A Blessed Life

Text: Matthew 5:3-12

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave instructions for the life of a disciple. In our text, He described the life of a disciple as a blessed life. These verses are often referred to as the “beatitudes” because they describe those who are blessed. This means more than just being happy – they were approved of God.

Poor in Spirit (Matthew 5:3)

  • This means that we must be humble – first, must recognize our place before God (Psalm 100:3; 8:3-4); second, must approach His instructions with humility (James 1:21)
  • Blessed in that we can be part of the kingdom of heaven – the church (Matthew 16:18-19); humility allows us to be part of the greatest kingdom; opposite of pride which is characteristic of human kingdoms (Matthew 20:25)

Mourn (Matthew 5:4)

  • In this context, it is primarily referring to godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10) – mourning associated with repentance
  • Also true that we sorrow over the hardships/trials of life (Job 14:1)
  • Blessed in that we will be comforted – when we sorrow over sin, God offers forgiveness (Matthew 9:2; Romans 4:7); when we suffer in life, the Lord offers comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5), ultimately in heaven (Revelation 21:4)

Gentle/Meek (Matthew 5:5)

  • Gentleness/meekness is not necessarily passiveness, weakness, or timidity – it is the quiet determination to obey the Lord regardless of the consequences; we must obey God in all things (Luke 9:23), no matter what happens
  • Blessed in that we will inherit the earth – means “the land” (Canaan) which is figurative; reminder of the inheritance/promise; we are able to look forward to an inheritance in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4); not by our own strength, but by trusting in God (2 Timothy 1:12)

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness (Matthew 5:6)

  • Righteousness means to be right by God’s standard (Romans 1:16-17), not man’s standard (Romans 10:2-4) – earnest desire; zeal for doing the works of God (Titus 2:14)
  • Blessed in that we will be satisfied – not just to obtain righteousness, but the reward of it (1 John 2:28-29); salvation is not by grace alone, we must live righteously (Matthew 7:21)

Merciful (Matthew 5:7)

  • Show mercy to others – in essence, practice the “golden rule” (Matthew 7:12); showing mercy is necessary for God to forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15)
  • Blessed in that we will receive mercy from God – means we will not receive what we deserve; wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23); can be avoided if we meet the conditions for forgiveness (Hebrews 5:9)

Pure in Heart (Matthew 5:8)

  • Purity means to be free from sin – God is light (1 John 1:5); He cannot fellowship darkness (1 John 1:6-7); not just about outward appearance, but purity must be “in heart” (Matthew 23:27-28; cf. Proverbs 4:23)
  • Blessed in that we will see God – fellowship (1 John 1:7); leading to a home in heaven with Him (1 John 3:1-3)

Peacemakers (Matthew 5:9)

  • God sought to make peace with us (Colossians 1:19-20) – if man would obey Him (Colossians 1:10); as much as possible, we should be at peace with others (Romans 12:18)
  • Blessed in that we will be called sons of God – common purpose with Him (Romans 12:2); also that we have the inheritance as sons (1 Peter 1:3-4)

Persecuted (Matthew 5:10-12)

  • Other beatitudes are about what we do/say/think – this is based on our response to what others do/say; Jesus spent more time discussing this point as it is harder to see this as a “blessed” life
  • He emphasized a pattern of persecution – God’s people should expect this (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12)
  • Blessed in that we will receive the kingdom of heaven – back to where He started the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3); no matter how much we have to suffer in this life, we have heaven to look forward to (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Conclusion

  • The life of a disciple is a blessed life – though this is not always seen in this life on earth
  • But if we humbly follow after the Lord, He will be with us and will bless us richly in heaven

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