Christian Virtue: How Should I Respond to The Beatitudes, Concluding Thoughts, Part 18

Grace For The Journey

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3Sept  To conclude my series of blogs on the Beatitudes of Matthew 5, I would like to write a few things about how we are to respond to the teaching Jesus gave on that hill in Galilee.

What can we learn

And how should we respond

To these virtues Jesus

Has laid before us?

First, recognize the Beatitudes are about the condition of our hearts.  Individually and together, these virtues describe the condition of the heart of the person who is favored by and approved by God.  The heart describes the seat of our emotions, contains the values we hold dear, and drive our actions and attitudes toward God and others.  The Beatitudes are about the kind of heart a person has whom God has blessed with salvation.

Second, recognize that the Beatitudes are inter-related and they rise or fall together.  That is why each builds upon the previous; each is a step toward Christlikeness.  Seeing our spiritual poverty, understand it is a reason for mourning, for being humble and for seeking to find righteousness, is the precursor, the first steps to responding properly to dealing with others and the world.  You can’t try to develop one particular virtue over another.  They all go together to build up the whole man or woman of faith toward Christlikeness.

Third, the Beatitudes are the key to the rest of the principles taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  The behaviors demanded by the Bible can be faked, but not for long.  The key to living in light of Jesus’ teaching in this sermon is the heart attitude that is brought about by the Beatitudes.  That’s why Jesus begins with these eight virtues.

They are the key to living the Christian life

Because the Christian life must be undergirded

By a heart aligned with these virtues.

The Christian character we desire that Jesus describes in verses 13-16 (“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its flavor. How shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do they light a lamp and put it under the basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”) flow naturally out of the virtues He describes as foundational in verses 1-12.

Salt and light are how Jesus describes His disciples.  Salt and light describe the impact that Christians are to have on the environment in which God has placed each of us.  Salt flavors and preserves, light dispels darkness.  The result is Christian fruitfulness which are the works of God in us that unbelievers see in us which glorify God in heaven.  This work is then described by Jesus in the rest of the Sermon, from Matthew 5:17 through 7:29.  But. . .

It must begin with the Beatitudes.

The spiritual life, health, and

The fruit-bearing that demonstrates

We are truly changed

Flow from character

And a Christ-like character

Is built on the foundation

Of the eight Beatitudes

Which the Holy Spirit

Produces in our lives.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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