Winning Attitudes – Part 2

What is peace? How can we be a peacemaker? How can we be joyful in the midst of persecution? What are the right and wrong reasons for suffering? What perspectives keep us strong and always victorious in difficult times?

Overview

Matt 5:6-8; Lk 6:21a

  • Objectives
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • pre-requisite for spiritual craving
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
  • comparison of mercy of soul to body
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  • attaining and sustaining purity
  • Recap
  • Discussion

Objectives

To understand:

  • The deeper concepts of “blessedness” given by Christ
  • The requirements for blessedness, specifically righteousness, mercy and purity.
  • The original meanings of associated terms and contexts and what Christ intended to convey.

Key Verses

Matt 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst...

As hunger and thirst are the keenest of our appetites, this refers to “those whose deepest cravings are after spiritual blessings.” [4]

We see this longing expressed by David (Ps 119:20), Jacob (Gen 49:18), etc.

after righteousness

In ancient Judaism, righteousness meant “to acquit, vindicate, restore to a right relationship.”[1]

It does not refer to the external piety as Jews demonstrated but the sanctifying righteousness that comes from Christ alone through faith.

…. For they shall be satisfied

  • In overflowing measure God fills to saturation.
  • ‘They were very full, because they were very empty’ – St Austin says of the apostles
  • Have we emptied ourselves of materialism so that we can be filled with Christ’s righteousness?

Blessed are the Merciful

Mercy refers to:

  • Mercy to the body – ie. treating poor and miserable with affection and generosity
  • Mercy to the soul – ie. via counsel, reproof, prayer, forgiveness, comfort, etc.
  • God’s mercy through Christ – free, sovereign, abundant and eternal. [1]

For they shall obtain Mercy

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb 4:16

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Pure in heart. Greek Katharos –Clean, blameless, unstained from guilt.

We are declared pure because of:

  • work of JESUS to sanctify us through His blood.
  • by giving our hearts to Jesus

Psalm 119:9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

We remain pure by internal attitude:

  • Singleness of heart toward God
  • No hypocrisy, nor any hidden motives.
  • Transparency and uncomplaining desire to please God in all things.

We remain pure by external compulsion:

  • Pruning
  • Fire

For they shall see God

Seeing God occurs in:

  • Current revelation
  • Future conviction

What Satan throws to inflict damage

God grows to reflect Christ’s image

Discussion

1.What are the things that can replace our thirst for God? How can we handle them?

2.How can we show mercy to the body and soul? When does mercy to the body “steal” from mercy to the soul?

3.What are aspects of pure heart from Ps. 51:10 and 1 John 3:1-3?

4.How has our tolerance increased? How can we maintain purity?

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