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May 11, 2020 4:00 am
What God is saying in all of this marvelous incomparable sermon in these Beatitudes is simply this people you will never find happiness in this world. Happiness is not here blessed was visiting the cursor on another level. There is a permanent joy that can be yours, John MacArthur looks at that happiness today on grace to you as he begins a series titled the Beatitudes as a way of setting the stage these days when you hear the phrase, blessed are the poor or blessed are the hungry, very likely it's coming from a politician or a social activist someone quoting snippets of Scripture to try to make a political point. So let me simply ask John. Is that what Jesus was getting at when he spoke those words. Is it social justice thing. Not hardly. It's not about social justice when he said blessed are the poor in spirit. He said in spirit right, not the poor. What is he talking about. He is saying. Blessed are people who are spiritually bankrupt. Blessed are people who know their spiritual bankruptcy. Why would he say something that he was talking to the Pharisees in the sermon on the Mount, who thought they knew God, who thought they were righteous, who thought they were holy thought they represented God who thought they were the profound the caretakers of all divine knowledge and wisdom, and they were proud. In fact, that their pride led to the Dia tribe in Matthew 23 that has no parallel in Scripture where he blistered them for their hypocrisy. So what our Lord does as he comes to these proud hypocrites and he says not.
Blessed are those who think their spiritual but blessed are those who know they're not right she's talking about a bankrupt heart. Blessed are the hungry, not hungry for food but hungry for righteousness who know their spiritual bankruptcy and he says Blessed are the meek, the broken the humble.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
They know they don't possess their the ones are going to be filled. It's not due hypocrites who think you're full who think you're rich, who think you have everything you need to think you're pious and righteous and holy and God owes you something for your sanctity, your bankrupt your hypocrites you're doomed in a and that's why they crucified Jesus because he just shredded the false religious hypocrisy of Judaism and what he was saying in the sermon I met this is this is the beginning of an evangelistic sermon where he's going to call people to true salvation, and it has to start with knowing you are poor prisoners, blind and oppressed. You are spiritually bankrupt empty. You are nothing. You are less than nothing. You desperately need a righteousness you hunger for it but you can't attain it so yes the these things politicians twist as they do all scriptures to their own ends. Understanding the Beatitudes is critical. This is the first sermon in the New Testament and it is powerful beyond description. Do not miss a day of this study of the Beatitudes. That's right, and friend.
If you have ever wondered how you can be truly satisfied both in this life and in the next.
I urge you to stay here as John looks at what our Lord himself said about how to live a life of blessing to launch a series called the Beatitudes.
Here's John MacArthur. Jesus is in the business of providing people with happiness. That's why we've entitled this message. Happiness is sadly not everybody really understands that not everybody really believes that in fact there are many Christians who aren't too sure that they really experience the reality of true happiness. But Jesus is in the happiness business.
Happiness is his concern on this is very evident to us because here in the very first sermon ever recorded as having been preached by Jesus Christ as we enter into the Gospels the first time we we meet a sermon of our Lord is a sermon that begins with the constant ringing theme of happiness if you'll notice in verse one and following you'll see the word blessed use nine time the word simply means happiness or happy, and we may read these. That way, and seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain and when he was seated his disciples came unto him, and he opened his mouth and taught them saying happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.
Happy are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
Happy are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Happy are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Happy are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Happy are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God. Happy are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, happy are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you and will say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you. Nine times we see the word blessed the word happy the very beginning of the sermon on the mount tells you the whole point of the sermon on the map. And that is that we should no real blessedness real happiness real joy real gladness genuine divine reward and then from there on.
He goes to talk about how it is that that becomes possible. What kind of lifestyle it is that produces this kind of happiness that becomes the running theme through chapter 5 chapter 6 and chapter 7.
Now we have to get the basics before we can understand this absolutely fantastic sermon. I think the greatest single sermon ever preached. First of all I want to set for you. The context I want to give you little bit of a backdrop a little bit of a background I want to frame a little bit if I can so that you understand the significance of these words to the people at the point in time at this juncture. Biblically, it all needs to fit together. We need to understand context a little bit. First of all, and there are several contexts to look at.
First of all we have to get a biblical context.
By that I mean a biblical background where are we in the Bible where are we in the flow of God's revelation. Where are we in God's plan of revealing his truth to man. Well, this is a new point. This is a dramatic change.
This is an incredible transformation just to show you what I mean.
I want you to look at the very last message of the Old Testament the very last message is in Malachi chapter 4 and verse six. This is the way the Old Testament in its this is what it said Malachi.
The last book in the last verse of the last chapter, and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, not listen to this last I come and smite the earth with a curse.
I would just the Old Testament ends with a curse New Testament begins with a blessing.
That's a dramatic change. The last words of the man of God, a curse is the last words curse the first words of the man of God the living Christ blessed, blessed, blessing and cursing. The Old Testament, the law signed EI thunder lightning judgment cursing the New Testament Zion grace and peace blessing. A dramatic change the word blessed Makarios is an adjective that simply basically means happy or blissful.
That's really what it means but I want to expand a little bit so you understand the significance of this new message.
The word basically comes from a root my car and that route means to be happy.
Real happiness not in the world. Sense of happiness based upon positive circumstance of both the Homer and Hesiod spoke of the Greek gods as being a note this is a very important point. They spoke of the Greek gods as being blessed in themselves and they said it was a state unaffected by the world of men who were subject to poverty, weakness in debt. In other words, the ancient Greek concept of my car, and Makarios is the idea of a kind of happiness and a kind of blissfulness and a kind of contentedness and the kind of blessedness that is unaffected by circumstance.
That's really what they were saying this is the basic New Testament meaning of blessing. It means an inner peace and inner bliss and inner happiness and inward joy that is not produced by circumstance, nor is it affected by circumstance, it is a state of happiness a state of well-being in which God desires his children to live, take a step further is a word that indicates character is a word that talks about character is touching man at the very base of his existence is a character word and the reason I say that is because it is used to describe God.
For example, we find many times in the Bible. The statement, blessed be God or one Psalm 6835 says that blessed be God. Psalm 7218 says blessed be the Lord God. Psalm one 1912 said blessed art thou all Lord first Timothy chapter 1 and verse 11 says the blessed God. In other words, whatever. Now get this. Whatever this state is is true of God understand what I'm saying whatever it is it is true of God.
Whatever it is to be blessed and blessed it is true of God. Now, since this word is used of God and by the way, it is also used of our Lord Jesus Christ. It says in first Timothy 615, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of lords.
So this blessedness is a character which is true of God, a character aspect which is true of God and of Christ. Now that makes it something we need to take a step further. If whatever this blessedness is is true of God and it is true of Christ. Now watch this. Then the only people who will ever experience it are those who partake of God and partake of Christ. Okay there is no blessedness. Apart from that, but Peter tells us in second Peter 14 that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ watch this are partakers of the divine nature, right, we are partakers of the divine nature.
The upshot of that is applied here is that we can know the same bliss the same inner state of contentment the same happiness deep down within us that is known by God and the Lord Jesus Christ himself. What a marvelous thing that is to realize Makarios then is fundamentally an element of the character of God and man will only know that element insofar as he is a partaker of the divine nature. So watch from the very beginning. It is established, the sermon on the Mount has nothing to say and nothing to offer to someone apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
That's basic, but for those of us who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.
For those of us who by faith in Christ have become partakers of the divine nature. The same bliss the same contentment the same happiness the same sense of blessedness that is known by God himself and Christ of himself can be known by us of our set the tremendous thought once a person knows God through Christ blessedness becomes available to him or to her, so to begin with. Note this people that when we talk about happiness.
We talk about blessedness.
It is in a biblical context and it is not talking about a superficial attitude based on circumstance. It is talking about an inward attitude based upon the very indwelling of the character of God himself. So we see then that this is a tremendous thing that God is saying that whereas the old covenant ends with a curse. The new one ends with the potential of the very character and nature of God indwelling a believer so that there would be a blessedness that is only true of God himself. I will if you get a hold that is an absolutely mind-boggling thought that you and I could be such partakers of the divine nature is to know the very bliss that the eternal God knows in his own mind. That's the kind of contentment God wants for us. The Old Testament is the book of Adam and Adam and his story are the story of the Old Testament. It's kind of a sad story. The first king in the earth was Adam and it was said by God to Adam that he had dominion over the earth. He was the first monarch, but he fell and since he fell.
The Old Testament had to end with the curse, but in the New Testament there is a new King and that's why Matthew starts the New Testament because he is the one who presents the king.
The king is immediately presented. The last Adam, the second Adam, the greater than Adam and he is the king who does not fall. The first king fell left the curse, the second king reigns and leaves a blessing fantastic new reality dawns upon human history. There is a new King. There is one of can reverse the terrible curse of Adam and immediately as we hit the New Testament we face Matthews presentation of the king. The sermon on the Mount is the great statement of the king as he opens his mouth and gives blessing instead of cursing those who desire that's the general biblical context in which this sermon is delivered new age new King a new message but there is also the fact that as you look at the Beatitudes, as this blessed message is given, it seems somewhat paradoxical and Matthew was presenting a kingdom. The doesn't really fit what most people would've anticipated you see happiness as Matthew outlines it here in the words of Jesus isn't exactly the way the world would do it. In fact, it says here that the happy people are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meat, the hungry and the thirsty, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted, the reviled I say wait a minute. I'm not sure I want that kind happiness sounds like misery with another name. You gotta be kidding. Well, that's the point. There is a paradox because all the way down connected to happiness is misery and I'm going to say it right here you go to see as we go. Misery is the key to happiness is a know it, misery is the key to happiness. That's right will see that as we go in detail, but the most people.
The whole thing seems absolutely absurd. One writer said this.
It is as if Jesus crept into the large display window of life and change all the price tag. It's all backwards what you mean. Happiness comes out of misery.
What you say why the world says man lack happiness is doing your own thing. Happiness is grabbing all the gusto you can get that's happy. Happiness is acquiring the worlds things happy are the rich and happy are the noble and happy are the famous and happy are the popular but that is in it.
The message from this king doesn't really fit the picture and Matthew is so dynamic in such a presentation because his message just devastates worldly attitudes even of the Jewish people themselves would've read Matthew first of all, even Seneca. The Roman philosopher tutor of Nero in the first century said this quote. What is more shameful than to equate the rational soul's good with that which is irrational what he was saying." What he was saying was any fool knows you can't fill out a man's empty soul with external things you can't fill a rational need with an irrational object. That's what the world tries to do. Jesus comes into the world to announce that the tree of happiness doesn't grow in the Koester have to tell you that folks. The tree of happiness doesn't grow in the Koester but so many secant think about Solomon. Solomon was a most magnificent king that ever lived. If anybody should of been happy. According to the world standard he should. He had no ability. Listen, his parentage was the royal line of David through which the Messiah would come the most Royal noble line in the history of the world. There was nobody with more nobility than Solomon's Palace was the paragon of the of the earth, and it was located in the city.
The city of God city of Jerusalem's wealth was so immeasurable in his treasure was so vast that the Old Testament says silver was as common as rocks. His pleasure was fabulous food, credible stables, I was in Solomon's table up in the ghetto.
Incredible. Literally dozens of the finest horses and could be found in the world. He had the buildings and the servants in the vineyards and the fishponds in the gardens. Women by the hundreds. His intelligence while he was the most intelligent man that ever lived.
You had all in the world's evaluation.
He had all he should've been an infinitely happy man and all he had to say about it.
Was this vanity vanity all is vanity word means emptiness and New Testament put it this way a man's life consists not in the abundance of things which he possesses. Listen, if you're looking for happiness in the world's goods, you're in the wrong place the tree of happiness doesn't grow in the Koester's not there physical things don't touch the soul get that's a simple point, but I want you to think it through physical things don't touch the soul. You cannot fill a spiritual need with a physical substance can't be done, but people try to do it, I mean if you're really miserable in your marriage go buy new car or if you have an argument with your wife bought by new suit.
The field you cannot fill a spiritual need with a physical substance that's foolish you can do the other either when you're hungry you know a lecture on grace. You want your dinner and we are out in the desert your data thirsty and want somebody talking about the wonderful mercy of God. You want water you cannot fill a physical need with a spiritual substance. It's just as ridiculous to think you can fill a spiritual need with a physical stop can't be done, things which cannot quiet the heart of the storm cannot provide any kind of blessedness you can't borrow oil in a wounded spirit. I think about Saul. He was sorta stressed all the jewels in his crown could do anything to comfortable.
I think about King Bell, shattering the book of Daniel. He was carousing and drinking and living it up in a rather wild party. Like few in the history of of any nation. And all of a sudden, while he was there.
Daniel 53 says he was drinking wine in the golden vessels of the of the temple and he was really draining down everybody's cup was gold and then a figure of a man's hand appeared on the wall and wrote meeting many tickle you farce and you are weighed in the balances and found wanting and all of a sudden the Bible says his countenance changed and you know what happened. The wine went sour, and the food was like a rock in his stomach.
One of the great Puritan Saints as written.
Wondrous things that really touched the heart of anyone as a student of the Bible is amending Thomas Watson and Thomas Watson said this quote things of this world will know more. Keep out trouble of spirit than a piece of paper will stop a bullet worldly delights are weeded. He says they may be compared to a flock of birds in the garden but stay a little while but when you come near them. They take their flight so riches make themselves wings and they fly away as an eagle.
Proverbs 23 five says they are like the meteor that pleases but spends and annihilates itself. There like a castle made of snow lying on of the torrid beams of the sun" external things do more to discomfort the sold and blessed.
Ecclesiastes 513 says riches are kept for the hurt of their owners. Did you get that riches are kept for the hurt of their own. There is no satisfaction what the world offers and when Jesus came to the world the semi people. He wasn't offering the world stuff and there are some people pass themselves off today as Christians were offering the world stuff, promising financial prosperity, money, success, Jesus never offered that's never in the sermon on the map.
The opposite is here.
In fact, the things of the world become fuel for pride. They become fuel for lust, and they become a snare and Jesus himself said the things of the world. The cares of the world, the riches of the world will rise up and choke out the word. They are thorns and they will do to your soul what thorns do to your shirt or your dress, listen what God is saying in all of this marvelous incomparable sermon in these Beatitudes is simply this, people you will never find happiness in this world never you might as well learn that is like seeking the living among the dead and the angel said he's not Harry's resident and I want to just borrow that concept and say if you're looking for the living reality of real blessedness in the earth you're looking among the dead, for the living, and it's not there. You've got.
It was send to another level. Paul put it this way, if ye be then risen with Christ, seek those things which are what above set not your affections on things on to your John put it this way. Love not the world, neither the what things that are in the world is no satisfaction there.
Happiness is not here blessedness isn't in the Koester's on another level sermon on the Mount could take you to that level are you ready totally opposite to what the world tells you, so you can have a tough time reliving. If you don't learn it well because is going to be bombarded by everybody come along in the world system. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is a pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary is lesson today explained that if you're Christian you have everything you need to enjoy deep permanent happiness. It's part of John study titled the Beatitudes. Now keep in mind this series is available on 10 CDs or 10 MP3s to help you dig deep into this critical teaching from Jesus sermon on the Mount to find out how you can know true happiness even in difficult circumstances. Pick up John study of the Beatitudes when you contact us today to review this study with a small group or put the Beatitudes series and a friend's hands order the 10 CD album when you call toll-free 855 grace or go to our website Jide TY.org and to listen to all 10 messages right away free of charge. There available at our website along with 3500 other sermons from John just go to Jide TY.also friend if you haven't done it already. I encourage to download John sermon called the promise of peace in a worried world.
It's a look at what Christ says about worry and why even during this current pandemic. You have nothing to fear again.
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