Matthew 5:5-8

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

BEATITUDES THREE THROUGH SIX

INTRODUCTION:

 

The beatitudes are found in Matthew 5:3-12 , and we take note of several things regarding these beatitudes:

 

            1.   All begin with the word blessed, i.e. happy, fortunate, blissful, or to be envied. Although people go to all ends to achieve happiness, the beatitudes tell us how they can find real and lasting happiness.

 

            2.   All Christians are to be like what is said in the beatitudes.

 

            3.   None of the characteristics taught in the beatitudes comes naturally. None are consistent with the old sin nature.

 

            4.   These characteristics demonstrate the difference between the true Christian and the non-Christian. They are found in the true Christian, but they are never found in the non-Christian.

We have already seen –

    I.     THE SETTING OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT – 5:1

 

Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him.

 

The setting is on a mountain.

We have also already seen that –

  II.     JESUS IS THE TEACHER OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT – 5:2

 

Matthew 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying.

 

We remind ourselves that Jesus’ purpose in the Sermon on the Mount is to show His listeners that they do not measure up to God’s expectations of them. He is teaching them that God’s standard is perfection and they are sinners who come short of the glory of God.

We have already begun looking at –

 III.     THE BEATITUDES – 5:3-12

 

We have already seen –

            1.   The First Beatitude – 5:3

 

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

The poor in spirit are those who, in contrast to God, recognize that they are lacking in spiritual worth. They are beggarly in their inner (or spiritual) life. They recognize that they are lost, helpless, hopeless sinners who deserve to spend eternity in the lake of fire because of their sin. They recognize that they have no merit in God’s sight. They view themselves as God views them. They realize that they are totally dependent upon God in their spiritual lives. They recognize that they are not able to come to God on their own terms or on the basis of any merit in their lives. It is the opposite of someone who is proud in spirit.

 

The reason those who are poor in spirit are blessed is for (i.e. because) theirs is the kingdom of heaven, which means that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

 

We have also already seen –

            2.   The Second Beatitude – 5:4

 

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 

They that mourn are those who mourn over sin, whether it is in themselves, in the church, in other believers, or in the world.

 

For they shall be comforted means that they, i.e. they alone that mourn over sin shall be comforted, strengthened, encouraged, or consoled. The comfort will come from the Triune God and will come through the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. Their comfort will come both in the present when they realize the forgiveness of sins and also in the future when they are made completely Christlike. We remind ourselves that, according to I John 3:2 , believers will be like Christ because they will see Him as He is.

 

We continue with –

            3.   The Third Beatitude – 5:5

 

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 

As a result of being poor in spirit and mourning over sin, a person is made meek.

 

Blessed means happy, fortunate, blissful, or to be envied.

 

Meek means mild, patient, gentle and pleasant, tender-hearted, soothing, or friendly as opposed to rough, hard, violent, angry, stubborn, willful, or rebellious and self-assertive. Meek is the direct opposite of vengeful and violent.

 

The term translated meek is used 4 times in the New Testament.

 

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are the meek. . . .

 

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I [i.e. Jesus] am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

 

Matthew 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

 

It speaks of Jesus in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before the crucifixion and resurrection.

 

I Peter 3:1-4 – (1) Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (2) While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (3) Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; (4) But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

 

Meek suggests an inner quality of mind or an attitude of willing submissiveness in contrast to proud, unbending obstinacy.

 

Meek does not mean weak, cowardly, or timid.

 

Meek does not mean mousy, which pictures a person with no strength of purpose, with no force of will, with no determination of duty, or with no backbone.

 

Moses was meek; yet he could lead a nation of 2,500,000 Israelites out of Egypt and continue to lead them throughout their wilderness wanderings for 40 years.

 

Numbers 12:3 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.

 

Christ was meek; yet He displayed anger on occasion, such as when He drove the traders out of the temple. It was a holy reaction against sin.

 

Likewise a believer may be meek but still experience anger –

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

 

A shepherd would not stand by timidly while some wolf walks off with his sheep. He will defend his sheep. Defending his sheep is not inconsistent with being meek.

 

In Acts 20:28-31 pastors are to protect their congregations; yet, they can be meek in the process.

 

Acts 20:28-31 – (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

 

One can fight for the faith and be meek at the same time.

 

Jude 3-4 – (3) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Meekness is not a passive acceptance. It is not a passive submission. It is not a peace-at-any-cost attitude.

 

Meekness is being controlled by God rather than by self. It speaks of an absence of self. Romans 12:1-2 is pertinent.

 

Romans 12:1-2 – (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

Back to Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek –

For they shall inherit the earth, i.e. because they will inherit the earth.

 

They is emphatic and means they and they alone or they exclusively.

 

Shall inherit means will acquire, will obtain, or will come into possession of and is predictive of something which will definitely occur in the future.

 

What they will inherit is the earth, i.e. the land. This is especially true of the Jews.

 

This also means that those who are not meek will not inherit, acquire, obtain, or come into possession of the earth.

 

By contrast, believers are told –

I Corinthians 3:21-2321 Therefore let no man glory [i.e. boast] in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

 

Psalms 37:1-11 – (1) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. (2) For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. (3) Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (4) Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (5) Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (6) And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. (7) Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (8) Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. (9) For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. (10) For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. (11) But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

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