Date: 16 August, 2015
Text: Matthew 5
Title: The Attitudes that God Blesses
1 ¶ And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain:
exp. Jesus did not only have no place to sleep, he had no place to preach. So, he choses a likely spot in the mountains where he can set up his school of ministry.
ill. Scotland is not unfamiliar with field preaching.
· George Whitfield preached to crowds of over 20,000 in Scotland.
· The Free Church ministers in Scotland preached outdoors to their congregations after leaving the State Church. One church met by the Roman Mound near the river in village of Calendar.
app. This is not an ornate church building. It is a convenient enough place, perhaps a natural amphitheatre where the Word of God would be proclaimed by the GOD OF THE WORD.
and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
exp. The main audience was his disciples. These were men of faith and imputed righteousness. The unbelievers in the multitude would benefit from the message of our Lord and yet the focus was to those who were committed to His cause.
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
exp. There is an authority that is going to resonate through this message. The RESPONSE to His message is summarized by Matthew....
Matthew 7:28-29 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
app. When God gets into a message, you won't feel compelled to obey the preacher. You will feel compelled to OBEY GOD!
The introduction to our Lord's sermon.
3 ¶ Blessed are the....
The amplified Bible expounds this word "blessed" as "to be envied, and spiritually prosperous that is, with life- joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation."
exp. God supernaturally and naturally blesses those believers who meet the criteria of this blessing.
These blessings pronounced by Jesus are called the "Beattitudes."
Beattitudes refers to the blessing but I want to look at what really could be called the BEST ATTITUDES which God blesses.
Miriam Webster Dictionary - a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior
We need to have these God blessed attitudes in our lives.
note: Some false religions who teach salvation by man's goodness have abused these attitudes in their attempt to earn salvation. (But just because they have abused them, we can't neglect them.)
So, what attitudes would Jesus have you to adopt or change this morning?
I. Have an attitude of poverty.
A. Counting all gain as loss.
3 ¶ Blessed are the poor in spirit:
exp. The word poor means poor. It isn't speaking about physical poverty but spiritual poverty.
1. This poverty is a choice.
Paul was a great religious leader but he let it all go for Jesus sake. He became poor in Spirit.
Philipians 3: 4 ¶ Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 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,
app. This person is willing to turn their back on a religious system when it contradicts the message of God's Word. All their religious value is put down as wasted as they accept the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. This poverty pleases God.
Isaiah 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
exp. It acknowledges a complete dependence upon God.
app. Have you ever turned to Jesus acknowledging your complete need FOR HIM.
B. Living for then not now.
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
exp. They get a good trade. They give up spiritual "riches" that are empty trinkets of earth for the everlasting value of Heaven.
ill. Asking Ian about eternity. "I never think about it. I just live life for the now....for the moment."
ill. Rich Man and Lazarus. Lazurus didn't have anything in life but he had everything in eternity.
question: What do you value? Have you acknowledged your spiritual riches for true riches? Poverty of Spirit is blessed of God.
II. Have an attitude of Godly sorrow.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
A. Godly sorrow is mournful.
exp. This is an attitude of repentance and sorrow for sin. Many men and women have wept themselves into the loving arms of Jesus. Their sorrow for their sin brought them to the place of seeking comfort from the only true source.
ill. James Stewart tells the story about a man who can not weep. His wife had brought him over to share the Gospel with him. The man wouldn't get saved because he couldn't cry like his wife and others had been crying. So, he didn't think he could get saved without tears. James Stewart told him that tears weren't necessary for salvation. So, he bowed his head to accept Jesus and began to weep as He accepted Christ. TEARS AREN'T NECESSARY BUT THEY SURE ARE A GOOD SIGN OF THE SINCERITY OF A REPENTANT HEART.
HAVE YOU EVER SORROWED OVER YOUR SIN?
B. Godly sorrow is comforted.
II Corinthians 7:10-11 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
exp. When a man is brought by sorrow to the feet of Jesus in repentance, he finds great comfort when he has that burden taken away.
ill. Asking the young man have you ever been brougth to such a place in your life that you cried out to God for mercy. God can bring you there. Oh, don't harden your neck if God has heaped sorrow upon you it is for your good TO BRING YOU TO HIMSELF. God to him for comfort and forgiveness of your sins.
song: "Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now, He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now."
app. Christian has your heart been hardened to the point where you don't sorrow for you sin? Let God break your heart with Godly Sorrow that worketh repentance.
III. Have an attitude of gentleness.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
exp. This person may be like Moses and burn passionately at times for the glory of God. And yet, they can gently lead people who need a caring shepherd.
ill. Moses was a firebrand at times. And yet,
Nu 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
Note: Meekness is not weakness. It is the ability to hold your tongue like Jesus when necessary for the glory of God.
ill. Wilds "Understand that you are the rug and expect to get stepped on."
app. Perhaps the earthly inheritance is referring to the Milenium. Perhaps it is referring to the blessings of God during their lifetime. Regardless - we know that God sets a premium on being able to apply meekness to our lives.
IV. Have an attitude of appetite.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
· This person though not perfect is persuing a sanctified life. They are grieved by their shortcoming and desiring to overcome by God's grace.
· As they pass through this imperfect world, they are grieved by the ungodliness and a deep desire to see God's will accomplished here.
· They hunger and thirst after righteousness.
note: Perhaps no other attitude is so lacking in our day and age. There is very little difference it seems between those who have trusted Christ as their Saviour and those who are clearly unsaved.
note: Christianity used to change people's lives.
ill. Repentant Witches
Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
ill. Reception of Truth
Ac 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
ill. Welsh revival - theatre's empty, stadium's empty, CHURCHES FULL.
app. How is your appetite for that which pleases God? Are you earnestly comparing your life with God's Word or are you happy to live like the world?
app. There is a coming a day of perfect sanctification in glory. But, until then, God will help those who hunger for righteous living to find satisfaction in His holiness.
V. Have an attitude of mercy.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
exp. This person has compassion on those who are less fortunate or those who owe him a debt.
A. Care for those in need.
exp. The early church was always sympathetic to those who had legitimate needs.
· They cared for widows. Ac 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
· They cared for the poor. Ga 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
B. Forgive those indebted to you.
Matthew 18:21 ¶ Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
app. Perhaps you think there is no way you can forgive someone for what they have done to you. Have you considered that God is willing to forgive you so much more than you will ever forgive them. But, you can't have His forgiveness until you forgive them. (Jesus will deal with this later in His sermon.)
Mt 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
app. If you want to be rich in the mercy of God, Be rich in extending mercy to those about you.
VI. Have an attitude of purity.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
ill. Robert Murray Mc'Cheynne's prayer, "Lord, make me as holy as a poor lost sinner can be."
exp. He died at 29 years of age but was known as a Holy man.
ill. Drinking the water at Honey Cottages Caravan Park. It is taken out of the stream, treated, and then gravity fed to the campground. It was exceptionally good water. There was another stream mentioned to me that supposedly had sewage in it. (You couldn't pay me to drink water that had just a bit of sewage in it. Because if their is sewage in it, it is not at all fit for drinking. )
James 3: 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
app. What is coming out of your life. Those with purity have a precious promise of a special revelation and recognition of God. Proverbs 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.
VII. Have an attitude of pursuing peace.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
ill. Jesus ministry was one of restoration of relationship with God. He came to seek and to save men who had been alienated from God.
ill. Barnabus excelled at this.
· He reconciled Paul to the church after his conversion. Ac 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
· He reconciled John Mark to the ministry. Ac 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
exp. God has always put a premium upon unity among believers. Sadly Satan gets involved here in trying to break things apart. Ps 133:1 «A Song of degrees of David.» Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
app. Are you seeking peace with other believers? Those who make peace are easily recognized as God's children. Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
VIII. Have an attitude of suffering.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
exp. Those with this attitude don't expect to get by as a believer without abuse from the world. 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
App. If you skip the attitude of purity and Godly sorrow, you won't have to worry about the suffering but you won't know the reward in Heaven either! Are you willing to suffer for Jesus? Re 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
IX. Have an attitude of identification.
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.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
exp. Christians used to accept that to be a follower of Jesus you had to be like Christ. EVANGELICAL FALSE TEACHERS HAVE GIVEN CROSSES TO NEW BELIEVERS THAT ARE NO CROSSES AT ALL. Their is no shame or suffering associated with them! Who wouldn't take up such a comfortable cross to follow Christ IN NAME ONLY.
BUT PAUL AND OTHERS WERE UNASHAMEDLY ON THE SIDE OF CHRIST!
Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
app. When is the last time somebody said anything unkind to you because you stand where Jesus stands.
conclusion: Do you need to adjust some of your attitudes this morning? The best preacher of all time began his message with attitudes.
Do you understand your spiritual poverty? poor in spirit
Have you experienced Godly sorrow? mourn
Are you gentle in responding to those who step on you? Meek
Do you have an appetite for righteousness? Hunger and thirst after righteousness
Are you merciful to others? Merciful
Are you pure? Pure in heart
Are you interested in restoring relationships that are broken? Peace maker
Are you wanting a comfortable Cross or the cross of Christ? Persecuted for righteousness sake.
Are you taking accusations for being a follower of Jesus? Or do you just blend in?