You may have authentic faith if… you display the Beatitudes that Jesus described in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3–12).
Welcome to Day One of our series on Authentic Faith. Let’s start out by displaying nine beatitudes that show the mark of a genuine Christian.
Poor in Spirit
Jesus starts out His sermon using the word poor. He did not mean in finances because God never wants us to suffer financially, but to prosper in all aspects of life (3 John 2).
He meant broken, feel defeated, and oppressed. Poor in spirit does not mean you lack courage but acknowledged that you lack spiritual maturity. Even though we feel broken and defeated, we have put our full trust and faith in God and not in ourselves or other people.
To be “poor in spirit” also means to be humble, not to think so highly of one’s self (Romans 12:3). It does not mean not to have any backbone, but it is the opposite of the world’s attitude of self-praise and self-claim of being better than everyone. Don’t mistake it for false humility. People will say, “I am not worthy or can’t do anything.” That is stinking thinking. It is all about honesty and who you are in Christ to the glory of God!
Those who mourn
There are three ways this verse is what Jesus meant;
- Literally: Another word for mourn is sorrow. It is like this, “blessed are the ones that suffered the bitterness of sorrows in their lives.” Sorrow does two things to us, it shows the essential kindness of others and the comfort and compassion of God.
- In view of the world, “Blessed are those who are dreadfully sorry for the suffering by this world.” Another word for sorrow is suffering. They see this verse and think they need to detach from the world, but also detach from people, which is never a good thing. Christianity is about caring for one another, just as Jesus did throughout His ministry.
- The main thought of this verse is to be greatly sorry for our own sin and unworthiness. Jesus’ first words when He started His ministry was, “repent.” If we are not sorry for our sins, we will not repent. Our hearts become aware of our sin and we need to repent.
When you see the word, “meek,” you probably think of other words such as weak, spineless, pathetic, coward, or timid. Jesus never used those words to describe the meaning of meek.
He used words like humble and gentle. Humility is the acceptance of the necessity to learn forgiveness. Believers must have the humility to realize their own ignorance of sin and weakness. Those who give God complete control of themselves will gain an understanding of their need for forgiveness because of their sin. Then you will overcome this world (1 John 5:4)
Hunger and thirst for righteousness
Some take “hunger and thirst” literally. If hungry, go and eat some food. Thirsty, get a drink. The problem: we will be hungry and thirsty again and they will only satisfy for a short time.
As you hunger and thirst for God’s Word, you will develop a deep desire to be right with God. You will obtain eternal satisfaction. God’s Word is living food and water (John 6:35). At the end of all my posts, I always say, “Read your Bible daily, it’s good food!” If you read your Bible daily, you will never hunger and thirst for the truth again.
Jesus’ meaning in this beatitude is one that extends mercy on others by demonstrating the same mercy God showed them. Mercy is the compassion and kindness shown to us that we may not deserve. Do not get this confused with grace, which is something that we do not deserve, but still receive freely.
Mercy makes forgiveness and tolerance so much easier. We have no idea what people are thinking, how they are feeling, or what is in their hearts and mind. People hurt in all kinds of ways and express it differently. We do not deliberately make it a point to treat others badly. We take so much out of context of what people say. If we knew why it would be easier to forgive and tolerate attitudes.
Mercy is essential. James 2:13, “There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.”
The Pure at Heart
This beatitude sets us up for self-examination. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is your work done from motives of service or pay?
- Your service is given from selfless motives or self-display?
- Is your work in the church done for Christ or your own status?
- Is going to church an attempt to meet and worship God or is it just a habitual thing that has become a long-standing family tradition?
- Are our prayers and Bible reading a sincere desire to have an intimate relationship with Jesus or is it just a thing to do to give us a pleasant feeling?
- Did you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior from your heart or did you “say the word” because it’s the right thing to do?
The “pure at heart” are the ones who believe through faith they are inwardly cleansed of sin by the blood of Jesus. If you have authentic faith, you will welcome self-examination to improve on keeping your heart pure. We all need pruning as Jesus mentioned in John 15:1-17. As we are pruned, we will produce good and better fruit, and with our pure heart, we will abide in His word.
The Hebrew word for peace is shalom and never spoken in a negative way. The opposite of peace is trouble. The blessing that Jesus is talking about is on the peacemakers, not the peace lovers.
Troublemakers start the storm of trouble, bitterness, and strife. They will either start or involve themselves in quarrels. They think they are doing God’s work, but they are actually doing the work of Satan. He loves division and will use other Christians to do his dirty work, especially within the church.
In contrast, peacemakers show inward peace with God and how to spread peace throughout their work, home, community, and the world. They face, deal with, and conquer issues. Producing the right relationships with one another. They are here to unite others and that is doing God’s work. They resist Satan’s nonsense and when he cannot get to them, he will flee (James 4:7). Better to be known as a peacemaker than a troublemaker!
Persecuted for Righteousness Sake
They will take the world’s persecution and use it for good. They are the ones that desire and possess God’s righteousness or being in right standing with God. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, three disruptions happened:
- Your family life
- Your social life
- Where you work
You are now a much different person. Instead of walking with Satan, you are now butting heads with him. Relationships at work, hanging out with friends, and home has now changed. Believe me for the better. It may not feel like it because you will be persecuted, but as an old saying goes, “I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.”
Mocking, Persecute, and Speak Falsely
When we grasp how persecution began, we can put ourselves in a position to see the real glory of God and how it manifests in our lives. There are five things to remember on suffering persecution for following Jesus:
- It is an opportunity to show your loyalty to Jesus
- Walk on the same paths as the prophets did
- Share in the great occasion, a crucial moment, the clash between the world and Jesus
- Make things easier for others who are to follow
- You are never alone in suffering persecution
Many will mock and persecute you, speak falsely, and spread lies about you. Don’t get mad and threaten them, Jesus told us in verse 12 to rejoice and be glad. Why? Because our reward is not here on earth, but in heaven. Jesus also told us to store up treasures in heaven not on earth as they will only turn into rust and be eaten by moths (Matthew 6:19-20) Always remember, they persecuted Jesus and the prophets long before they persecuted you (John 15:18-25).
To have authentic faith, you need to show all nine beatitudes. If you are lacking in one or more areas, get into God’s Word, and let the Holy Spirit guide and direct you on getting back on track.
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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