Bible Study, Musings, Spiritual Formation

Contrast: Character Determines Influence

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.

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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

 

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

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