Matthew 5:1-5 Citizens of the Kingdom Part 1
Monday, November 24, 2008–I have gotten behind on blogging my notes from Pastor Tim’s sermons in Matthew! Here are my notes from Sun. Oct.26th, I think.
Matthew 5:1-5 Citizens of the Kingdom, Part 1
Introduction: Matthew records 5 of Jesus’ Great Discourses and the Sermon on the Mount is the First. What does it mean to display Christian character, a picture of Kingdom life? When we are born again and come to Christ we become Kingdom Citizens. The Beatitudes are the Character of the Citizens of the Kingdom. This is not merely exalted ethical teaching. Jesus is not merely a great Teacher of morals. He is our Redeemer and Savior; he dies so that we can live the kind of life described in the Beatitudes. We do not earn the privilege of being in the Kingdom!
Theology and doctrine are inseparable. Jonathon Edwards and Augustine called this the Sermon on the Mount. This is not pie in the sky bye and bye; it is about the here and now. Kingdom Living Here and Now is the title of a book by John MacArthur on the Sermon on the Mount. This will be like heaven but we are to live it in the here and now. These are not idealistic platitudes, it is how we are to live in a sinful world.
These are the Beatitudes- Blessings and they ask us 2 questions and give us 2 answers:
1. What does it mean to be blessed? or happy-satisfied? Jesus renounces the idea that true blessing can be found anywhere but in Him. We have to be in a right relationship with God in Christ to be blessed. Wealth, power, fame, beauty do not equal being blessed by God.
2. Who is the one who is blessed? those who are wealthy and beautiful? No. Jesus says the ones who are humble, penitent, who grieve over their sin. Everything Jesus is saying here is the opposite of what the world says- it is deliberately shocking!
The world says you must hold up self. Jesus says it is found in self denied- poverty of spirit.
On what is my heart set? What qualities do you want to develop in your life? These 8 qualities, be-attitudes? Meekness? etc. Have I known what it means to be blessed?
The Character Qualities: all of these are found in all true Christians, we do not pick and choose which ones we can do and which ones we cannot do.
The Structure-a) the general blessing “blessed”; b) the description of the blessed person “poor in spirit”; c) the specific blessing “theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
1) Humble- True Christians are humble. If you aren’t humble, are you really a Christian? To be poor in spirit is to be humble. To have a sense of our sinfulness, helplessness and utter dependence upon God. The Lord draws near to the humble. In Matt. 15:21ff is the story of the Canaanite woman who acknowledges her helplessness and undeserving position. Yet she asks for mercy and receives it! Do we have that kind of poverty of spirit? When she admitted she had no claim on the kingdom, she is granted the kingdom! What you are when you are alone in the presence of God is who you really are.
2) Christians are grieved over their sin and are called to a life of repentance. We are to mourn over our sin. Do we recognize we are spiritually bankrupt? Grief over loss of fellowship with God. Sin brings isolation and disharmony.
3) Christians are meek- considerate and kind. The humble strength of submitting to Christ and others to show forgiveness. Moses was educated and cultured but driven to be a shepherd for 40 yrs. He became meek. Meekness is giving up your rights. If you seek your own satisfaction you will never find it.
When Jesus gives us this- it is not a “to do list” It all comes by his grace- we cannot do any of this on our own. Only God can do it an only God gets the glory when we live the Kingdom life.