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Beatitudes summary and testimonies

Back to all sermons Revival

Date: March 27, 2022

Speaker: Eric Stillman

Series: Revival

Scripture: Matthew 5:3–5:12

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

 

This is a portrait of the one God favors, the person who is blessed by God. The Beatitudes build off each other. It begins with coming poor in spirit. The poor in spirit know they are spiritually bankrupt and are dependent upon God for everything. They come with no spiritual resume in hand, not thinking that they are accepted by God because they attend church or give to the poor or try to be good people. They know that they are completely dependent upon God for every single breath that they breathe. Any holiness, any desire for goodness, and love displayed towards others, originated with God and is an undeserved gift from Him. It’s best exemplified by the parable Jesus told in Luke 18:10-14 -

 

Luke 18:10-14 - Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men-- robbers, evildoers, adulterers-- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

Or as Paul put it in Galatians 6:3, “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

 

“There is the mountain that you have to scale, the heights you have to climb; and the first thing you must realize, as you look at that mountain which you are told you must ascend, is that you cannot do it, that you are utterly incapable in and of yourself, and that any attempt to do it in your own strength is proof positive that you have not understood it.”

Martin Lloyd-Jones, The Sermon on the Mount

 

“Just as water ever seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds you abased and empty, His glory and power flow in.”

Andrew Murray

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit. And blessed are those who mourn. This one is huge. This is so counter-cultural. Instead of listening to the world’s idea of self-esteem and trying to build ourselves up and focus on our good qualities, we look honestly at our sin and how it has negatively impacted us, the people we love, our community, and most important the Son of God who died for our sins.

 

“Searcher of hearts,

It is a good day to me when thou givest me

 A glimpse of myself;

Sin is my greatest evil,

 But thou art my greatest good;

I have cause to loathe myself,

 And not to seek self-honour,

 For no one desires to commend his own dunghill

My country, family, church

 Fare worse because of my sins”

 

We allow ourselves to feel the full emotional weight of that sin and the damage it has done. We take an honest inventory. And we do the same with the suffering of the world, looking at it, feeling the pain and injustice and not turning a blind eye to it. As we mourn our sin and the suffering of the world, we open ourselves up to powerful transformation.

 

 

Blessed are the meek. Those who have seen their utter dependence upon God and know the depth of their sin recognize that the wisest thing they can do is to completely surrender to the will of a good and all-knowing, all-powerful God. The meek are like wild horses who submit to their master. And a sober awareness of their own sin also leads the meek to be humble and gentle in their dealings with others. They do not easily take offense, because they know the truth about themselves. And they are quick to take the lowest place to serve others.

 

“Meekness is essentially a true view of oneself, expressing itself in attitude and conduct with respect to others… The man who is truly meek is the one who is truly amazed that God and man can think of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do.”

  1. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Righteousness is being in right relationship with God and others, living in conformity to His will

 

Those who are favored by God recognize the damage that sin causes, and want to be rid of it. They want to be fully God’s. And they know the great promises that God has for those who give themselves fully to Him. And so they find welling up in them a burning desire for more of God, for greater holiness, to be like Him and to bring Him as much honor as possible through their life.

 

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

 

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

Isaiah 55:1-3

 

 

Blessed are the merciful. Mercy is compassion towards someone experiencing the consequences of sin, plus action to relieve suffering

 

They recognize how much mercy God has shown them in forgiving their sins again and again and taking the punishment that they deserved. They know that they have not been treated as their sins deserved, and that God saw their pitiful estate and came down to rescue them. And so, they have a heart of mercy towards others. They are quick to forgive, knowing how much they have been forgiven. And they are compassionate towards those who are suffering, knowing that it is only by God’s mercy that they have anything good.

 

Be willing to inconvenience yourself, risk your own safety, and bear the cost for anyone who is in need, even your enemy

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:16-18

 

 

Blessed are the pure in heart. Despite knowing the depth of their sin, they know that God has given them a new heart through their faith in Christ. He has made them new creations, giving them His Holy Spirit to indwell them and purify them. And now their desire is to be pure in heart, to live with integrity, to have motivations that spring from a heart to love God and love others. As God purifies their hearts, they begin to see God more clearly in nature, as they see that the whole earth is full of His glory. They see God in the Bible, as it comes alive and testifies about Jesus. They see God in the church, in other believers, His hands and feet, His body. And they see God working in the circumstances of their life, working even the bad things together for good.

 

Blessed are the peacemakers. They know that in Jesus Christ, God has made peace with them, replacing the enmity with a reconciled relationship. And so their heart is to make peace wherever there is strife or conflict. They are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. They speak kindly, for they know that a gentle answer turns away wrath. They are quick to forgive those who repent, and quick to ask for forgiveness when they have offended someone else. They seek to live in love towards everyone, even their enemies. And they go out into the world as peacemakers, seeking to bring people to peace with God, and to peace with each other.

 

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12:18

 

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

Luke 6:26

 

 

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness. They are willing to follow Jesus no matter what people think. They know that peacemaking is going to involve confronting sin and evil, and they know that not everyone will like them for that, just as they did not like Jesus when He confronted sin and evil. They know that their pursuit of righteousness will cause some people to feel judged, and they may be slandered or mocked as a result. But they rejoice in persecution, knowing that by choosing God’s honor over their own comfort, they are showing the genuineness of their faith. They know that they are in a spiritual battle, and that if they are persecuted, it means that they are a threat to Satan. And they know that anything they give up or lose in this life will not compare with the glory and reward that are theirs forever.

 

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

John 15:18-21

 

“Suffering, then, is the badge of true discipleship. The disciple is not above his master… Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering Christ, and it is therefore not surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer. In fact, it is a joy and a token of his grace.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18