Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
The Sermon for This Week is: The Beatitudes - I - Matthew
5:3 - Blessed
are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that
mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
5:8 - Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
5:10 - Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
5:11 - Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and
persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you
falsely, for my sake.
5:12 - Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted
they the prophets which were before you.
1. As we begin to take a closer look at The Sermon On The Mount, we notice first that section referred
to as The Beatitudes - Matthew 3:3-12 - See Above
a. The word “beatitude” means “supreme blessedness or happiness”
b. We find Jesus discussing the blessedness of those who possess certain qualities
2. It is as though Jesus was answering two questions people might have been asking...
a. Who will be the citizens of “the kingdom of heaven”?
b. What benefits do they receive?
3. My treatment of this passage will be somewhat different than normal...
a. Most examine each beatitude in detail before moving on to the next
b. But we will look at the entire section in an overall fashion twice
1) Looking at it from two different perspectives
2) Taking two lessons to do so
4. In this lesson, let’s consider The Beatitudes from the viewpoint of the question: “Who
will be the citizens of the kingdom?”
[In other words, what is the character required of the citizens of the kingdom?
I. THEIR CHARACTER INVOLVES INTERRELATED QUALITIES
A. THEY WILL POSSESS ALL OF THESE GRACES...
1. Only those who have all of the qualities described will truly be citizens of the kingdom
2. For it should be evident that some may be...
a. “Poor in spirit,” but do not “hunger and thirst after righteousness”
b. “Mournful,” but are not “pure in heart”
c. “Meek,” but are not “peacemakers”
d. “Persecuted,” but not “for righteousness’ sake”
B. THESE GRACES ARE INTERRELATED...
1. It takes all of these qualities, working in conjunction with one another
2. In this the passage is similar to 2 Peter 1:5-11 - And beside
this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance
patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these
things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be
barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see
afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make
your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto
you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
a. Where various qualities are also listed
b. Where each are needed in conjunction to one another (“add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge...”)
3. Only then can one have “an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom”
[How the qualities are interrelated will become apparent as we examine The Beatitudes, noting that...]
II. THEIR CHARACTER INCLUDES EIGHT QUALITIES
A. THEY ARE “POOR IN SPIRIT”...
1. “To be poor in spirit is to have a humble opinion of ourselves; to be sensible that we are sinners,
and have no righteousness of our own; to be willing to be saved only by the rich grace and mercy of God” (Barnes)
2. I.e., convicted of one’s own spiritual poverty
a. Exemplified by the tax collector in Luke 18:13 - And the publican,
standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes
unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
b. Such people God will accept into His good favor - Isaiah 57:15 - For thus saith the high
and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy
place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. - Isaiah 66:1-2 - Thus saith
the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:
where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the
place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
3. The opposite of “poor in spirit” would be “proud of heart,” such as:
a. The Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 - And he spake this parable unto certain
which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the
temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed
thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week,
I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up
so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast,
saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
b. The Laodiceans in Revelation 3:17-19 - Because thou sayest, I am
rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor,
and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that
thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness
do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous
therefore, and repent.
B. THEY “MOURN”...
1. But do so in a specific sense: over one’s own spiritual poverty, one’ sinfulness
2. Like David did after his adultery with Bathsheba - Psalms 51:3-4 - For I acknowledge my transgressions:
and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and
be clear when thou judgest.
3. Note the relationship between these first two characteristics
a. Unless one is first “poor in spirit”
b. They will not “mourn” over their spiritual poverty
C. THEY ARE “MEEK”...
1. This means gentle, easy to be entreated
a. They would rather suffer injury than inflict it
b. Not out of weakness, but out of humility, realizing one’s own poverty of spirit, one’s
2. A good example of meekness is Moses
a. He was certainly not a weak or timid man - Exodus 32:19-20 - And it came to pass, as soon
as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out
of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it
in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon
the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. - Exodus 32:30-34 - And
it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the
LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have
sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray
thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I
blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken
unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.
b. But when personally attacked, he was very humble - Numbers 12:1-3 - And Miriam and Aaron
spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said,
Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were
upon the face of the earth.)
D. THEY “HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS”...
1. They look for the righteousness which will meet:
a. Their spiritual poverty
b. Their mourning over the same
2. To “hunger and thirst” suggests not a halfhearted search, but one exemplified by:
a. David in Psalms 42:1-2 - As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
- Psalms 19:12-14 - Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret
faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the
words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
b. Paul in Philippians 3:7-15a - But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law,
but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power
of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might
attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow
after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have
apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things
which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:
E. THEY ARE “MERCIFUL”...
1. Loving towards those in misery (e.g., the “Good Samaritan”)
2. Possessing a forgiving spirit toward those who sin against them (Hendricksen)
a. As Jesus had toward those crucifying Him - Luke 23:34 - Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
b. As Stephen had toward those stoning him - Acts 7:60 - And he kneeled down, and cried with
a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
3. Jesus stressed this characteristic on several occasions...
a. Later in this sermon, in teaching on prayer - Matthew 6:14-15 - For
if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
b. In His parable of “The Unforgiving Servant” - Matthew 18:21-35 - Then came Peter
to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him,
I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children,
and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped
him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant
was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant
went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took
him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will
pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the
debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told
unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto
him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest
not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his
lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their
4. This virtue grows “out of our personal experience of the mercy of God.” (Lenski)
F. THEY ARE “PURE IN HEART”...
1. Defined as “singleness of heart, the honesty which has no hidden motive, no selfish interest,
and is true and open in all things.” (Lenski)
2. Refers to one who is sincere, honest, without hypocrisy
3. That such a quality is necessary to see God, see Psalms 24:3-4 - Who shall ascend into the
hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up
his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
G. THEY ARE “PEACEMAKERS”...
1. They devote their lives to making peace by following the Prince of Peace
a. Making effort to be at peace with all men - Romans 12:18-21 - If
it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay,
saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals
of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
b. Helping others to be at peace with God by proclaiming the gospel of peace - cf. Romans 5:1 - Therefore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: - Ephesians 6:15 - And your
feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
2. “At peace with God and thus themselves filled with sweet peace, they live in peace, if possible,
with all men and work to keep and to make peace where peace is threatened or lost. Theirs is the work of true Christians who
follow in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace.” (Lenski)
H. THEY ARE “PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE”...
1. “The tense and voice of the verb (passive perfect) may be regarded as permissive:
a. “Who have allowed themselves to be persecuted, or have endured persecution”
b. “The idea is that they did not flee from it but willingly submitted to when it came to them.”
2. In what way, is explained in verse 5:11 ( Blessed are ye,
when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all
manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.),
and includes being:
a. Reviled or reproached
c. Slandered falsely
-- All for Jesus’ sake
3. That such persecution would often afflict those who are citizens of the kingdom, see Acts 14:21-22
- And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and
exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. - Philippians
1:29-30 - For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his
sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. - 2 Timothy
3:12 - Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Such are the characteristics of those who will be citizens of the kingdom of heaven...
a. They are poor in spirit (realizing their sinfulness)
b. Thus they mourn (for their sins)
c. Thus they are meek (gentle toward God and others)
d. Thus they hunger and thirst for righteousness (which they desperately need)
e. Thus they are merciful (for they know they need mercy)
f. Thus they are pure in heart (seeking to please God with singleness of heart)
g. Thus they are peacemakers (making peace with others, having found peace with God)
h. Thus they are persecuted for the kingdom of heaven (misunderstood by the proud and arrogant that are
still in their sins)
-- Eight graces, all interrelated and working together to produce the right kind of character
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15-16 - And
he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Lord I truly thank You for giving me the opportunity to present these words to my brethrens. I pray that You will
give them Your eternal blessings and accept them into Your heart - this I pray
in the name of Thy Son, Jesus, the Messiah, Your only begotten son which Ye sent to save mankind from themselves. Amen
be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace
be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. - Ephesians 6:23-24
This sermon is in the Public Domain - Free for all to use with the only requirement:
That it never be used for profit.