emotional response of one who has had a difficult time.

B. It is not groveling self-pity.

II. “Mourn”

A. There are NINE different Greek words for “sorrow/mourning.” The one used here is the most intensive.

1. It is the deepest, most heart-felt grief a person can experience -- like the loss of a child or spouse.

2. David’s mourning of Absalom -- 2 Samuel 18:33 --“The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!"

3. It carries the idea of deep inner agony.

B. Present Participle

1. Continuous Action

2. Those who continually mourn.

3. Fortunately, the reward is also present participle.

4. Therefore, those who continually mourn are those who are continually comforted.

C. But what are we to mourn?

1. We’ve already said that mourning is the reaction to the realization that we are spiritually bankrupt before God and as such we are totally dependent upon Him.

2. But what causes us to be spiritually bankrupt?What is the single cause of our bankruptcy?


III. Mourning over Sin

A. David experienced several levels of sorrow and mourning.

1. We’ve already seen David’s deep, heart-felt agony over the death of his son, but nothing broke his heart more than the realization of his own sin.

2. When a person mourns over their sin as they would the loss of a child or spouse or best friend, they have lived this beatitude.

B. Here is where we are met with a paradox. This beatitude COULD read “Happy are those who are sad.”

1. This level of mourning is said to bring about “happiness.”

2. Listen carefully: Nothing broke David’s heart more than the realization of his own sin, but at that very moment he found his greatest level of happiness.

a. That is why he recorded the 51st Psalm.

b. (Read some of the verses of his mourning)

c. Finally, in verse 15 he declares, “O Lord, open my lips,and my mouth will declare your praise.”

C. Our greatest level of happiness comes when we become sad over our sin.

D. Why?

1. Only those who mourn over their sins have their sins forgiven.

2. Sin and Happiness are incompatible -- where one exists, the other cannot. Until sin is forgiven, happiness is locked out (MacArthur).

3. David realized this.

Isaiah realized this “Woe is me...”

The publican realized this “God, forgive me...”

Paul realized this when he said in Romans 7, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? [25] Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24-25)

4. Paul’s sin brought him a deep agonizing sorrow, BUT that realization IMMEDIATELY brought him into the throne-room of God’s Grace. And being THERE brings TRUE HAPPINESS.

E. Do you see the paradox?

1. Our greatest level of happiness comes when we feel the worst about our sin because at that very moment we are comforted by the forgiving Grace of God.

2. John MacArthur says, “the mark of the mature Christian is not sinlessness, but a growing awareness of sinfulness.”

3. Unfortunately, too many Christians today don’t want to be told how “bad” they are, they want to be told how “good” they are. And that is why so many Christians are not living at the ultimate level of happiness.

4. It is a paradox! It is hard for us to comprehend. But it is a reality that Jesus teaches us in the Sermon on the Mount.

Do you want to experience happiness like never before?

Open your hearts to the realization that you are a sinner before a holy God, and immediately, the grace of God covers your sin and comforts you.

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