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Summary: First message of six in a series exploring the Beatitudes. Overview message of Matthew 5:1-12.

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INTRODUCTION

ABOUT THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT…

I. The Setting

CONTEXT: 1st of 5 great discourses in Matt. 5-7;10;13;18;24-25. Matt. Establishes Jesus as the Messiah (1-2). Obedient Son of God by baptism of John Baptist (3). Temptation (4) & begins ministry (4). Sermon on Mount is Matthew’s way of allowing readers to hear what He has been teaching the crowds. S.O.M. is 1st close-up picture of Jesus in our NT.

CROWD: Mt 4:23. Both His preaching & healing attracted ppl. “Disciples” is not just a ref to the 12 or even committed believers but can simply refer to one learning at this time. Jesus has a smaller “crowd” of “disciples” who followed him and he begins to tch them. Confirmed by Matt. 7:28.

CLASSROOM: Jesus arrived at his chosen location and “sat down.” Traditional position for a tchr in a synagogue or school unlike today. 5:2 is adds his deliberateness and brings a sobering tone to what He is about to share.

II. The Significance

COMPOSITION: Matt. 5,6,7. 3 Chapters. 107 verses. Best-known part of Jesus’ teaching. Shared in one setting w/ no commercials. Only found in Matthew & Luke’s Gospels. The great theme = Kingdom of Heaven. Other NT writers often times use the phrase “Kingdom of God.” Same concept but Matthew was Jewish and because of reverent fear avoids using the Name of God (felt it was too holy, too exalted) even in writing.

CONTENT: Over the next few months, we will share together series of messages exploring the S.O.M. Beatitudes. Matthew 5:17-48 – Jesus ushers a new way of thinking… Kingdom thinking… “you have heard that it was said… but I say to you…” Matt. 6 – tread lightly… Lord’s Prayer… Worry/Trust… Matt 7 warnings… choices… Jesus was teaching those following Him what God desires from His followers.

Today’s Message: You Have Been Approved!

MATTHEW 5:1-12

Letter in the mail – You have been approved. Trash. Spam. Skeptical of approval messages. Many have been heavily influenced by the world’s definition of approval.

ILLUSTRATION: BRENT MUSSBERGER & KIRK HERBSTREIT from College Gameday... Fickle... outward approval… circumstantial… shift their opinion based upon who has momentum in the game...

If we aren't careful our understanding of approval is affected by what we have seen and experienced...

MEANING OF BLESSED: Blessed = transliteration of Beatus (bay-atoos) used for blessed, happy, Saint. GRK = makarios. English = blessed or happy. To be “blessed” fundamentally = to be approved or to find approval. Man blesses God form of praising God. God blesses man… act of grace… condescension.

By way of introduction, let’s take a look at the Beatitudes as a whole before we begin to look at each one in detail. As we do so…

THREE DISCOVERIES FROM THE BEATITUDES

I. We discover the PICTURE of His people.

- Beatitudes reveal a portrait of Christ and thus those who follow Him. MT 5:48 – you must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect

- Each of the 107 verses in these 3 chapters illuminate not only the norms of Kingdom people but the transformation that Christ makes within the lives of His people.

- These are not 8 characteristics that are possible, they are essential marks of a person who is being transformed by Christ

- We must be careful to not generalize passages like this. E.G. Spiritual gifts list… we know we receive 1-2 but not all. The Beatitudes are not a multiple choice list. I know often times my tendency is to create a checklist. 5 of 8 isn’t bad. Look at so & so. Compare ourselves to others. Beatitudes compares us with Christ and bc of His transforming power at work in us we see the PICTURE of HIS PEOPLE.

II. We discover the CONTRAST of Kingdoms.

- Theme Kingdom of Heaven contrasted with kingdom of world.

- There is not a single paragraph in the S.O.M. in which we do not find a contrast BT Christ’s Kingdom and His expectations & the worlds.

- Notice 2 of the Beatitudes promise the same reward. 5:3,10. To begin and end with the same expression is a style of writing called an “inclusio.” Means everything bracketed between the two can be included in one theme, Kingdom of Heaven.

- Qualities listed are not qualities that are desired by most in our world. Poor… mourners… meek… hungry & thirsty…merciful…pure in heart…peacemakers…those persecuted. JOHN 18:36a

- Contrast is not external but internal. Jesus illuminating for His followers - His transforming work begins in the heart of a person & works its way out.

ILLUS. Choosing of david. 1 Samuel 16:7. Lord does not look at things man looks at…

III. We discover the REFLECTION of redemption.

- We are going to look at each of these over the course of the next 6 weeks.

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