Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Description of a Christian by John.

A Description of a Christian
Matthew 5:3-16

1. Most children hear the beatitudes of Jesus read in Sunday School.
2. Usually, a lot of time is spent on them individually.
3. We just read over and over again until we become unconscious of them..
4. I don't think I ever heard of their being treated as I am treating them today.
5. I believe we have a wonderful description of a Christian in the beatitudes.
6. Let's see if we can view what God expects us to be, what He expects us to do and how the world reacts to Christians.
7. At the same time, the Beatitudes are not necessarily goals to reach, but rather the work of God's Spirit in Christian lives.

I. First, Let's See What God Expects Us to Be. vv 3-8

1. Blessed is frequently translated: happy, well-being, fortunate, or some similar word.
(1) The Greek word is makarias.
a. It is the word used of Mary by Elizabeth in Luke 1:45. "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished."
b. It means more than "happy."
c. It meant that Mary was in the spiritual position that God expected, and wanted, her to be in.
2. When we are "blessed," we may be in any stage of spiritual development, but it means we are where God wants us to be at this moment in our lives.
3. As I said, the Beatitudes are states of being. They may be hard to attain, but we do not need to strive to reach them!
4. The goal we should try to reach is simply to be the person God wants us to be.
(1) That means we should know Him.
(2) It means that we should be seeking to live as He wants us to live.
a. And that means we will be learning what sin is, and we will be ceasing to sin as we learn!
b. It means we will also obey God's commands such as, "As you are going, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and the son, and the holy spirit." (Matthew 28:19)

II. Second, Let's See What God Expects Us to do as Christians. v. 9.

1. He expects us to be peacemakers.
(1) That is one really big word, and it involves all that we are!
(2) For instance, how can you bring peace to people who are fighting each other?
(3) You may not be able to get between them and live through it, but individually, you can lead them to Jesus.
(4) When people have the peace that Jesus gives them, it changes them, and they begin to see things as God does.
(5) Whether you are successful or not, is not the issue here.
a. The issue is are you bringing peace to people, or are you stirring up hatred?
b. I don't think there is such a thing as a "hawk" or a "dove" in God's plan.
c. A peacemaker's character is wrapped up in Jesus who said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27).
2. Now remember this is the ideal person that Jesus is speaking of here.
(1) We have the Spirit of Christ.
(2) We are developing the mind of Christ.
(3) When we have done a good job of growing, we will be mature in the Lord, and we will fulfill Matthew 5:48 which says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
3. Now let me reinforce what I've been saying. Just before Jesus spoke those words, He said, "I tell you, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.'" (Matthew 5:44,45).
4. That's the ideal. In a less than perfect world, we also have to settle squabbles between brothers and sisters who have not reached maturity.
5. That means, we who are not yet mature have got a big job cut out for us! And the only way we will accomplish it is to yield our lives into the control of the Holy Spirit of God.

III. Third, Let's Acknowledge How the World Treats Christians. vv. 10-12.

1. When someone curses you, belittles you, calls you names, what is your immediate reaction?
2. I get mad! Really mad!
3. What should I do?
(1) Expect it to happen.
(2) Remember that God loves the one who is persecuting us.
(3) Remember that Jesus suffered far more than any of us ever can.
a. He carried our sins to the cross!
b. He carried the sins of Nero, Diocletian, and all of those Biblical antichrists to the cross!
c. He even carried the sins of those who cursed you, belittled you, lied about you, called you names to the cross!
(4) A fourth thing to remember is, those who are persecuting us are potential brothers and sisters in Christ!
4. Peacemaker! If any evil people turn to Jesus in true repentance, asking for mercy, and they give their lives to Him, He will forgive and save them! Can we do less?
5. Disbelief and pride keep God's enemies from turning to Him for salvation! They mistreat Christians to get back at God!


1. A Christian should be: (1) Poor in Spirit. (2) mournful. (3) Meek. (4) Hungering and thirsting for righteousness. (5) Merciful. (6) Pure in heart. (7) Peacemakers.
2. They should expect to be and be persecuted for righteousness.
3. They should also expect lost people to insult them, have them repay the good they do with evil, and tell lies about them.
4. God is our Creator, and we respond to Him both as our Father and our God.
5. Some earthly fathers are not like Him. He is Good. He is Kind. He is Loving.
6. And we respond to Him accordingly.
With Love. With Reverence. With Service.
7. Others view us as God's children, and they call us "children of God."
8. They expect us to be different. It shocks and disappoints them when we are not!
9. They mistreat us, Christians!
10. It's okay to dread any form of persecution, but we should expect it if we live in harmony with our God!
11. They persecuted Jesus, but He is beyond their reach now, and being human, they persecute us!
12. The fact is, if we aren't persecuted in some way, we should ask ourselves, and then maybe ask the Lord, "Why am I not being persecuted? Is something wrong with my Christian life?
13. Expect to receive all the promises in these beatitudes. They show the world that you are a Christian.
14. You don't have to work to receive them, but you do have live in, and be filled with, the Spirit.
15. First, you have to trust Christ. He must forgive your sins and give you eternal life.
16. Decide to trust Jesus right now, and He will change you into a blessed person right now.

Emmanuel Community Church 2/11/2007


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