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Matthew 5:3 Psalm 51:1-17
Persecution is hard to nail down, and even harder to talk about. The biggest problem with persecution is that it does not ultimately take the form of ridicule or mistreatment over good behavior, but that it grows from an assumption that our behavior is actual immoral. Moral shifts in culture are what will ultimately lead to persecution.
Peacemaking is one of the more misunderstood parts of this passage. Peacemaking is not peace-keeping, not is it avoiding conflict. Peacemaking is the intentional rebuilding of damaged relationships, making them stronger than they were before. It is not in us to do this, and reliance on Christ is our only hope for truly great relationships.
Purity of heart is hollow when it is absent from its context. Without the Gospel as a point of reference, there is simply no reason to seek purity.
Sermon Beatitudes Of The Kingdom_Audio Series, Looking at The Word of God, the sermon on the Mount. Scriptures used are: Matthew 5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Bloomsburg Bible Church Audio Sermons 2013.
Like good food, or other appetites, a hunger for righteousness is not an idea that I have a need which is filled and the story is now over. It is a compelling need for more, where getting a taste creates a desire to drink deeper.
Mourning is seen as a state of sorrow that is to be avoided, but it is a necessary step in acknowledging our sin and our need for a savior. The comforting that follows is only possible in the context of a sinner who mourns their sin, their lost condition, and their inability to save themselves.
Poverty of spirit is frequently misunderstood, as is the purpose of the Beatitudes. This passage is not meant to offer condolences to those who have had misfortune or difficulty in life. This passage is intended to turn on its head the conventional wisdom of how people perceive themselves and others.
In Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount, we listen in as Jesus describes the upside-down kingdom he's come to inaugurate. In this kingdom, the excluded and rejected are in, blessed, and full, while the insiders and accepted are about to lose it all. This exceptional acceptance results in a new kind of love, not based on merit or return on investment, but rather on grace, shown by God and displayed by his kids. And this kind of love only grows when the roots and foundations of our lives are deep in the one-way love of God.