On Sunday at Calvary Church, Pastor Beau Eckert started our series, Contrast, with a look at Matthew 5:1-16.
The Beatitudes in the first section focus on the Character of the Righteous.
The list of characteristics together form a progressive picture of what those rightly related to the King look like. And by correlation, they serve as an encouragement to us to pursue the characteristics God affirms.
Here is my attempt to show the progression:
- The poor in spirit are those who understand their own lack of righteousness (bankruptcy) and need apart from God–they trust Him alone and His will–they experience the current reality of the kingdom
- Because of their own lack of righteousness they mourn–but will be comforted with eternal riches
- The clear understanding of who they are and sorrow causes them to be meek, not seeking their own–but shall inherit it all
- Because they are meek, they are then able to take their eyes off themselves and hunger and thirst for righteousness–they will be satisfied with perfect righteousness in the kingdom
- Those who desire to be righteous will develop mercy toward others, because they see their own need for mercy
- This lack of a judgmental spirit leads to being pure in heart–they shall see their heart’s desire, God Himself
- They then are peacemakers because they are not seeking their own benefit but that of others–God takes notice
- Which will cause others to be convicted and persecute them–the ultimate Judge will reward them in the eternal kingdom with everlasting comfort
The second section challenges us with the reality that those rightly related to the King are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”
So what kind of influence will we have?
Character Determines Influence