Matthew 5:6-9

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

BEATITUDES FOUR THROUGH SEVEN

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 begun looking at the beatitudes and have already seen the first three.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We move on to –

            4.   The Fourth Beatitude – 5:6

 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

According to verse 5, those people who seek after righteousness are blessed because they will obtain righteousness.

 

Blessed [i.e. happy, fortunate, privileged, or to be envied] are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness is blessed are the ones who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness. The tense of both hunger and thirst indicates ongoing action. It is always true. It indicates that they are constantly desiring or longing to obtain righteousness or uprightness. It should be noted that this is in their new sinless natures, not in their old sin natures, that they are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

 

As believers, they have already been justified, i.e. judicially declared to be righteous by God the Father. In this verse, they are hungering and thirsting after righteousness in the sense that they are desiring to be righteous or upright in their daily practice. They desire that their practice as believers be consistent with their position in Christ. It is reminiscent of what John wrote in I John 3:3 .

 

I John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him [i.e. on Christ] purifieth himself, even as he is pure [i.e. just as Christ is pure].

 

This verse means that every person who has placed his hope of eternal salvation upon Christ will keep himself pure just as Jesus is pure.

 

Jesus taught the same thing in Matthew 6:33

 

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

The believer does this by confessing and forsaking sin while submitting his heart and mind to the teaching of the Bible. As a result of his study of the Bible, the Holy Spirit makes him more and more Christlike.

 

II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

The reason those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness are blessed is for, i.e. because, they shall be filled, i.e. their hungering and thirsting after righteousness will be satisfied. This is something which will definitely happen in the future. They will obtain a practical righteousness in this life. Although it would be nice, this does not mean that they will never sin again in this life because they still have their old sin natures; but it does mean that they will be more and more Christlike in their practice as they continue to mature in Christ. It speaks of their progressive sanctification.

 

The use of they is emphatic and suggests they and they alone or only they. This also indicates that those who do not hunger and thirst after righteousness in this life will not attain righteousness.

 

 

Next, we see –

            5.   The Fifth Beatitude – 5:7

 

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 

According to verse 7, those who treat others in a merciful manner are blessed because they will be treated with mercy.

 

Blessed [i.e. happy, fortunate, privileged, or to be envied], are the merciful, i.e. the (people who are) merciful, the (people who are) sympathetic, or the (people who are) compassionate. It speaks of their being concerned about others in their need.

 

Believers have obtained mercy as the result of their being saved by grace and through faith. As a result of their having been treated mercifully by God, they respond to others in a merciful way.

 

It is interesting to note that the first beatitude corresponds with the fifth beatitude, i.e. being poor in spirit corresponds with being merciful. Those who are poor in spirit will be merciful toward others.

 

The reason the merciful are blessed is for, i.e. because, they shall obtain mercy, i.e. they will find (or be shown) mercy (i.e. they will find (or be shown) compassion or pity). Its mood indicates that this is something which will definitely happen in the future.

 

The use of they is emphatic and suggests they and they alone or only they. This also indicates that those who are not merciful will not find or obtain mercy. They will not be treated mercifully.

 

Next, we see –

            6.   The Sixth Beatitude – 5:8

 

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

 

Blessed [i.e. happy, fortunate, privileged, or to be envied] are the pure in heart.

 

The pure are the clean. Literally, pure means cleansed from all filth and impurity. Morally, it refers to the people who are free from the defilement of sin because they have received Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior from sin and its consequences. As a result, their sins have been forever forgiven and removed. It does not refer to those who merely think they are pure; rather, the ones who are blessed are sensitive to sin and repulsed by it. Yet, they refrain from being harsh and overly critical of the sinful practices of others. Instead, they recognize that, except for the grace of God in saving them and cleaning up their lives, they would be just like those who are still unsaved. Were it not for the grace of God, I might be a drunk, a barroom brawler, a womanizer, or a wife beater. Except for the grace of God some of you ladies might be immoral sluts, like some of those we encounter on a daily basis. Thank God for His mercy, grace, and forgiveness in our lives in saving us from sin and its consequences, and pray for those who still need to be saved, who have yet to experience God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness for their sins. Again, it is a reminder of I John 3:2-3 ,

 

I John 3:2-3 – (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 

As a result of being completely like the Lord Jesus Christ in the future, genuine believers strive to keep themselves free from sin in the present. As a consequence, they confess and forsake their sins. They also seek to avoid committing sin.

 

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

The pure in heart suggests the pure deep within themselves, i.e. deep within their innermost beings. It refers to the heart as the very center of their lives. In Matthew 15:17-20 Jesus said,

 

Matthew 15:17-20 – (17) Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught [i.e. into the latrine]? (18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (20) These are the things which defile a man. . . .

 

It is interesting to note that, just as the first beatitude corresponds with the fifth beatitude, the second beatitude corresponds with the sixth beatitude, i.e. mourning over sin corresponds with being pure in heart. Those who are mourning over sin will be pure in heart.

 

The reason the pure in heart are blessed is for, i.e. because, they shall see God.

 

The use of they, which refers to those who are pure in heart, is emphatic and suggests they and they alone or only they. This also indicates that those who are not pure in heart will not see God.

 

The mood of shall see indicates that this is something which will definitely happen in the future.

 

The One Whom the pure in heart will see is God.

 

According to Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:4 , God’s servants will see His face.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name (shall be) in their foreheads.

 

It appears to be a reference to God the Father.

 

As we continue, we see –

            7.   The Seventh Beatitude – 5:9

 

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

According to verse 9, those who make peace are blessed because they will be called God’s sons.

 

Blessed, which means happy, fortunate, privileged, or to be envied, are the peacemakers, i.e. the ones who are making peace. It suggests that they endeavor to reconcile those who have disagreements.

 

This is not peace at all costs.

 

They may be acting as peacemakers between God and men by their witnessing. II Corinthians 5:17-21 says,

 

II Corinthians 5:17-21 – (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Although God does not need to be reconciled to anyone because he has never done anything wrong, all people need to be reconciled to God because they have committed sin.

 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

 

Believers are to seek to get people reconciled to God by proclaiming the gospel.

 

Also, believers are to seek to make peace between themselves and others by obeying Matthew 18:15-18 ,

 

Matthew 18:15-18 – (15) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (18) Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

It is interesting to note that, just as the first beatitude corresponds with the fifth beatitude and the second beatitude corresponds with the sixth beatitude, the third beatitude corresponds with the seventh beatitude, i.e. being meek corresponds with being peacemakers. Those who are meek will be peacemakers.

 

The reason the peacemakers are blessed is for, i.e. because, they (i.e. the peacemakers) shall be called the children of God.

 

The use of they is emphatic and suggests they and they alone or only they. This also indicates that those who are not peacemakers will not be called the children of God.

 

Shall be called suggests will be named and indicates that they actually are sons of God. The mood of shall be called indicates that this is something which will definitely happen in the future.

 

What they will be called is the children of God, i.e. sons of God or God’s sons.

 

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 

I John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

 

May the conclusion be drawn that, inasmuch as every believer is a son of God, every believer is also a peacemaker? It can at least be stated that he is supposed to be a peacemaker.

 

James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

CONCLUSION:

 

The beatitudes provide a can’t-fail formula for obtaining happiness. Try it. You’ll like it.

 

If you try to obtain happiness in anything else or in any other way, it will not be real and lasting. It will not satisfy your spiritual need.

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