"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
The Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12)
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"
a. In verses 3-12, we find Jesus discussing the blessedness of
those who possess certain qualities
b. It is almost as though Jesus were answering two questions the
people might have been asking:
1) Who are the citizens of this "kingdom of heaven"?
2) What benefits do they receive?
2. Our treatment of this passage will be somewhat different than normal
a. Most approach this passage by examining each beatitude in detail
before moving on to the next
b. But we will look at the entire section in an overall fashion
twice, from two different perspectives
[First, let's look at "The Beatitudes" from the viewpoint of the
question: "WHO ARE THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM?"
In other words...]
I. THE CHARACTER REQUIRED OF THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM
A. ONE WHICH INVOLVES SEVERAL INTER-RELATED QUALITIES...
1. Only those who possess ALL of these qualities are truly
citizens of the kingdom of heaven
2. For it should be evident that some...
a. May be "poor in spirit," but do not "hunger and thirst
b. May "mourn," but are not "pure in heart"
c. May be "meek," but are not "peacemakers"
d. May be "persecuted," but not "for righteousness' sake"
3. It takes ALL of these qualities, and in this sense the passage
is similar to 2 Pe 1:5-11
a. Where various qualities are also listed
b. Where each of them is needed IN CONJUNCTION to assure that
"an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the
B. THEREFORE, CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ARE THOSE WHO...
1. ARE "POOR IN SPIRIT"
a. "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)
b. I.e., convicted of one's own spiritual poverty
1) Exemplified by the tax collector in Lk 18:13
2) Such people God will accept into His good favor
- Is 57:15; Is 66:1-2
c. The opposite of "poor in spirit" would be "proud of heart,"
and those who are such are more like:
1) The Pharisee in Lk 18:9-14
2) The Laodiceans in Re 3:17-19
a. But to do so in a specific sense: over one's own spiritual
poverty, one's sinfulness
b. Like David did after his adultery with Bathsheba
- Ps 51:3-4
c. Note the relationship between these first two character-
1) Unless one is first "poor in spirit"
2) They will not "mourn" over their spiritual poverty
3. ARE "MEEK"
a. I.e., gentle, prone to be patient and mild
1) Would rather suffer injury than inflict it
2) Not out of weakness, but out of humility, realizing
one's own poverty of spirit, one's own sinfulness
b. A good example of meekness is Moses
1) He was certainly not a weak or timid man
- Ex 32:19-20
2) But when personally attacked, he was very humble
- Nu 12:1-3
4. "HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS"
a. I.e., looking for the righteousness which will meet:
1) Their spiritual poverty
2) Their mourning over the same
b. To desire, to "hunger and thirst" suggests not a half-hearted
search, but one exemplified by:
1) David in Ps 42:1-2; Is 26:9
2) Paul in Ph 3:7-15a
5. ARE "MERCIFUL"
a. Loving towards those in misery (e.g., the "Good Samaritan")
b. Possessing a forgiving spirit towards those who sin against
1) E.g., Jesus in Lk 23:34
2) E.g., Stephen in Ac 7:60
c. Jesus stressed this characteristic on several occasions...
1) Later in His sermon, in teaching on prayer
- Mt 6:14-15
2) In His parable of "The Unforgiving Servant"
- Mt 18:21-35
d. This virtue grows "out of our personal experience of the
mercy of God." (LENSKI)
6. ARE "PURE IN HEART"
a. "Singleness of heart, the honesty which has no hidden
motive, no selfish interest, and is true and open in all
b. Refers to one who is sincere, honest, without hypocrisy
c. Such a quality is necessary to see God - cf. Ps 24:3-4
7. ARE "PEACEMAKERS"
a. Peacemakers devote their lives to making peace by
following the Prince of Peace
1) Involves effort to be at peace with all men
- Ro 12:18-21
2) Involves helping others to be at peace with God by
proclaiming the gospel of peace - cf. Ro 5:1 and
b. "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) >
8. ARE "PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE"
a. "The tense and voice of the verb (passive perfect) may be
regarded as permissive:
1) "Who have allowed themselves to be persecuted, or have
2) "The idea is that they did not flee from it but
willingly submitted to it when it came to them." (LENSKI)
b. How they are persecuted is explained in verse 11, and includes
1) Reviled or reproached
3) Slandered falsely
-- All for Jesus' sake
c. That such persecution would often afflict those who are
citizens of the kingdom, see Ac 14:21-22; Ph 1:29-30;
2 Ti 3:12
[Such are the CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
But is it worth it?
To answer that, let's now look at the "The Beatitudes" from the
viewpoint of another question: "WHAT BENEFITS DO CITIZENS OF THE
KINGDOM RECEIVE?" In other words...]
II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM
A. THEIR CONDITION CAN BE SUMMED UP IN ONE WORD: "BLESSED"
1. This word stands at the beginning of the sermon, and is used
nine times in nine verses
2. It can literally mean, "how very happy" is the one described
3. We can infer from verse 12 that "blessed" involves great
joy and gladness; "rejoice and be exceedingly glad"
B. THEY ARE BLESSED BY THE BENEFITS RECEIVED
1. "THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"
a. As evidence that the kingdom of heaven is present today...
1) Notice that the first and last of the "Blessed are"
Beatitudes, (V3) and (V10), mention "theirs is
the kingdom of heaven." Not "will be," but "is"
2) They are under the kingly rule of God and Jesus Christ
3) They are in a spiritual kingdom
a) Which today involves being in the "church," the
PRESENT manifestation of the "kingdom of heaven"
b) To fulfill the spiritual kingdom's eternal
manifestation the material earth will be ended and
the kingdom will be moved to a "new heaven and
new earth" in the (FUTURE) spiritual realm
2."THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED"
a. This is in reference to those who mourn over their sins
and spiritual poverty
b. They are comforted even NOW - 2 Co 1:3-5
c. They shall be comforted in the FUTURE - Re 21:1-4
3. "THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH"
a. In one sense, they inherit it now
1) As a result of putting the kingdom of God first
- 1 Tim 4:8; Mk 10:29-30
2) Though they may have less material things than some who
are wicked, God enables them to enjoy it more! -
Ec 5:19-20; Ec 6:1-2
3) This explanation seems to be consistent with the context
of Psalms 37, from which the phrase was taken
- Ps 37:1-11; Ps 37:16-29
b. But in another sense, there yet remains a promise
concerning a "new earth" for those that are already
in the kingdom - Jn 14:2-3; 2 Pe 3:10-13
4. "THEY SHALL BE FILLED"
a. That is, with the righteousness we so desperately
need, found only in Christ - Ph 3:8-9
b. Received presently, through the precious blood of Christ
- Ro 5:9
c. Received in fullness when adorned in the white linen of
righteousness in preparation for the marriage of the Lamb
- Re 19:5-9
5. "THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY"
a. Those in the kingdom enjoy the forgiveness of sins through
the blood of Jesus - Re 1:5-6
b. They shall also be shown mercy in escaping the righteous
wrath of God in the Day of Judgment - Ro 5:9
6. "THEY SHALL SEE GOD"
a. Presently, citizens of the kingdom can see God through
their Lord Jesus Christ - Jn 14:6-7
b. But in the future, we shall see Him face to face
- Re 21:3; Re 22:3-4
7. "THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD"
a. Even now we are called the sons of God - 1 Jn 3:1-2
b. How much more so, in the future! -
III. CHARACTER TRAITS OPPOSITE TO THE CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM - 1 Jn 2:16
A. ONE CHARACTER TRAIT INVOLVES SEVERAL INTERRELATED QUALITIES... Re 21:5-7
1. Pride in one's self is not a desirable quality Mk 7:22
a. Nevertheless, many are encouraged to display pride in
one's self or one's organization 1 Tim 3:6
2. Greed is another common quality found in the world 1 Tim 6:10
a. Often money is used the wrong way Acts 8:18-20
IV. MODERN SOCIETY OFTEN EMULATES THESE NEGATIVE QUALITIES...
1. All too often the heroes or main characters of movies and books
have the qualities sought by man but not by God
2. Rarely do we see a story with a meek, polite, gentle hero
3. Yet the meek are the kind of people who enjoy their time
here on earth, i.e. the meek have inherited the earth
1. Perhaps we can better understand why those in the "kingdom of
heaven" are truly called "BLESSED."
2. Certainly the benefits of the kingdom outweigh anything this world
has to offer, or any persecution it might inflict!
3. The "blessedness" goes only to the citizens who have the
"characteristics" in ever-increasing measure. DO WE?
4. Our next study will look at the citizens of the kingdom in their
relation to the world Mt 5:13-16
<< Previous | Index | Next >>
About These Outlines ~~~ Submit An Outline ~~~ Back To Main Outlines ~~~ Home Page