Summary: Citizenship is a hot topic today. What is a legal citizen and what is an illegal alien? Can you believe that Jesus addressed citizenship in the beatitudes?

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This message is an edited version of a sermon given at Loving God Fellowship. Copyright © 2007 Loving God Fellowship, Inc. . You are encouraged to share this message with those you know that are hungry for God’s Word.

What Citizenship is All About

The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached Series

By Greg Johnson

Matthew 5: 3-12

Jesus Christ is the greatest person that has ever walked this earth and He preached the greatest sermon ever preached. It has been titled The Sermon on the Mount and it spans three chapters in Matthew beginning with chapter 5. In this series that I’m titling “The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached” we will be looking in detail at this sermon given by Jesus.

The Sermon on the Mount holds the same significance for the new covenant as the giving of the Law had for the old covenant. As Christ followers, we need to spend a lot of time knowing and understanding The Sermon on the Mount as it outlines the basic principles of life in the Kingdom of God in which Christ followers are citizens.

Jesus starts by defining the character of Christ followers in what is called The Beatitudes. Jesus said (Matthew 5:3-12 NIV) ""Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {4} Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. {5} Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. {6} Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. {7} Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. {8} Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. {9} Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. {10} Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {11} "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. {12} Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

In future messages we will be looking at each of these blessings, but today let’s look at the people described, the qualities of their character, and their blessings that they receive by God’s Grace.

The People Described

The people described here are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Their citizenship is not of this earth. That which gives them citizenship in God’s Kingdom is Christ and what Christ did for them at the cross. They are not righteous but they are justified or declared righteous through their faith in Jesus Christ. They have fallen at the foot of the cross and they have lost their life for His life that is eternal. On this earth, they take up their cross and they follow Jesus with total abandonment. They are Christ followers. The world is behind them and the cross is before them. Though none go with them, still they follow with their eyes fixed on Jesus who for the joy set before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2).

Please know that there are not groups of Christ followers that have some of these qualities and not the others. There are not some that are poor in spirit and others that mourn but are not poor in spirit. The eight qualities are given to every Christ follower. That is the idea that Jesus is projecting here.

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