Matthew 5:13 ” Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
We know that in the beatitudes Christ focus was to the religious sects of the day. But as we move on His focus turns more to His disciples. The beatitudes taught us its those things we lay down that will make a man blessed in the eyes of God. They dealt with the heart or our inward man. Showing these sects what true religion was. Not an outward show but an inward change. Not a man made religion but a God made religion. Now after telling us how we are to live holy and righteous lives, he moves to tell us we must not keep this to ourselves. We are not of the world, but we are in the world, we do not love the world but we are called to be a witness to the world. Christ portrayed this in his life, He had contact with the world but was not contaminated by the world. There was a line that he knew he could not cross. He was called a friend of sinners. So he tells us you can live a Godly life in this world. In fact ye are the salt of the earth. In the O.T. the prophets were the salt, in the N.T. the disciples were the salt but today you are the salt of the earth. Even if it’s just a little salt here and there it will make a difference. It does with food, so why wouldn’t it in the world. We see the affects the disciples had on this world as they turned it upside down for Jesus Christ. We can do the same thing just by spreading a little salt around in this world, just by showing a little love in this hateful world, just by being a light in this dark world. Christ is saying don’t isolate your Christianity, don’t hide it under a bushel, don’t stand on the sidelines while the world collapses. Our goal is to saturate and infiltrate the world in order to turn people away from darkness unto the glorious light. And if this is not done we see our cities, our homes, our schools decaying. Christianity is to life what salt is to food. In a worried world the Christian should be the only one who remains peaceful. In a depressed world the Christian should be the only one who remains full of joy. We are to bring flavor to the world. We are to make people thirsty for God. I wonder, does this reflect your life? Do you make people thirsty for Christ? Do people look at your life and say I want what they have? Do people come in contact with you and taste of Christ? If not the salt has lost its savour. Salt can be altered and diluted, and if it is not pure it will not work. It’s lost it’s influence. Someone once said if we are not affecting the world the world is affecting us. If we are not salting the world the world is rotting us.
Christians should live in the world, but not be filled with it. A ship lives in the water; but if the water gets into the ship, she goes to the bottom. So Christians may live in the world; but if the world gets into them, they sink. D.L. Moody
Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As we have seen week after week when the Lord Jesus came they hailed Him as the King of the Jews and they were waiting for Him to come and build a kingdom on earth. But they were wrong because Christ brought a kingdom in the hearts of men, a peacemaker Christ was. So He ends with blessed are those who are persecuted, because the poor in spirit will be persecuted, those who mourn will be persecuted, those who are meek, those who are hungry and thirsty after righteousness, those who are merciful, those who are peacemakers will be persecuted. Why is this, it’s because these are the complete opposite of what the world testifies. The world says your to be great in the spirit, it says don’t mourn just get over it and move on with life, it says don’t be meek people will walk all over you, don’t worry about being pure just enjoy yourself, it says don’t hunger and thirst after righteousness, hunger after lust, money and immorality, whatever makes you fill good. If you truly live for Jesus you will live the opposite of the world and the world won’t like that. John 15:18-20. It’s not the way we preach that they hate, it’s our Christlikeness that people hate. It has always been this way. Paul tells Timothy, Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. You can move from Abel who was slew by Cain because He brought the right sacrifices, to Moses and those that grumbled and complained those that resented him for bringing them out of Egypt. You can look at Joseph to David to Elijah as he runs and hides from Jezebel. The prophet Jeremiah was beaten and executed. The prophet Isaiah was sawn asunder. Stephen was stoned. John the Baptist was beheaded. Nero fed 1000’s of Christians to the lions and burnt them at the stake. And today many around the world are being persecuted for their faith but reality is those that live Godly will suffer. Thomas Stott 200 years ago said the wicked hate the holy image of God and those that bear it. I read recently of a story of a Romanian Pastor who knew what it was to rejoice and have joy in his persecution. He was tortured, he was imprisoned, mercilessly they put him through excruciating pain and yet, in his cell he testified that he experienced great joy. He was locked in solitary confinement and day by day he was taken by the captors who cut chunks of flesh from his body. Then, when he would return to his cell where he was starved almost to death, he would lay there and he would pray to God, and he would testify that in the midst of that there was times when the joy of Christ would so overcome him that he would pull himself up and shuffle about the cell dancing in the spirit. So remarkable was his joy that on his return from prison, when he got home to his wife and his children, the first thing that he did was had a day of fasting as a memorial to the joy that he had been given through persecution. As I end you may think it’s strange that Jesus passes so quickly from peacemaking to persecution. But as we come to learn from life, however hard we try to live peacefully or to make peace through reconciliation, some just refuse to live in peace with us and some take the initiative to oppose and slander us. We must live with the fact that persecution is simply the clash between two value systems. But God has called us, selected us to represent Him in enduring and even overcoming persecution as part of our witness for Him. Romans 8:18.
The world never burned a casual Christian at the stake. John R. Rice
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Isaiah 9:6 ” For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. God the Son, Jesus Christ came to earth that He might redeem us from all iniquity. He came to make peace between God and sinful man. So then those who walk in the footsteps of Christ should be peacemakers, people who strive to live in peace with God and man. To be a peacemaker means more than just keeping to oneself in order to avoid disturbances and contentions. A peacemaker is one who actively seeks the highest good for all mankind. But in order for this to happen one must first be at peace with God. Ephesians 2:14-16 ” For He is our peace, who hath made both one and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. One man said peace is merely the brief, glorious moment in history when everyone stops to reload there weapons. In Genesis 6:11 the earth was filled with violence. That’s why there was the flood to destroy. David in Psalm 55:9 says I have seen violence and strife in the city. History tells us in the 400 years between Malachi and the New Testament there were 5 bloody wars for Jerusalem. So what a message Jesus brings, as He says Blessed are the peacemakers. You see the Zealots expected from Him a military, national, materialistic kingdom that He would defeat the Romans and set up kingdom. They thought He was coming as a man of war to conquer the enemies and set up the society that they had longed for. But again He turned everything upside down. You see true peace comes from the heart. And only God can make a peacemaker. So the reason there is so much violence and unrest in the world we live in is because we have a heart problem. Jesus Christ is not in most people’s hearts. We may have a head knowledge, but until we get a heart knowledge of Jesus Christ their will be unrest. You see the whole point of the beatitudes including this one is if we are to have anything from God than the I must die. The I must be crucified. Paul says I die daily. That is the old man dies daily. In Galatians 2:20 ” I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me and the life which I know live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” This is how we will ever achieve true peace in our lives, by putting down the flesh. We can not do it on our own. It only comes from Christ. John 14:27 ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you not as the world giveth give I unto you.” Sadly the problem is everybody says I want this, I want that, I feel like that, I want to fulfill my desires, my passions, my instincts. But God says Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.
No one has ever been converted by violence. Jim Forest
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
The word pure means cleanness and purity. Psalm 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.” What does this mean, that those with pure hearts will enjoy the highest favor, they shall see God. How is purity attained, by obeying the gospel. How is it possible, in a sin sick world that we live in today, to walk in righteousness and keep a pure life? By knowing and obeying the Word of God. Purity is learned by cleansing thoughts, cleansing words and cleansing deeds. Philippians 4:8 ” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Psalm 19:14 ” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” The person who is striving to be pure in heart has four characteristics. 1) They love God and to do His will above all else. Matthew 22:37, James 4:4. 1 John 2:15. 2) They are not filled with hypocrisy and unholy motivations. Matthew 6:1 3) They fill their mind and heart with pure things. Psalm 77:12. 4) They strive to remain pure and undefiled. 1 Timothy 5:22, 1 John 3:3. Now, if you remember I said one beatitude leads to another. The poor in spirit realized they were a sinner, they mourned over sin because they feel the weight of their sin. Repentance leads to a changed nature which is meekness. This is where you begin to hunger and thirst and realize only God can satisfy and fill us, this is where we realize that God has shown us mercy and we must show mercy to everyone else, and this is where we realize that we need to live a pure life. It’s a progression in our spiritual life called sanctification. We become a little more like Christ everyday. Let’s face it, it seems like everyday there is a battle raging within us and that’s simply because our old nature, our sinful nature is still within us. Yes, we have a new nature when we come to Him, but there is still a battle. Galatians 5:17 ” For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. So the question must be asked, who wins your battle? The old man or the new man! It all depends which nature you feed that day. If you fill yourself with the unpure worldly things you feed the old man, but if you fill yourself with pure Godly things you feed the spirit. And It’s time the Christian buries the old man completely and lives according to the spirit. We must be trying to live above sin with the help of the Holy Spirit in our lifes. We must be trying to live pure in heart, because that’s how we will see God. We must live a life free from hypocrisy, free from falsehood. A life knowing all is well between you and God. And it only comes to a person who has realized their sin, that has come to Christ for righteousness and realized that without purity we will never see God. (Read 1 Peter 1:13-16). So how healthy is your Christian walk? It is sin that defiles our character of being in the image of God. It defiles, pollutes, contaminates and blurs the reflection of God in us. The heart is desperately wicked above all things, who can know it? So we must examine ourselves and if need be renewing our heart and purifying our deceitful heart. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:1 ” Having therefore these promises dearly beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to. C.S. Lewis
Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”
In a world of self-seeking people, Jesus calls upon those who wish to gain mercy to be merciful. That’s a quality entirely concerned with the good of others. It comes from the realization of our own desperate need for mercy from God. To be merciful is a strong compassion or an outward manifestation of pity. Thus that tells us Christ calls us to have compassion and pity toward one another. We see Christ example of this as He says Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. We see through scripture Mercy is a part of God’s nature 2 Corinthians 1:3 ” Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all Comfort.” For us mercy is not just a feeling, but a characteristic that moves a person to action. Mercy demands that Christians do more than just pray for the lost, but that we take the gospel to them. (Matthew 9:36-38). That we do more than feel sorry for the hungry, sick and downtrodden, but that we must try and meet their needs. (Galatians 6:10; James 2: 14-16). This beatitude is the cure for all bitterness, whether in your family your friends or whoever has done you wrong. For Christ says we must show mercy on all people if we want to obtain mercy, Many families have been broken apart because of bitterness but let this verse speak to you today, be merciful upon them and some one we be merciful towards you. The first few beatitudes dealt with how you are before God but starting with this one they begin to deal with how we are before our brothers and sisters and to those around us. He did speak of our inner attitude but now He speaks of the inner attitudes that manifest themselves outwardly. The world’s philosophy is that mercy is the weakness of the soul. The world emphasizes Rights! Its my right to do this, to do that. We want the right to do anything we want. But Christ teaches it is not about your right it is about there right. In Romans chapter 1:29-31 we read a description of the city of Rome and those that lived within Rome. They described many things but we see the very last thing was unmerciful people. If you as a believer do not show mercy towards the physically and financially needful have we really received God’s mercy in our own lives. For you can’t receive it without displaying it in your life. Finally Matthew 18:21-35 tells us of the Parable of the unforgiving servant. In this, one owed the other an equivalent of $20 million dollars in today’s terms. His master came and he wiped the slate clean because he asked him for forgiveness and as soon as he went out of jail he found his friend that owed him the equivalent of $5000 dollars and he was unmerciful. The love of God was not there. He demanded his money. This is dangerous. This is what destroys us as Christians as we have seen before through this study. We too were poor at one time, we were broken at one time, that we were empty at one time and relied on God to help us. And shame on us if we see the pitifulness of all humanity and don’t show mercy on them as Christ did us. If we do not have the desire within ourselves to have mercy upon a dying world, a poor world, if we don’t have it in our hearts to forgive one another and show mercy we are in a dangerous place spiritually! Blessed are the merciful. That is what Christ did for us when He became a man like you and I, so He could identify with you and I when we need Him and pour out His mercy into our lives. Now He is telling us to do the same in the world we live in. Can you be a merciful servant for Jesus Christ?
We hand folks over to God’s mercy and show none ourselves. George Eliot
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.
Here we have Jesus teaching that the person who becomes poor in the spirit and realizes his spiritual weakness and has humbled himself and taken on meekness, will have an unquenchable desire to attain righteousness in the sight of God. Righteousness is the character or quality of being right and just not in the sight of man but in the sight of God. This righteousness is not merely an inner change but a change that directly affects the way we behave and have influence in this world. The only way to obtain this righteousness is by faith in Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21). The word hunger is the same word used after Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness. It’s an intense hunger. A hunger that must be relived for survival. Thirst is the same, an extreme condition. We must yearn for righteousness in the way a starving person wants bread and water. I just wonder today how hungry and how thirsty we are for the things of God? We hunger and thirst for many other different things but it’s time the church gets back to being hungry for the truth. We have heard the saying you are what you eat. We realize that if we eat a lot of junk food it will be a part of us and we become overweight. The same concept goes in our spiritual realm. This concept fits anything we do. If we continually feed upon violence, excitement or whatever else the world offers we become those things. Children are violent, why? They feed on violent movies, violent video games, and violent books. Their lives revolve around violence. I believe it’s time we start feeding this generation some righteousness. Some peace and happiness, feed them the things of God. The world may teach go after materialism and money, it may teach that we should all pursuit after them for happiness. But Christ teaches hunger and thirst after righteousness. Elvis Presley never understood this concept, as he left the Christian faith for worldly fame. In his heyday it is said his yearly income was $5 million a year. In his day that was a lot of money. In his first two years of stardom he brought in $100 million dollars. He had 3 jets, 2 Cadillacs, a Rolls-Royce, Lincoln Continental, a Buick and a Chrysler station wagon, a jeep a dune buggy a converted bus and 3 motorbikes. His favorite and most famous was his 1960 Cadillac Limousine. The top of it was veneered and covered in pearl white veneer. The body was sprayed with 40 coats of specifically prepared paint that include crushed diamonds. All the metal trimmings were plated in 18 carat gold. Inside were 2 gold covered telephones, gold vanity case with a gold electric razor. An electric shoe buffer and a gold plated T.V., record player, amplifier, air conditioner and a refrigerator that was capable of making ice in 2 minutes solid. In the world’s terms He had everything, But do you know what he failed to recognize? That you are what you eat. And if you know he died in his death as a victim of his appetites. So I ask you what do you hunger for? What is it that drives your life, that motivates you for living? Is it material or is it spiritual? Are we like the world in pursuit of possessions, or do we wake up every morning wanting to please the Lord? Hungering after the things of God. The promise to us today is those who come to find enough in Him to satisfy their spiritual hunger shall be forever filled. Take some time to read John 4: 10-14. It will tell you that Jesus Christ is more than enough. You won’t need these worldly possessions because you have Jesus.
To hunger and thirst after righteousness is when nothing in the world can fascinate us so much as being near to God. Smith Wigglesworth
Mathew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
As we have seen from past blogs the world says blessed are the rich, but Christ says blessed are the poor. The world says blessed are the happy but Christ says blessed are they that mourn. And here the world says blessed are the strong but Christ says blessed are the meek. Christ teaching turned the philosophy of the world upside down. He didn’t teach it was blessed to be first but yet the last shall be first. He says it’s better to give than receive. He says the least in the kingdom is greater than the greatest on earth. He taught it was better to serve than rule. The group of people Christ was speaking to in His message were people like the Pharisees, Sadducees and the zealots. They were a group of people who were spiritually proud, they knew how to be self-sufficient, they knew how to be religious. They thought they were the in group and the only groups going to heaven. So we can see why verse 5 stepped on there toes, the Pharisees believed that God by His Messiah was going to supernaturally bring upon the earth the Kingdom of God. The zealots, went by any cost to try and take the Kingdom by force, they would establish it by rebellion from within. So you can imagine these groups who were looking to establish the kingdom by force, by a fight when they heard Jesus say Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Many things probably went through their mind. What kind of Messiah was this? What kind of deliver is this? What kind of followers is this man going to attract? A bunch of sissies, a bunch of weak and meek people. What a fit they must of had, to the point that they couldn’t accept His teachings or Him as the Messiah. Their view was of the world, a Messiah strong, powerful, not meek and lowly. They could not understand that God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. (1 Corinthians 1:26-27). They missed the point entirely! God will use the meek, He doesn’t need superstars. Where does this fit in with us today. Meekness is a self-emptying, self-humility, it’s self-brokenness before God. Meekness is when Joseph who is high in command in Egypt, sees his brothers that forsook him, sold him into slavery come begging for food because of famine and helping them. Today we hold grudges, we tell them to get away, but Joseph was meek. Meekness says I will never defend my name but I’ll die defending God. I think we have it wrong today, we don’t seek out the unlovable, the down and outers because of the reputation it would give us, but meekness draws us to those people. It doesn’t matter race, age or gender, meekness is humbling yourself to win others to Christ. Finally, meekness brings inheritance of the earth. The zealots wanted a military Messiah, the Pharisees a miraculous Messiah that would bring the kingdom by miracles. The Sadducees wanted a materialistic Messiah, no afterlife, all that mattered was here and now. But Jesus said your getting a meek Messiah. And only those that are meek will inherit the Kingdom. One day we will rule and reign. Only through meekness. I encourage you to live the way of Christ and not the way of the world. The World is ready to fight at the drop of a hat. But as Christians remember meekness is Power under control. Your in charge but your not a dictator your a servent of all. Don’t miss the point! Bow yourself down and do something for God.
Mathew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
In our society those who are weak and unable to defend themselves or care for themselves are often looked down upon. Most people think of such weakness as meekness. But meekness is not timidness, shyness or even being a coward. The bible shows that the Godly attribute of meekness rather than weakness is strength under disciplined control. Meekness is defined “inwrought grace of the soul, the temperament of spirit in which we accept God’s dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. Or in other words power under control. It is used when wild animals were tamed and thus made useful. William Barclay describes it as gentleness, but behind the gentleness there is a strength of steel, for the chief characteristic of the man is perfect control. It is not a spineless gentleness or passive quitism. It is strength under control. Galatians 5:23 Meekness, temperance against such there is no law. Meekness is closely related to humility. ( Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12; 2 Corinthians 10:1). The bible is full of men who were considered meek. Abraham in Genesis 13: 8-9, Esau in Genesis 33:4-9, Moses in Numbers 12:3 and Numbers 16:22, Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:29 and 1 Peter 2:23. But lets see if you can pass the meekness test. 1) Am I meek before God, Humbly submitting to His will, Psalms 25:9. 2) Do I meekly receive the word of God or do I resist it, James 1:21. 3) Do I meekly/humbly do good deeds, James 3:13. 4) Am I meek before my fellow man, 1 Timothy 6:11, Titus 3:1-2. 5) Do I deal meekly with unbelievers, 2 Timothy 2:25, 1 Peter 3:15. 6) Do I deal meekly with brothers and sisters in Christ, Galatians 6:1. I wonder if you passed, if you deal with people in the spirit of meekness you did. If you stay under control with people than you did. Now remember meekness is not possible unless you are poor in the spirit and it’s not possible until you come to the place of mourning. Do you have self-control? Do you make peace not war? How do you respond to criticism? Meekness is the next step in your salvation. We must realize there’s sin, poor in the spirit. We must be sorrowful and repent, we mourn. Than we must have a changed spirit, that is meekness. The meek are humble, they are gentle, they maintain patience despite offenses and has no room for vengeance. Did you still pass the test or maybe rethink some of your answers? It’s not as easy as we think. But always remember the meek will have all the blessings that God provides, Blessings in this life. And Blessings in the life to come. Every spiritual blessing in Christ comes to the meek. Including an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away. It’s reserved for you. Psalms 149:4 “For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.”
Matthew 5:4 ” Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.
As we start this second beatitude I want us to realize that one beatitude leads to another. Verse 3 leads to verse 4 and verse 4 to verse 5 and so on. We must take them all, believe them all, practice them all. There is a progression from one to another. Poor in spirit was to be humble by seeing your sinfulness before God. Knowing your sin, and coming to a knowledge of it. But as we move to verse 4, it is the effect of what happens to your soul and your spirit when you realize your a sinner. Verse 4 is a continuation of the attitude one must have before God because of our sin nature. Christ is speaking of a special mourning, a mourning unique to citizens of the Kingdom. This mourning is a deep and violent grief, one of inner agony. This mourning is not what we think about usually by cause of a physical loss, but by the illumination of our faults through the word of God. A mourning that produces repentance and leads to forgiveness. In other words, when you hear the gospel, the two edged sword that pierces your soul and convicts you of wrong at that moment, their is a mourning that leads to repentance of that wrong. You are sorry for that wrong and it leads to comfort. We live in a society that everything is made a joke of, everything must be poked fun at. There is nothing sacred. People don’t want to feel uncomfortable, or unhappy, people don’t want to be sad or to mourn. But they don’t mind if they make others sad. But Jesus says if you don’t mourn for your own sin, if your not poor in the spirit and never mourn over sin, you’ll never be saved. Because in order to be saved you must see your sin and if you don’t mourn you haven’t seen it. But not everyone mourns when sin is revealed.( 1 Timothy 4:1-2, Ephesians 4:19.) 1) Many feel the pain but deny it and protest it. But if it is denied, the pain becomes less and less until at last it is possible to get over the pain. Perhaps at one time they could mourn but they have suppressed it so often they have become insensitive and hardened. 2) Many are just stubborn. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Perhaps all of us were this way before we came to Christ, we really didn’t think we were all that bad of a person. We were blinded by sin and really just didn’t want to give up the sinning. 3) But there are many that do mourn when they come to the point of Godly sorrow. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). Our mourning leads us to a change of mind resulting in a change of life. Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation. It means it leads to deliverance from any type of sin, bondage or affliction in your life. The sorrow of this world is not true repentance but more of a remorse which produces bitterness, hardness, despair and eventually death. I think it is best illustrated by the life of Judas Iscariot who sold out Jesus. Finally, There are so many that sorrow over earthly losses with no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13). But as Christians we have hope, for those who mourn because of their sins and are willing to turn to God are assured they will find comfort and peace. You see when we mourn in the spirit the best thing to do is obey Christ. True comfort and true happiness comes from true forgiveness. And being forgiven is an emotion that defies description. It is the relief of an enormous burden lifted, of a debt cancelled, of a conscience at rest. Guilt is gone and peace is enjoyed.