Sermon on the Mount

This was originally posted at The Biblical Recorder.

Throughout the ages the Church has utilized Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to frame the Christian life. More specifically, one of the essential passages that the ancient Fathers of the church used to catechize new believers was the “beatitudes,” which are short statements that summarized the essence of that sermon. These statements are labeled the “beatitudes” from the Latin word beatus, which means “blessed or happy.” In other words, it is a state of living that is not marked by temporary and circumstantial happiness, but a deep joy that is rooted in one’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

  • The poor in Spirit are blessed because they recognize their neediness for grace from God.

  • Those who mourn their sin, also recognize the comfort they find in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

  • The meek are blessed because they do not feel the need to assert themselves over others to get what they want, but find rest in God’s providential sovereignty over all events on earth.

  • Those who long for righteousness, find satisfaction in the deep wells of gospel empowered and Spirit reliant living.

  • The merciful are blessed, because they, after receiving mercy from God, can offer mercy to others freely.

  • The pure in heart are those who have seen God in Christ, and have received His righteousness as a gift in faith.

  • Those who make peace, (or seek the well-being of those around them) receive the blessing of giving the lost a picture of what is to come.

  • Even those who are wrongly treated and reviled are counted among the blessed, because their reward in the world to come is certainly worth the trials here.

This is a life lived in the power of the Spirit and in response to God’s blessing. We are doubly blessed because we experience God’s blessing in obedience (Luke 11:28; 1 Peter 3:9; James 1:22; Revelation 22:7). But even more so, obedience itself is a blessing! Which one of us would be able to live this way in our own power?

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