“God's Blessings for the Down-and-Out”

Matthew 5:1-12  August 14, 2005  Play video

Spiritual Insurgents – Undoing the "Great Satan"

•    heightened security response to suicidal terrorist zeal
•    Sermon on the Mount revolutionary call to create new covenant community

Recognizing the Enemy: Works-righteousness & Heart-rot

•    Sadducees, Pharisees: buy / earn your way to heaven
•    blessing comes from obedience in OT (Lev 18:5; Dt 30:16, 28:1f; Ps 37:21f,25f)
•    Job’s friends: God prospers the righteous, reap what sow (Job 4:7f, 8:6f, 5:17, 11:14f)
•    extrapolated to infer blindness result of sin (Jn 9:2)
•    Pharisees do all for others to see: outside clean, inside wicked (Mt 23:5, 27f; 2Chron 16:9)

Exploding Selfishness: the Disciple's Inner Dynamite

•    1) poor in spirit: beggars, know need God (5:3; Lk 16:20,22)
•    2) mourners paracleted: have crossed over from death to life (5:4; 1Cor 15:57, Jn 5:24)
•    3) meek: gentle, humble, rely on God not own strength for defence (5:5; 11:29)
•    4) hunger for righteousness: put right with God through Jesus’ death; not works-righteousness of our own (5:6; Rom 5:10; Php 3:4ff,9; Gal 3:10,13f; Rom 10:9; Eph 2:8f)
•    5) merciful: not ‘justice’ but ‘just as’ Christ loved us, gave self for us (5:7; Eph 4:23-5:2; Mt 6:14f)
•    6) pure in heart: clean, free from alloy, not God and mammon, but God at home in us (5:8; 6:24; 1Jn 1:9; Jn 14:23)
•    7) peacemakers: ‘make up’ involves sacrifice, cost, patience; Jesus the Great Peacemaker (5:9; Eph 2:14ff)
•    8) persecuted for righteousness / Jesus: like OT prophets (5:10)

Living the Kingdom

•    baseball player great despite pain, glorifies God, wants to stay humble
•    con artist - turned - pastor recognized need for God, had everything but morally bankrupt

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