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April 6, 2020 5:26 pm
While the sermon on the Mount immediately follows the call of the four disciples were Jesus says to these four men follow me on the wonderful news is that to every authentic follower of Jesus Christ.
We receive spiritual blessings receive spiritual blessings now and in the future, and so nine times in these opening verses of Matthew chapter 5 we read these words blessed our Blessed are Blessed are and therefore, irrespective of your present circumstances today.
What ever they are. If you're a follower of Jesus Christ. You are a very blessed person. Now this teaching is given by Jesus here in Matthew chapter 5 to those who have repented when Jesus comes as John the Baptist came, he said and Jesus says repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. As of this teaching is for those who have repented of their sins, who have believed the gospel who are following Jesus Christ and of these verses in these chapters, Matthew, five, six and seven. Answer the question, but what does it mean to follow Jesus. What does it look like what kind of people are they who say that they are in the kingdom of heaven.
Last week we thought of three of the characteristics of followers of Jesus. First of all, they are poor in spirit.
Secondly, they mourn over their sin. And third, they are meek now today when looking at the remaining five of the eight Beatitudes. I regard verses 11 and 12 is an amplification of the eight Beatitudes in verse 10, so what am I saying today I'm saying this authentic followers of Jesus, receive the blessings of God.
Now, yes and forever, and there is nothing that can happen to you. There's nothing at all of the heavens and the author which can separate us from these rich blessings that we have in Christ Jesus.
The first 12 verses of Matthew chapter 5 and then will focus on verses six through 12 here are the words of Jesus. Matthew five verse one seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain and when he sat down, his disciples came to him and he opened his mouth and taught them saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and Patrick to you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew five verses one through 12 let's look at these Beatitudes night. First of all, in verse six. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied with. Think of the hungry and the thirsty notice that they hunger and thirst for righteousness. Righteousness is the goal.
How would you answer this question, was the goal of your life was the passion of your life.
In Jeremiah chapter 45. The question is asked, do you see great things for yourself how you answer that.
Do you see great things for yourself. The answer is given a Jeremiah 45 seek them not know as we follow Jesus Christ is not a matter of us seeking great things for ourselves if we put ourselves at the center of the world rather than God.
That's a fatal mistake. In fact, Jesus said the way to save your life is to lose it. So I ask you, are you hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
Jesus is going to say the end of Matthew chapter 6 seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. That is first in our life. We are to seek God with the love God were to live for God. Seek first his kingdom hunger and thirst for righteousness.
CS Lewis writes look for yourself and you will find in the long run, only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay, but look for Christ and you will find him and with him. Everything else thrown in.
That's Matthew 633 seek first the kingdom of God put God first honor guard seek his righteousness, and everything else in life is going to fall into its place. But what does it mean to seek righteousness well. In the New Testament, there are two basic aspects of righteousness.
This first of all, the righteousness which is revealed in the gospel. So Paul writes at the beginning of Romans Romans 116 and 17.
He says I'm not ashamed of the gospel for us the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, for veteran that is in the gospel that is the that is revealed in the righteousness of God in power majestically and magnificently throughout Romans establishes that each one of us wherever we are, whether religious or non-religion Jew or Gentile makes no difference. Every single one of us and ourselves on on righteous we are sinful people we do not do the right things we choose the wrong things and by ourselves. We will never ever achieve out on righteousness. But here is the gospel that through the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross that is offered to you righteousness know your own righteousness. Another righteousness what Martin Luther calls and the alien righteousness that is the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ something wonderful happens when we come to Christ. When we repent of our sins, he takes all our unrighteousness and gives us his righteousness.
In fact, Paul tells us this righteousness is imputed to us. It is credited to us and this righteousness and I want you to grasp this this morning.
This righteousness is not something that you achieve is not something that you work for know this righteousness is not achieved by you, but is to be received by you. That is, you don't work for it, but rather it comes to your as an act of the grace of God is wonderful, isn't it, how could you and I stand before a holy God. When we are unrighteous. When we are sinful and so I ask you, have you received this righteousness from you received this salvation. How can you live if you died right at this moment could you ever hope to stand before a holy God. Your unrighteous are sinful. You rebelled against God, the wonder of the gospel. The wonder of the grace of God is that the righteousness the perfection of my Lord Jesus Christ is credited to me.
It's as if were dressed with filthy rags and Christ takes them all on himself and he now dresses us with his righteousness Robert McShane can write when I stand before the throne. That is the throne of God dressed in beauty. Not all when I see the as thou art lovely without sitting hard. Then Lord shall I fully know. Not till then. How much I owe. He takes out sin. He takes her filled free rags and close us with his perfect righteousness the righteousness of my Lord Jesus Christ.
So as I stand here and preach this morning. I can say with the authority of Scripture that if I die this moment I will be accepted to God, not because of my pastor. Not because I'm inherently a good person or have done good things, but because of the perfection of Jesus Christ received as an act of grace. But there's a second aspect of righteousness, which I think is the main focus here in verse six.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. This is the righteousness of those who are following Christ to do the right thing before God and is if you're a true follower of Jesus Christ you seek to please God. You seek to live under a bridge in life to follow his commands.
This is one of the evidences of the true believer that she is following Jesus, not her own ideas, not her own agenda, but she is following Jesus.
She's hungering and thirsting after righteousness. This woman, this man seeks righteousness and justice in her own life and they can I say in all of society. Righteousness exalts a nation that is why as Christians we we grown and we are so upset when our government and our politicians and their cohorts rule and decide things.
Contrary to the word of God. No, we seek righteousness. What ourselves and for our society, but it begins not with society changing, not with the laws changing now with decisions coming from the Supreme Court, but it begins with the on hunger and thirst for righteousness, but is the metaphor that Jesus is using using we can relate to it.
We all know what it is to be hungry.
We all know what it is to be thirsty. John Nelson Darby rights to be hungry is not enough.
He says I must be really starving to know what is in his heart towards me.
That is, there is an urgency here is our passion. He is not a hobby, not just coming to church another Sunday.
Know this is that the whole pivotal point of our life. One. Two years ago. One Saturday night Brent called me at home, saying that he wasn't able to sleep. The why you calling me and he said I since I started coming out to the church and and had you speaking John a been unable to sleep well.
I know I sometimes put people to sleep when I preach, but this because of my preaching. He said he wasn't able to sleep. What was his problem. His problem was he was not right with God and he was so focused on getting right with God. He says I can hardly go to sleep until I'm right with God. I said I'm very glad to hear that. A few weeks later, he placed his trust in Christ, he realized the seriousness of this Jeremiah says Jeremiah 2913 you will seek and find me when you seek me with all of your heart to many of us play the Christian faith.
We've embraced a superficial official church yet.
It's a nor says Jesus I want you to hunger and thirst after righteousness.
I noticed the blessing.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. They shall be filled with the promise and his God, but does the satisfying is God that does the filling. Some hundred and seven verse nine the hungry soul he fills with good things.
As you seek God with all of your heart you will be fund of your as you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness will be satisfied all of these other things will be added to that the promise from Jesus himself know it's not all about achieving. It's all about receiving I'm defined by satisfaction in God I'm defined by satisfaction in his righteousness that is the goal of the Christian life not in your personal happiness not in your pleasures not to make life more comfortable for yourself, but to pursue God to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and you will be satisfied. You will be filled Jesus as the one who drinks of the water that he gives will never thirst again.
So first, the hungry and the Thursday second the merciful verse seven Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Is this interesting letter when we think of God. We realize that God is merciful to us.
In fact, the Beatitudes are a beautiful display of the very character of Jesus, of God is the source of mercy and we who are broken, we who are unrighteous. We mess up are totally dependent upon the mercy of God for our salvation and blessing. And as you read the Gospels as I love what do we see we see Jesus reaching out in mercy to the focus of mercy is compression in action by just thinking about it, but compassion in action coming to those who are distressed coming to those who are in pain coming to those who are troubled, coming to those who had believed coming to those who are unable to help themselves that the gospel is in the so Paul writes in Ephesians 2 verses four and five but God. This being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved together.
God is rich in mercy, just a little bit but he's rich in mercy and his mercy is displayed in the gift of his son, for your salvation and mine. How is salvation achieved then by turning over a new leaf by cleaning up my act absolutely not impossible.
Jesus told the story by the man in the temple who said God be merciful to me a sinner. That's it.
That's a way of salvation to repent.
The cry out to God for mercy and now Jesus is saying we who have received this mercy are to be merciful to others. Luke six verse 36 Jesus says, be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Matthew nine verse 13 Jesus as I desire mercy and not sacrifice. Oh, there were religious people were very happy to bring the odd sacrifice of the Temple of Jesus is not.
I want mercy, not sacrifice so you don't find mercy in the externals of religion. You don't find mercy in legalism and ritualism. Mercy isn't checking a box know mercy is a generosity under our compassion in action to those in need and then the book of Luke, Jesus gives a wonderful example of that tells the story of the good Samaritan who comes across as a man who's made beaten up and robbed and left half dead and this man that we call the good Samaritan goes with this he do he ministers to us mercy upon he doesn't know the man never met him before is different from him, but he is mercy to a man in the that's mercy you receive mercy for from someone to beautiful thought as I think about this remembered when I was 20 years old student and the I was going for a few days on a mission trip in Scotland to a small time. We went door-to-door evangelism. We preach Milton there we went to the pub's went into the coffee shops with children's meetings within the evangelist would invite people to the evening and I was I was going there but at that time. Older brother and I shared the car and that he was using a car so I said to my dad that connect to the usual car and take it for a few days and my dad agreed, that left his car just as most men love their cars and so this is great.
I went with a friend who's a couple of young ladies with us.
They were in the backseat and I was driving to this time I love to drive. I love to drive fast, always within the speed limit than but this 20-year-old I thought of the best driver there was some would've thought I was showing off a little bit because of the young ladies in the backseat and the country roads. Remember if it was yesterday an assembly driving too fast and was coming but on the left-hand side of the road in the UK. As you know, and is a left-hand corner.
As I came running to corner, I saw in this country road in front of me a tractor farmer in the tractor and he was standing right in the field, which meant he was going right across me. In either decision to make very quickly, as I find break and bring the right interim is coming around the corner too fast and I thought I can think of fighting salary I can get them to me this seems to see the movies they do that so easily and so I accelerated. And guess what happened.
He came right in to the back passenger seat and God's grace. None of us were injured.
The farmer understandably was a bit upset, but the police.
The police came in the goodness of God.
I wasn't charged.
I think the river the good case of careless if not reckless driving against me, but no charges were pressed but looked at the car. My dad's car and my heart sank because the metal was pierced and it looked absolutely.
I thought I said to my friends. I can go on tonight have to go by Coleman and leave the car there and so I drove back home with my friends driving much slower than I came. And every time we can.
The house is about 11 o'clock at night. My dad was still up and I knocked to the dormer that came with the data for the accident.
I wanted to look at the car and the deadly to the car and the he then said the seven all right as it runs all right. I said the farmer.
He's okay. He said he said that's fine. He says will get the car fixed number thinking how wonderful it was. My father didn't say John you're totally responsible. I give you my car you're driving too fast. I bet you will showing off in front of these girls and you're never going to have my card again when did you do, he extended mercy to me did I deserve mercy not really. The fact was, I had driven it responsibly. I was going too fast. I probably was showing off a little bit and I received mercy and if you have received from someone asking when we last merciful to someone to say to be harsh, be legalistic, be self-righteous.
James writes in James 213.
Mercy triumphs over judgment. Don't be too quick to judge and find fault under that we kind a follower of Jesus, be merciful, compassion, and action were surrounded and would buy broken people, children, merciful to your friend at school, parents, be merciful to your children. Be merciful to that difficult relative that friend or colleague. The person who struggling during this crisis. Wonderful opportunity for we who follow Jesus to show mercy to the poor, to the broken to the bereaved to the heartache, the unemployed all around us. Jesus is saying, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. I love receiving mercy now says Jesus be merciful is the third one.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God by adequate to speak on this one to see God think notice is the pure in heart.
This is an internal purity is the purity in the heart, religion, cultural Christianity emphasizes the external that we look good that we check the boxes we go through the motions were concerned with other people thinking about us that of course leads to hypocrisy is condemned by Jesus. Listen to Jesus talking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 verse 28 so you also outwardly appear righteous to others. Here's the Pharisees outwardly says Jesus. You appear righteous to others, but with in your full of hypocrisy and lawlessness while convicting is in the pure in heart.
The heart of course justifying total motions and involves emotions not serve as referring to the internal person are our will and their deceptively own mind with what you think about with you. Look at what he reads what you talk about what kind of movies do you watch what do you look at on the iPhone of yours that computer views we live in a very dirty sleazy perverted world. There's not much purity around the desert when we switch on our televisions are our look around in society. No, the pure in heart.
Listen are not looking at pornography.
The pure in heart are not engaging in immorality. Chapter 15 verse 19 Jesus says this for out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander, these are what defiles a person petite with unwashed hands doesn't defile anyone. The vertices are concerned about the externals of Jesus is no what's in your heart because all of these things these terrible sins that he lists, not from the outside, but from the heart. Therefore, the pure in heart will see: and the pure in heart lead pure lives you say well, John, and I must say my my heart is very pure. Well I'm glad you say that I appreciate your honesty because all of us. All of us need spiritual cleansing. Proverbs 20 verse nine who can say I've made my heart pure and clean from I sent anyone here can say that they could clean up their heart, their internal person know what all defiled by sin. Psalm 24 who will ascend the hill of the Lord who will stand in the holy place, who is the person who can stand before a holy God answered he was clean hands, pure heart to God demands. Where do we get that spiritual cleansing listen. John gives us the answer in first John the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.
If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all on righteousness that this is a spiritual cleansing flowing from the cross of Jesus Christ as we repent and embrace the Savior.
No, those of us who have been planned spiritually who are saved by the grace of God are called to live holy lives in the rights first Peter one as he was called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.
Since it is written, you shall be holy, for I holy.
Did you notice the tremendous promise to those who are pure in heart – eight Blessed are the pure in heart for the shall see: sinful people like us seeing God just how does that come about while the closer you follow Jesus, the more you keep your eyes on Jesus, the more you listen to his words, the more you commune with him. The holier you will be pure in heart, and the more aware you will be of your own sin. The pure in heart, they will see God.
Hebrews 12 verse 14 pursue holiness without notebook, without which no one will see the Lord and John right so wonderfully in first John three as he anticipates the return of the Lord, when we will see him will be like him, for we will see him as he is, and then he says, everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, as he is.
If future events. Christ's return has a purifying effect on me now here is a couple that engagement getting married at Calvary in November of this year as she lives in Charlotte. Her fiancé is presently in Chicago there separates as she's here. She surrounded by immoral people what's going to keep her pure and simple. First of all a relationship with God.
Yes, that's true, is fundamental. Secondly, the reality of the future events that when that wedding day comes, she wants to present herself to her bridegroom as a pure person the future impacting the present is the point crisis, the new Jerusalem. John writes in the Revelation 22 verse four. They will see his face and his name will be on the four heads that we will see God. Paul says no it is through a glass dimly, but then face to face. The more you pursue God, the more you read his word more you confess your sins, the more you see God, blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Then fourthly, verse nine Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.
This intriguing Lord Jesus. Of course, is the peacemaker.
He's called the Prince of peace.
God is called the God of peace. We were once enemies of God, but we have been reconciled to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has made peace between God who is holy and we who are sinful and he does that through the blood of his cross.
So no, we who have been justified peace with God and we now want to show that we are lying God that we are sons of God by being agents of peace peacemaker see this peacemaking is not just an absent of conflict and hostility. What is the presence of righteousness of reconciliation and joy. Not only are we to do all we can to live peaceably with people we are to do that which to bring others together who have been separated from each other and who in fact maybe hostile to each other ever tried that peacemaker. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall become sons of God over the years I've met people who are troublemakers always seem to be in the middle of a fight. They seem to get offended very easily then went very, very prickly and Lily seem to regard one of the priorities in life is to put everyone trying to correct people. All rights of possible so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all peacemaking is sometimes difficult sometimes it's very costly. Sometimes we are misunderstood when we try to make peace this or someone that you need to make peace with another stay-at-home order I'm sure is raising tensions in many families we need to make peace in your own family, husband and wife, parent, child pressure alienated from your your sister or your grandfather. The peacemaker in your home and your family think at work sometimes at work people are troublemakers. Another piece or even in the church are sometimes are those who always seem to be in the middle of a fight.
Always putting people right not doing very much themselves. Jesus is saying, live at peace and be a peacemaker and you will be called the son of God is the last one investors 10 through 11. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The persecuted first we thought of those hungering and thirsting, then the merciful, then the pure in heart then the peacemaker. Now the persecuted.
See persecution and suffering unexpected for followers of Jesus. Why is that because the Lord himself was persecuted, crucified on the cross and this week of coming up to Easter week we remember that he is described as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Not a man of laughter. But the man of sorrows, on the one who takes out grief and takes our sorrow whose hated without a cause whose ill treated and eventually nailed to a cross. We read in verse 12 that so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Many men and women throughout church history of being persecuted for righteousness sake I be persecuted on account of being a follower of Jesus, you see as you live in these Beatitudes sometimes are going to experience misunderstanding.
Perhaps in your own home, hostility, persecution, many of our brothers and sisters strike the world today are actively persecuted someone imprisoned some lose their jobs, persecuted in ways that most of us could never understand. But I'm not followers of Jesus will be persecuted and known followers of Jesus who been fired at work because it would lie because it would be dishonest, unknown men and women who have ended relationships because they wouldn't compromise the Christian convictions and engage in immoral conduct unknown young people who have been socially rejected and ostracized isolated because of the stand for Jesus you making following Jesus a bit too easy strong. The courageous Christ is with you.
Don't fall apart because someone ridicules you don't fall apart because some friend remonstrate with you. Think of the promise. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus says in verse 12 rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven to visit these blessings come to us now and in the future. If you are persecuted for righteousness sake. If you're persecuted in the kind of Jesus.
You have a great reward in Avenue site. What does that mean I'm not sure all of it means. I know there's kinds of righteousness and other awards and I do know that we who follow Jesus will reign with him in the millennial kingdom of all of this is sheer pure grace and there is a special blessing to those who suffer to those who are persecuted to those who are misunderstood because there following Jesus was my thing this morning and saying this that true followers of Jesus, receive spiritual blessings now and in the future you want to be blessed by God.
Don't you and the wonderful thing is these blessings that we've gone through in the first 12 verses of Matthew chapter 5 cannot be taken away from you when you lose your job cannot be taken away from you because of a virus cannot be taken away from you. If you are in isolation cannot be taken away from you.
If your life savings disappear cannot be taken away from you. If you have health problems or if your friends reject you know hunger and thirst after righteousness. Be merciful, be pure in heart. Be a peacemaker be ready to suffer an account of Christ.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven and received the wonderful blessings of God and the prey that you as you watch that at home.
Whatever you are today in the new way receive these great great blessings, and that your reward will be great in heaven.
Eternal God and our father, we thank you for this teaching of Jesus is very convicting because it exposes our shallowness and their superficiality. But we thank you for your grace, that we can be called sons of God as we are peacemakers that we can see you as were pure in heart. As we hunger and thirst after righteousness, we will be filled.
Thank you for these blessings that were blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. And yet I pray for those who have never yet known your mercy, because of never come to Christ humbly morning over there soon repenting of their sin open their eyes. Father, we thank you for the fact that you are rich in mercy and great love you sent Jesus Christ to die for us and that he conquered that and is alive forevermore, may we all trust the Savior and follow him.
Father receive these blessings now for all of eternity as we praise you and thank you in Christ name, amen