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Beatitudes Part 2

Character: A Reflection of the Heart  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: Review previous lesson
Humility
Spiritual Sorrow
Meekness
Hunger and Thirst
Notice that Jesus was not instructing his followers to act a certain way, but rather he was informing them to be a certain kind of person. He was not telling them to act humble, or act repentant, or pretend to be meek, or to put on a false righteousness. That is where the Pharisees excelled and Jesus called them whitewashed tombs.
Matthew 23:27 NKJV
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Character is not about acting a certain way it is about who you genuinely are on in the inside.

Merciful

The same thing goes when Jesus speaks of mercy.
Matthew 5:7 NKJV
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 5:
Mercy is an inward attitude not just a way in which we act, and when you genuinely approach life and life’s situations with an attitude of mercy it exhibits itself with kind word and actions towards those who do not deserve it.
Matthew 12:34 NKJV
Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
Each character quality found in the Beatitudes rounds out and perfects the others. In order for someone to be merciful a person must recognize that they are spiritually poor. Someone who realizes that they are spiritually poor will then be merciful towards others who are also spiritually poor. A person who mourns over their own sin will be more merciful with others as they mourn over their sin. A person who is meek will be able to control himself in regards to others who might even deserve what is coming to them. Since mercy is an aspect of righteousness those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be people or mercy.
Mercy is a character quality that comes from the heart of God.
Psalm 145:9 NKJV
The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
Lamentations points out that it is only because of the mercy of God that we do not suffer instant destruction.
Lamentations 3:22–23 NKJV
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Since mercy is near to the heart of God, God desires us to cultivate mercy.
Micah 6:8 NKJV
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
Psalm 145:9 NKJV
The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
Jesus even said that we ought to extend mercy towards even our greatest nemeses.
Matthew 5:44–45 NKJV
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
God deals mercifully towards those who hate Him. If we are going to be a light that reflects the glory of God then it is necessary for us to be merciful towards those who hate us.

Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:
Matthew 5:8 NKJV
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
Purity of heart is a call for clean and holy hearts. The call to purity of heart sweeps away all the hypocritical religiosity of the Pharisees and focuses on the fact that what matters to God is the condition of one’s heart, and no one can see God without a clean heart. This is the problem, for us at least, of the sermon on the Mount. None of us have holy hearts because we all have sinned and that sin has stained everything about us.
Proverbs 20:9 NKJV
Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”?
The Beatitudes, like the Ten Commandments, condemn us all. This brings to light their very important purpose - the Beatitudes show us our need for a Savior. Our sin makes the Beatitudes impossible for us. Our sins keeps us from being pure and holy and fit for a relationship with God. Our sin breaks us and brings us into a debt that we can never pay. Our sin is and always has been against God and the debt we owe as a result of our rejection of God is a debt we could never pay. So, we all live in debt - because of our sin we are condemned to death.
It is at this point in the Beatitudes that it becomes abundantly clear that we must either die, or God must do the most miraculous things that has ever been done. If we are to live, God must find a way to reconcile us to Himself, and that is why Jesus came. Christ alone was perfectly righteous, merciful, and pure, and meek.
1 Peter 2:22 NKJV
“Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
1 Peter 2:22 NKJV
“Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
Hebrews 7:26 NKJV
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
Jesus died to remove the penalty of our rejection of God.
Isaiah 53:4–5 NKJV
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53
Jesus died in order that it would be possible for you to worship God. That is why John says that anyone who says that they love God and instead of worshipping Him worships the world is a liar and does not know God.
However, if you hate your sin, mourn over it, and turn from it there is hope.
1 John 1:9 NKJV
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In saving us God is not only merciful but He is also just.
What does John mean by saying that God is just in forgiving us?
Proverbs 24:24 NKJV
He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” Him the people will curse; Nations will abhor him.
Forgiveness is possible, not because man is righteous, but because Christ overcame man’s unrighteousness.
There is also an ingoing process in our lives of cleansing. We might never be totally pure in heart while on earth, but, for those who are in Christ, the Spirit of God conforms us to the likeness of Christ more day by day.

The Peacemakers

Matthew 5:9 NKJV
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
The Bible refers to God as the God of peace
Philippians 4:9 NKJV
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians
Creation itself is a witness of this since Eden was created as the perfect peaceful paradise for man. It was the sin of Adam that disrupted the peace of Eden. When Adam declared war on God by questioning his right to rule humanity was set at odds with God. History is the story of how God Himself intervenes in order to save man from themselves and to make peace with God possible. At the end of history, peace will once again be restored.
As we await for peace to be reinstituted, we are to be promoters of peace. Christians ought to be peaceful and not aggressively violent.
That does not mean that a Christian will promote false peace.
James 3:17 NKJV
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Holiness is indivisible from peace
Hebrews 12:14 NKJV
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
The key is that a Christian does not instigate violence. Only those who seek after holiness can have peace.
Isaiah 57:21 NKJV
There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”
Peace in general is only possible when one has peace with God.
Romans 5:1 NKJV
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
The best way to be a peacemaker is to be a preacher of the gospel so that men can hear and know how they can have peace with God.

Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake

Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake

Matthew 5:10 NKJV
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:10–11 NKJV
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Of all the beatitudes, the last one seems to be the most contrary to human experience.
According to the world’s experience, happy people are those who enjoy others without sacrificing anything themselves. According, to the world’s experience, happiness belongs to those who refuse to participate in the negative feelings of others. According to the world’s experience, happiness belongs to those who have a confidence in themselves due to their own self-sufficiency.
The kind of person that lives his life according to those principles is completely contrary to the kind of person that is authentically, soul-deep happy. In the last beatitude, although persecuted is the only characteristic mentioned, the word blessed in given twice. In other words, double-blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
This does not mean that the righteous live in a perpetual state of persecution, but rather that when the righteous are persecuted it does not catch them by surprise. Instead, the righteous accept persecution as a sign that they have lived out the previous seven beatitudes. The righteous understand that to the degree that they faithfully exercise the first seven beatitudes they will experience the eighth, and because of their faithfulness they are blessed.
Conclusion: So we have seen in the beatitudes that godly character is the complete opposite of what the world would expect. True, soul-deep happiness belongs to those who are those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are merciful, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers, and who are persecuted.
The idea that Jesus stresses is that it is not about a righteousness that you exercise but about a life that you live in accordance with who you are which is shaped by how you view yourself and how you view God.
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