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August 15, 2021 6:00 am
Good morning Salem family, both those who are here this morning and we have many who watch online today for about a variety of reasons wanted by to take your Bible insert suit. Matthew chapter 5 Matthew chapter 5 this morning. We begin a new series in which were to take a detailed look at what is known as the Beatitudes civil why they called Beatitudes will figure that out as we work through this series over the next eight weeks or so really this is eight principles that Jesus gives for us to be able to live a fulfilled and unhappy life owner talk for a moment about the setting for this and there were in a divan here a few moments and Zorro spent some time you talk about the introduction, what is the Beatitudes sermon on Mount Olivet and will jump into the first beatitude we do. Matthew chapter 5 Jesus is not been in his earthly ministry very long and and people are just starting to hear the name of Jesus and are curious about the want to know more about him and and so they start following him. They listen to his teaching that here really see his miracles and up and really there's this there's this vase around Jesus.
Everybody wants to see Jesus be involved in what Jesus is doing and on and in the very very curious about him. Who is this man is he a fraud. Is he a crazy man or is he really legit from God. Is he a prophet or is he like he says a little bit later on his see the son of God who provides eternal life.
It could be that you are here today or maybe you're watching online and on and you're wondering the same thing about Jesus, who is this man is he that fraud is he a crazy man is he really the son of God who he claimed to be who can give us eternal life. If you're searching, or maybe if you been a Christian for a really long time. What were about to talk about here as we work to the Beatitudes is going to help us clearly understand who Jesus is. Because Jesus is going to encourage us to live like him and as he encourages us to live like him were to see how Jesus lived. What did Jesus have to say entity back up what he had to say yes he did really learn who Jesus was in and what he what he would've firmly held to and and will learn how we can live based on that you're not Matthew chapter 5 what what you do is ask to go back to chapter 4 and looked at the very last verse. Chapter 4 okay, here's what it says and great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and from Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan. Jordan see that great crowds followed him from all of these regions wherever Jesus was and wherever they were hearing about it. They came to Jesus in verse one of chapter 5 seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain and when he sat down, his disciples came to him by the spring fathers we approach your word today. I asked that in everything that you receive the glory and honor that you alone are due.
Father would you hide me behind the cross of Jesus Christ and and behind your word and father only the things that you want said Lord I pray that those are the things that come out of my mouth. Father would you draw us close to you.
Help us to read your word understand your word and then Lord how to understand how to apply it to our line. Father, thank you for the opportunity to worship you. We love you in Jesus name amen are so Jesus says has gone up on the mountain as we find their fate verse one Jesus sees the crowds he goes up on the mountain and when he sat down, the disciples came to him what happens. Here's Jesus looking around he sees all these people he goes up to the mountain and he sits down. Now this time.
When a person of any kind of authority would sit down in a public place. It's a sign that something significant is about to happen in this case, Jesus is about to start teaching earlier on in his life when not when Jesus was just a boy.
You remember the story of Jesus going to the temple in Jerusalem with his parents and his parents losing how you lose a kid for a couple of days. The way they did that, it does happen, they go back and when they do that they find Jesus sitting in the temple, and he said his teaching.
Even at that young age in this business place of authority sitting in his teaching will hear Jesus. This becomes the top of the mountain and he and he sits down as we find that verse two and he opened his mouth and taught them. When Jesus speaks, he teaches the people something important for them to find all throughout Matthew chapter 5 all through Galway through chapter 7. This is the sermon on the Mount.
He starts off here with the Beatitudes Beatitudes are the first part of this very long sermon that Jesus is going to preach a game that sort of focus on the most of the next eight weeks is this Beatitudes that when you see a commercial on TV right and how many of you watch TV. Most people if not, you see a commercial somewhere you a hopeless commercial everywhere right but you see a commercial and and really when you see a commercial you see that dump the marketing people who wrote that commercial are doing their best to make sure that you believe that you can't be happy unless you buy their product and they try to tell you that your happiness is tied up in you buying this product that want you know it, but happiness is a really found in that product, you know, I know they are selling.
No, because they have this product today and next year than come out with the newly remodeled product that now if you buy this one, then you really gonna be happy and so they keep us likable and on and on and on loan number.
Jesus starts off the sermon he uses a marketing tool, like the tool that you see in TV commercials, but there's one very big difference. See when you watch a TV commercials are not always telling the truth, you're not really going to be happy if you buy this or use this they don't want you to know, but happiness is not found in your friend that product. But when Jesus comes to the Beatitudes, and he uses some of the same techniques in helping people understand how they can be happy. The big difference is that Jesus telling the truth. Here's how you really can be happy is not caught up in your habit is not caught up in these things that you buy it's in who you are. So Jesus going to show us. It seems like as a work of these Beatitudes a seems like Jesus is a horrible marketing agent is he sure wouldn't pass the test for a modern commercial writer but is good to tell the truth about how to be happy. Listen, you may be here this morning. You're the most miserable person in the world on the outside with other people. Seems like you know what I'm making and I'm doing pretty good.
Not got the things that I need in life but at the core of who you are.
You are really just a miserable person you happy at all think that one thing is gonna help and you try to try using that but it doesn't do anything for you except to give you a temporary high so you use that and you move on to something else and you hope that that person or that or that event or that thing is going to do the trick but it doesn't if that's you here today or maybe you're watching online, and that's you and Jesus speaking to you through the Beatitudes here.
He knows how miserable we tend to be in life.
He knows we say can't seem to find happiness in and anything we can be fulfilled in anything this world has to offer to these Beatitudes are Jesus way of showing us how to find true happiness lasting fulfillment is another way to look at this. Jesus gives these ways to be happy. The Beatitudes, as we call them as a way to say this to say if this is you, and if you're finding happiness were supposed to be found in these Beatitudes.
In Jesus the congratulations congratulations, you are to be congratulated.
You are to be envied because you have found the source of happiness. People search their whole lives for this night and they never ever find it. If you found happiness in these eight Beatitudes and you are to be congratulated the way to look at this in your hand out today as you came in, you would have received some notes that you can fill in its own encouraging foolish things out and and follow along. Here's a show you three general overarching principles for us to remember as we study the Beatitudes. First of all, the Beatitudes are for all Christians. The Beatitudes are for all Christians and I were actually at the end of that right. In the words at all times again to the Beatitudes are for all Christians at all times. These characteristics are meant to be manifest or shown or lived out by anybody who calls themselves a Christian is not like your supposed to be the Christian in the church who is known as the one who is poor in spirit, or that there's another person who is known as the merciful or the other, who is known as the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness are the idea is that we are working towards all of these things. So at one time we are working towards being merciful towards being pure in heart towards being the peacemaker, the meek, all of those things. The Beatitudes are for all Christians at all times and number two no Beatitudes is a natural tendency no Beatitudes a natural tendency is not like you wake up one day it is all the sudden you can be poor in spirit, or you wake up in your merciful we live in a sin cursed world and that is not how it works at all. Our signification is progressive. We progressively become more like Jesus. The natural human tendency is always going to be that we revert back to the old way of thinking in the old way of doing things for you to adapt these Beatitudes.
It has to come through intentionality to do so. We can't live out these Beatitudes unless we understand them and Celeste want to spend a Sunday for each Beatitudes for the next eight weeks study and wanted time was a means to mourn as Jesus is talking about here.
What is it mean to be meek was a mean to be a peacemaker fight that drift that natural drift that we gotta be intentional.
You know these things, what is it mean to do these things… Things. Number three.
The Beatitudes show the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian to show the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. And one of the downfalls of any church or any Christian for that matter, is that they so often look at what a person does for evidence of salvation when in reality Jesus is about to teach that what matters a whole lot more than what you do is who you are. Important thing is not that they do. The person doesn't do the action of being merciful or being a peacemaker or hungry and thirsty after righteousness was more important is that this is who they are, at their core, this is who Jesus is. He is these things, he lived out the Beatitudes. The more that we conformed to his image, the more glory God receives and that is where I fulfillment in life is to come. A person who is not a Christian can be merciful, they can be meek that they can they can hunger and thirst for righteousness, for the moment, but it's an action it's not who they are. So Jesus is going to teach here is that who you are, has got to change, not just what you do and as who you are. Changes.
That is when your actions, the fruit of your actions. That's when it changes.
That's how this whole process works.
If you here today and you're not a Christian. That is, you never ever repented of your sin and place your faith in Jesus alone to save you that you can be a good person and people can look at you and think that is a great, great person, but the reality is that you are just as dead in your sin as you can be and you don't have God's help in living out these Beatitudes in living the way that he is called you to live as a Christian D Martin Lloyd Jones in writing by the Beatitudes in general says this before we get into talking about the first one he says the vital questions which we therefore ask ourselves, are these we belong to this kingdom will be ruled by Christ. Is he are keying in our Lord Re: manifesting these qualities in our daily lives.
Is it our ambition to do so, we see that this is what we are meant to be, are we truly blessed are we happy.
Have we been filled.
We got peace I ask is we have looked together.
The general description what we find ourselves to be is only the man who is like that who is truly happy.
The man who is truly blessed is a simple question. My immediate reaction these Beatitudes proclaims exactly what I am. If I feel that they are harsh and hard. If I feel that they are against the grain to depict the character and type of life, which I dislike. I'm afraid it just means I am not a Christian. If I do not want to be like this, I must be dead in trespasses and sins.
Quoting from Ephesians to their I could never have received new life, but if I feel that I am unworthy and yet I want to be like that well. However, unworthy I may be if this is my desire and my ambition, there must be new life in me. I must be a child of God. I must be a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, and of God's dear son, and the ends by saying, let every man examine himself so we want to do will examine ourselves in which ways do we need to become more like Christ and to live out these Beatitudes as it changes who we are ours with that start looking at the first beatitude verse three of chapter 5, verse three Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The poor in spirit. When the world is that me. Here's a simple definition for your okay poor in spirit. Very simply, is a deep recognition of spiritual bankruptcy, deep recognition of spiritual bankruptcy. Now we know what happens when a person is financially bankrupt here on the circle game. We know that that they have nothing for one reason or another they have no way to pay their bills and they have no way to function so they go bankrupt. They declare that they have nothing at all by was to pay for life right spiritual bankruptcy is the declaration that you have nothing by which to buy salvation. You are poor in spirit. You have nothing to offer to obtain righteousness on your own. So Jesus says Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, poor in spirit says I am unable to become righteous own my own. The rich in spirit. On the other hand says I can offer such as such, you fill in the blank. I can offer such as such to obtain righteousness that Jesus says here to be poor not rich in spirit be poor in spirit, not rich in spirit.
Now when Jesus says this he is talking to a bunch of people who this woman really would have resonated with one way or another.
Everywhere Jesus went he had to types of people who followed him there was the maybe what we would call blue-collar working man and woman. Then there's the religious leaders, lumped in that group. Every now and then there's a person assigned some financial means or of some kind of authority position there in the community. The rich in spirit, were the ones who felt like they had something to offer God. They felt like if I just do this thing. God is happy with me if I do this or this or this. Look at me, God, look at what I've done. Thus, the rigid spirit these the good people they consider themselves good. I thought in this way that they thought you just look at the poor. Those poor people God must be pleased with me because I'm rich I been blessed with financial means or a financial or or or great status in the community and in fact oftentimes they openly thanked God that they work like the poor. The poor in spirit, however, knew that they had nothing to offer God and they simply came to him with open hands and this just wanted to experience God. I just want you the rich in spirit seek to get what they can out of God the poor in spirit. Seek God for no other reason than the fact that they know that they are lost without him and that they are hopeless without it.
Take your Bibles and turn over to Luke chapter 18 Luke chapter 18 is a perfect example of the difference between the poor in spirit, and the rich in spirit, which by the way limit go back to riches spirit here for the second oftentimes do not openly saying God, thank you that I'm not like this person.
That's not what you say in your prayer. But the rich in spirit, oftentimes live in such a way that the puffed up, the prideful, look at me, look at what I can do what I can give look at what look you look at look at look at me poor in spirit. On the other hand is very simple way to look at it poor in spirit say God I am nothing and they come with open hands received a hearing. The chapter 18 Luke chapter 18.
He also told this parable to some who trusted by reverse nine is were read to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt. He saw about the rich in spirit. There verse 10. Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other tax collector. The Pharisee standing by himself may stand by himself. He was to be noticed most the time. Sometimes we will stand by himself in court a little and be noticed, but is not this man. He was to be noticed Pharisee standing by himself prayed thus God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get, but the tax collector, standing far off would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying God be merciful to me a sinner and Jesus says this I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven posted you know that the kingdom of heaven is completely upside down from anything that we ever expect on this earth completely upside down multiple times. Jesus teaching. He says those who will be great. Must be last. Those will be last will be first, we think to be rich in spirit all men look out how charismatic that person is.
Look how great that person is. Look how good a servant that a person is Jesus who looks at the heart and he realizes now that person is trying to come to me with it with full hands. They look what I can bring you God is always looking for.
I'm pretty sure that you don't go out the street and pray loudly thanking God that you not like other people like that Pharisee did. How often do we approach God with anything more than just empty hands, and here's what this might look like for you okay it might be that you do you you think most of them will say this out loud, but you might think. God let me know and I went to church today. I don't cost drink, chew or hang out with girls who do.
I was kind to my kids or my spouse and I didn't want to be put money in offer box at church. We say those things like God, you should be impressed with me. Look at what I did. That's the rich in spirit. Listen on contrast, the poor in spirit says this God I'm not strong enough to handle the temptation to sin.
And I need your help.
I fail way too often and treating my spouse or my kids or my coworkers with love and respect and kindness.
I need you to help me gone. I want my life to count for eternity.
So can you fill me and use me as such a way that brings you honor and glory. God, I'm your child. I know I sometimes sin.
Please be merciful to me and forgive me and help me forgive other people around me. That's an example of the poor in spirit but then with this. The command to be poor in spirit blessed me, Blessed be the poor in spirit comes a promise for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus. This, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Listen the kingdom of heaven is all of the rights, privileges and benefits of the presence of God so that one more time the kingdom of heaven is all of the rights, benefits and privileges of the kingdom are to be of the presence of God where the presence of God is that is where ultimate fulfillment and happiness in life can be found. We were created to live in the presence of God.
However, because of sin, we are born separated from the presence of God with no hope for a relationship with him, except through the death of his son Jesus, and with the death that Jesus died in our place because the chance for us to be a part of the kingdom of God.
Acts chapter 4 says that the only way to God is through Jesus. If we were to be a part of God's kingdom.
Jesus is teaching here in this first beatitude that can only come by becoming poor in spirit. The only way they can come.
John Stott's book on the sermon on the Mount writes this, he said the kingdom of is given to the poor are not the rich, the feeble not the mighty to little children humble enough to accept it, not to soldiers who boast that they can obtain it with their own prowess in the Lord's day. It was not the Pharisees who enter the kingdom who thought they were rich.
So rich in merit that they thanked God for their accomplishments nor the zealots who dreamed of establishing the kingdom by blood and sword. The tax collectors and prostitutes. The rejects of human society.
Who knew that they were so poor they could offer nothing and achieve nothing.
All they could do was cry out to God for mercy and he heard their cry. There is no way to get to God except to become poor in spirit no way whatsoever.
You cannot receive an eternal inheritance. You cannot have everlasting life without first being poor in spirit.
You can be the richest person in this world to be the poorest person in this world in terms of finances and still go to hell. Separated from God because you did make the choice to be poor in spirit here on this earth. There's no favoritism of God.
The poor in spirit or your rich in spirit.
Romans chapter 3 verses nine through 12. Read this way, Paul says, what then are we Jews any better off for God's chosen people, are we any better off in this whole deal. We have a leg up now.
Not at all, for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin as it is written, none is righteous, no not one. No one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they become worthless. No one does good, not even one were on the same boat is not until we realize just how worthless and spiritually bankrupt. We really are and we take that to God with empty hands that we could find the kingdom of heaven. All but the promise is once we do that and we will once we realize that and come to God with those empty hands. Ours is the kingdom of heaven with all of the rights and all the benefits and all the privileges of being a part of the presence of God. It's ours.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Now listen and mean that that when we do come in with every blessing and every grace upon grace is lavished on us by God that does not mean it's always there be easier on this earth but it does mean that no matter what this life throws at us.
We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior, who gave himself as a ransom so we might have eternal life desires of the words from the hymn rock of ages, says nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling naked come to the progress helpless look to the for grace fell into the fountain fly wash me Savior or I die. That's the attitude of the poor in spirit, I'm nothing I can bring nothing to you, God, I have nothing. I'm completely incapable of saving myself and I need you Jesus.
In the beginning I told you the one of the ways that some that you can look at the Beatitudes is through the lens of the word congratulations. Here's a question for you to ask yourself, would Jesus congratulate me for being poor in spirit, no matter what others think of you are what you what you think of yourself. All that matters is what Jesus thinks of you will see think of you. The CCU through the lands of being poor in spirit or are you trying to bring all these different accomplishments in all these different skills and talents and all that stuff to the table so you go God which way does he see you. Would Jesus congratulate me for being poor in spirit.
I really hope that Jesus done look on you and say no I see your heart and there's pride there is deceit even there your rich in spirit your living for yourself more than your living for me hope is that when Jesus sees when he looks at you and if it is folks is nothing you can taken, except yourself. That's what Jesus say in right at the beginning of the of this teaching right off the bat first thing he says. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven will spring father, may we come to you with empty hands knowing we can't bring anything.
There's there's nothing that we can offer that you need but you simply want us that's it.
Father, we are thankful for that because there's really nothing that we can bring for the help us to be poor in spirit, and never ever forget to be poor in spirit, remembering that when we are poor in spirit. Ours is the kingdom of heaven with all of the rights, benefits and privileges of the presence of God in Jesus name, amen