Matthew 5:1-12 Questions and Answers
1. Read Matthew 5:1-2. Where did Jesus choose to teach? Who was he teaching? Why did He start teaching?
- Jesus taught on the mountainside - It was traditional for a rabbi to sit down when he taught. When a rabbi stood whatever he said was considered unofficial. But when he sat down all he said was considered his official teaching.
- Jesus was teaching the disciples. However, He wanted the crowd of people to hear His words
- Even though the crowd of people were a secondary audience they were what prompted Jesus' message.
2. What is the theme of Matthew 5:3-12?
- that believers know true happiness.
- The rest of the sermon deals with how happiness is possible and the life-style that produces true happiness, which we cannot do in our own strength.
We often call this section the Beatitudes. What 2 words does it look like it comes from?
- These are the attitudes of the heart God wants us to have. They make us happy and please God.
3. What does the word "blessed" mean?
- is a deep inner sense of well-being regardless of what is happening around us and to us.
- To be happy, fortunate, well-off
- speaks of being happy in a way not dependent on circumstances.
- To be favoured by God
4. What does the world think will make a person happy? Does it? What makes you happy?
- The world thinks that happiness is: getting their own way & having lots of things
- The world thinks that the people who are happy are: the rich, famous, successful, powerful, confident, self-sufficient & proud
- By the world's standards, Solomon should have been a very happy man. Yet his response to all he had was, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity"
- The happiness that can fill the void in every soul can't be manufactured by the world. Physical things don't meet spiritual needs.
- In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus emphasized that people will never find happiness through what this world values.
5. Fill in the chart
||What are the qualities God blesses?
||What is their reward?
||Poor in Spirit vs. pride
||Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
||Mourning vs. bragging about your sin, indifferent
||They will be comforted
||Meekness vs taking control, being manipulative
||Will inherit the earth
||Hungering and thirsting for Righteousness
||Will be filled
||Pure in heart
||Will see God
||Will be called the sons of God
||Persecuted for righteousness sake
||Theirs is the Kingdom of God
||Because of loyalty to Jesus are insulted, persecuted and falsely accused
||Will have a great reward in Heaven
6. Read Matthew 5:3. What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
- Isaiah 66:2 - God says, "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit...(repentant). In humility realizing that spiritually I am empty, poor, helpless, lost and can do nothing on my own. Without divine assistance I have no resources that will get me into heaven or to do what God wants me to do. I am spiritually incapable and therefore totally dependent on God's grace. Proverbs 16:5 says, "The Lord detests all the proud of heart."
- Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Understanding my own sinfulness and that I am not able to meet God's standard. and that I need to repent
- Rom. 7:18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. A person who is poor in spirit has no sense of self-sufficiency and recognizes he is spiritually bankrupt and needs to get bailed out by Christ. Admitting your weaknesses is the beginning of happiness. To know true happiness you must first be poor in spirit and acknowledge you.
- Luke 5:8 Peter fell at Jesus' feet and said, "Go away from me for I am a sinful man." The only way a right relationship to Christ is established, is when we confess our unrighteousness and inability to meet God's standard.
- John 5:30 We recognize that in our own human strength, we do not have what it takes to save ourselves from our sins or to live the Christian life. Even Jesus said "I can of my own self do nothing." John 5:30 Can Christians forget this and begin living otherwise? YES
- A person only becomes a Christian after he realizes that he truly on his own is poor in spirit.
- Not the same as having a low self image or with keeping traditions or wearing the right kind of clothes
If I am poor in Spirit
a) What will my focus be on?
- Will focus on Christ - When you are poor in spirit, you will focus on the wonder of Christ. Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." (John 14:8). A person who is poor in spirit focuses on God and reads His Word. As a person dwells on the awesomeness of Jesus Christ he will stop focusing on himself.
- Not focus on self - When we understand our dependency on God, we see that our own resources and accomplishments are worthless and we seek to starve our pride. A person who is poor in spirit will not be self- centered. All he'll think about is glorifying God and meeting the needs of others.
b) What will be my attitude towards God?
- Have a prayerful attitude towards God - If you want to be poor in spirit, ask for God's help.
- Will praise and thank God - When you are poor in spirit, you will praise and thank God for His grace in the knowledge that everything you have is a gift from Him. Paul displayed that attitude in 1 Timothy 1:14,"The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly..." Those who are poor in spirit are filled with thanks.
- Will take Christ on His terms - The proud sinner adds Christ to his pleasures, and lifestyle or thinks he can negotiate with Christ. One who is poor in spirit is so desperate that he will give up everything to obtain Christ.
- Will never complain - If you are poor in spirit you will never complain about your circumstances because you know you don't deserve anything. You have nothing to offer to God, yet the greater your needs the more abundantly He provides.
c) How will I view others?
- Will see good in others - A person who is poor in spirit will see the good qualities of others and recognize his own weaknesses. A truly humble person has a teachable spirit. Will listen to others, etc.
Why is understanding our spiritual inadequacy so liberating?
- We no longer need to keep trying in our strength but turn to God and trust Him to affect our will and our actions to be pleasing to Him.
What is the opposite of being poor in spirit?
7. What is a Biblical example of being poor in spirit?
- Christ described the attitude of one who was poor in spirit in Luke 18:10-13: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breasts and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' Christ's response to that attitude is found in the next verse (Luke 18:14) "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
8. What does "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" mean? What will the Kingdom of Heaven be like? ( Romans 14:17)
- Those who recognize they are spiritually destitute will go to heaven.
- The point of entry into the kingdom of God is when a person becomes poor in spirit and admits that he is a sinner in need of the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
- What is the Kingdom of Heaven like? Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
9. Read Matthew 5:4. What does the word "mourn" refer to? What kind of mourning is it talking about? ( 2 Corinthians 7:10; Jeremiah 9:1)
- The Greek word translated "mourn" in Matthew 5:4 conveys the idea of deep inner agony. Mourning is not only an act but also an attitude, a change of thinking (repentance)
- 2 Corinthians 7:10 Refers to godly sorrow which leads to repentance and salvation. What am I repenting of in my mourning? I am turning from independence to dependence; my strength to God's strength; my life my way to my life God's way; from calling sin nice names to calling it what God calls it. The result of recognizing our spiritual poverty, and that we are not sufficient in trying to receive God's approval in our own strength, is to mourn or repent of this condition, meaning we turn away from relying on our human strength.
- If you do not mourn, you will never be saved, will lack purpose in life, will lack seriousness, and will have an ineffective prayer life.
- Jeremiah 9:1--Jeremiah cried for those who were going to be judged for their sinfulness. He mourned for the lost. Once we begin to mourn over our spiritual condition and that of others we will gain a new sense of purpose in life. We will gain a fresh understanding of why God has placed us where he has. Start to see the lost condition of others about us.
What is the opposite of mourning?
- Indifference, bragging about your exploits.
The mourning in this verse is not human sorrow which may be caused by the conditions of life.
10. What are some Biblical examples of the kind of mourning talked about in Matthew 5:4?
- Nehemiah 8:9-10 - all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. They were convicted, mourned and then experienced joy.
- Matthew 23:37 -Jesus, weeping over the city of Jerusalem
What are some things that hinder us from mourning?
- Things that hinder us from mourning are: love of sin, despair, pride, hardheartedness, procrastination, think life is one big party
11. What/who comforts us? In what way? ( John 14:26; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
- The reason those who mourn over sin are happy is that their sins are forgiven. Everyone else in the world lives without relief from the guilt of sin. (Ps 32:1)
- Those who express sorrow for their sins will receive comfort. They are not blessed because they mourn but because they are comforted.
- John 14:26 We are comforted by the Holy Spirit who lives inside us.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 God of all comfort. He helps us, hears our cries, and meets our needs. He is always at our side admonishing, consoling, strengthening, and forgiving us. Believers also comfort each other.
- Romans 15:4 God's Word is a comforter. "Whatever things were written in earlier times were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope." God's Word was given to comfort us: it tells us about God's love, forgiveness, help, encouragement, and presence.
- Revelation 21:4 . We will receive comfort in the eternal kingdom.
12. Read Matthew 5:5. What does the world think is meekness?
- Weakness, impotence or cowardliness
What does the Bible say about those who are meek? ( Numbers 12:1-14; Matthew 11:28-30)
- Numbers 12:1-14 tells us "the man Moses was very meek (humble), more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth." This was put in brackets after Miriam and Aaron challenged Moses leadership. God scolded them and was angry with them and gave them leprosy. Moses prayed for them and God healed them but they had to stay outside the camp for 7 days. He showed meekness in not retaliating or holding a grudge or being glad they were punished for their opposition to him. Instead he prayed for their healing. He didn't defend himself. He let God vindicate him.
- Yet he was the man who killed an Egyptian to protect an Israelite slave. On behalf of God he told Pharaoh, "Let my people go" (Ex. 5:1). He was a great leader that led God's people through the wilderness to the border of the promised land.
- When Moses came down to the camp of Israel after receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, he saw them worshiping a golden calf and participating in an orgy. "Moses' anger burned, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it" (Ex. 32:19-20). That doesn't sound like a meek man according to our society's standards. But the reason Moses was so angry was that the Israelites had violated one of God's commandments: "You shall have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). He was defending God. When God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Ex. 3:7-10) Moses tried to decline. He thought himself inadequate and uneloquent. He would not defend himself before God, but he would defend the Lord before anyone. That's what meekness is all about.
- In Matthew 21:5 it says that Jesus is humble/gentle (meek). "Tell the people of Jerusalem, 'Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey-riding on a donkey's colt
- In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says he in gentle & humble in heart (meek) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
- Jesus could stand up to the winds and the waves. He also chased the money-changers out of the temple twice with a whip made out of chords. Matthew 26:53
- Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? Matthew 26:53
In both examples meekness is power under control.
Other Biblical examples of meekness? How did they show meekness?
Paul - Philippians 3:3 Paul was a meek man because he put no confidence in himself but had great confidence in Christ.
- Those who are meek are broken over their sin and seek what God has promised. In every example of meekness in the Bible the underlying motive was that the person knew God's promises. Trust in God's promises is the motivating factor behind meekness. We don't need to be in control because God is.
- 1. Abraham (Genesis 13:5-11) When there was quarrelling between Lot's herdsmen and Abraham's herdsmen over land, Abraham let Lot choose where he wanted to move to. He didn't care if Lot had some of it temporarily. The meek person knows that in the end God will give him everything.
- 2. Joseph (Gen. 37:3-4). Joseph's brothers sold Joseph into slavery and he was taken to Egypt. Joseph became a mighty man but he was also meek: he kept his power under control.
- 3. David - His meekness towards Saul - 1 Samuel 24:3-7; 26:7-12 Even though David was the anointed king he didn't kill Saul. He would not act on his own behalf--only God's. He could wait on the Lord's timing because he knew God would fulfill His promise.
- His meekness towards Shimei - 2 Samuel 16:5-12 David told Abishai to leave Shimei alone--he wouldn't act in his own defense. His attitude was one of subservience, trust, and submission towards God's will. God works only with those who are subject to Him, not with those who do their own thing. In Matthew 5:5 Christ was saying His kingdom will be occupied with people who are submissive to God.
13. What qualities are evident in people who are meek? Are you this kind of person?
- They will get angry only when God is dishonored (If they defend God, not themselves)
- will respond humbly and obediently to God's Word
- They will be submissive to & trust God's will and direction for their lives. They will be willing to wait for His timing. Moses & Jesus. Romans 12:1-2
- If Jesus is Lord of their life then they will want nothing more than to love and serve Him.
- They will forgive, restore others, and make peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 Only meek people make peace and preserve unity.
- They will receive criticism without being defensive and can love those who offer them criticism.
- They will choose not to put confidence in their own abilities but put their full confidence in God. Eg. Paul
- 1 Peter 3:3-4 says not to spend so much time beautifying yourself externally if you want to glorify God. Instead, clothe yourself with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle (meekness),and quiet spirit which is so precious to God. Eg. Sarah
Are you this kind of person?
What is the opposite of meekness?
- Pride, taking control, disobedient, impatient, defensive, insisting on your own way
14. What are the rewards God has for those who are meek?
- Psalms 149:4 - The Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
- Psalms 25:9 - God guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
- Psalms 37:11 - meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
- Psalms 147:6 - The Lord supports the humble,
- Proverbs 3:34 - God shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
- Matthew 5:5 - Receive Blessing from God. Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek". If you are meek you will be happy. You will inherit the Earth
15. What does it mean that we will inherit the earth?
- To "inherit" means "to receive an allotted portion." The earth is the meek's allotted portion
- When God created Adam, He gave man the earth. God told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth" (Gen. 1:28).
- According to Matthew 5:5 when you become a believer you enter the kingdom and receive the original inheritance of dominion over the earth that was given to Adam and Eve.
- Ultimately believers will possess the earth. They are the meek who will reign on the earth with the Lord Jesus Christ in the coming kingdom (Rev. 20:6).
- Once we believe God's promises we stop trying to fulfill them on our own. Since God said we will inherit the earth, there is no need to spend our lives trying to get it now. We should be patient to wait for God to bring the promise to pass. eg. Abraham
16. Read Matthew 5:6. What does it mean to hunger & thirst for righteousness?
- A continual strong desire that knows no end. "To hunger and thirst" means: that which drives me, sustains me, keeps me going, and what I desire more than anything else. Eg. Newborn
- Anyone coming into God's Kingdom has as great an appetite for righteousness (right living according to the moral character of God) as he does for food and water.
- A person doesn't stop hungering and thirsting for righteousness once he is saved. A true Christian desires to be more and more like Christ. He desires greater purity and will never get to the point in this life where he thinks he has arrived. No matter how much you love, you should love more. No matter how much you pray, obey God, or think like Christ, you should always want to do better (Phil. 3:12-14).
- A person who belongs to God's kingdom has a consuming desire not for power, praise, or possessions, but for righteousness. Our good works are not enough so we must have Christ's righteousness. Is 64:6 All our righteousness is as filthy rags.
What am I hungry for? Do I seek power, praise, possessions, pleasure or righteousness?
17. What are some Biblical examples of hungering and thirsting for righteousness ?
- After Moses built the Tabernacle according to God's commands and God's glory took residence in it, Moses still wanted to see more of God's glory ( Exodus 33:18).
- In Psalms 63:1 he says, "You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." David's hunger and thirst for God never diminished.
- Philippians 3:10 "I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death."
18. What will characterize a person's life or my life if I am hungering and thirsting for righteousness?
- Will have a new appetite for righteousness, right living, according to the moral character of God.
- Will always want to keep growing spiritually. Can never have enough of Christ.
- I will want more than anything else is to be filled with Christ.
- Jeremiah 15:16 - I will devour God's Word. "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight..." I don't need to be told to read and study my Bible. I won't allow other activities to distract me from focusing on God.
- I am content and God is still precious to me when I experience the pain of devastation in my life. If I am only rejoicing when good things happen and react with resentment when things get rough then I am chasing after superficial happiness. "To the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet." (Proverbs 27:7) Everything is sweet to the hungry soul because God is making that person more and more righteous.
- I only want Christ. If I want Christ plus something else then I am not hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Eg. Rich young ruler - wanted to get in into Christ's kingdom but he wasn't willing to give up his possessions so he was never filled. (Matthew 19:16-22)
- Isaiah 26:9 - My soul yearns for God in the night; and in the morning my spirit longs for God. There is personal intimacy with God
- How do we get an appetite for righteousness? God puts it in our heart.
- According to this verse can we find satisfaction by pursuing satisfaction? No - we must seek God and His righteousness.
What happens if we don't hunger and thirst for righteousness? Eg. Rich man(Luke 16:24)
19. What is the result of hungering and thirsting for righteousness? What are we filled with?
- We will be spiritually intimate with God. Our first love for God will not grow cold.
- We will receive blessing - be happy
- Filling here speaks of being completely satisfied. God will make us happy and satisfied.
- Matthew 6:31-33 - We will be given our needs.
- Psalm 34:10 - "those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
- Christ brings satisfaction. Yet believers also have a blessed dissatisfaction that desires more of His righteousness. It's like an addiction.
20 Read Matthew 5:7. What is the meaning of being merciful? What is a merciful person like?
(Read also Matthew 25:41-45)
- It speaks of compassion in action with a pure and unselfish motive that reaches out to help those in need. Mercy goes beyond merely feeling compassion or sympathy. One who is truly merciful gives a hungry man food, a lonely person companionship, a poor man money, a naked man clothes, a homeless man a bed or exchanges a grudge for forgiveness. There are all kinds of needs to be met, even spiritual needs. He will give love to someone who asks for it. Being merciful is meeting a need whether they deserve it or not--not just feeling it. Matthew 25:41-45.
- God's mercy is based on love. Paul said that God is rich in mercy because of "his great love with which he loved us" (Eph. 2:4). There is no mercy without love.
- A merciful person will not hold grudges, retaliate, be vengeful, or recite the failures and the sins of others. If you are a Christian you will be merciful. When Stephen was being stoned he said, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." (Acts 7:60). When Jesus was crucified He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
- Mercy given isn't necessarily mercy returned. Our Lord was the most merciful person who ever lived yet people wanted him killed.
What is the opposite of being merciful?
- Condemnation, cruelty, hardness, harshness, uncaring, punishment, demand justice, revenge, severe, vengeance, sternness, unforgiving.
21. What are some Biblical examples of mercy?
- God is rich in mercy and He is the One who dispenses it. David said, "As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him" (Ps. 103:11). When a person fears God he comes to Christ and God gives him mercy. That's why our Lord could say, "Be ye, therefore, merciful, as your Father also is merciful" (Luke 6:36).
- God chooses to show mercy. In Matthew 18:21-35 Christ told a story about a servant who owed a king a tremendous amount of money. The servant said, "Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all" (v. 26). The king was moved with compassion and cancelled the debt- -he forgave his servant. Later that same servant "found one of his fellow servants, who owed him an hundred denarii [a comparatively small amount of money]; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what you owe me." (v. 28). Pictured in that story is someone who asks God for mercy but doesn't show mercy to someone else. This story show serious it is in God's eye to not show mercy and forgiveness.
- He extends His mercy only because His justice has been satisfied. God won't show sentimental mercy to those who never acknowledged His Son. If we want God to be merciful to us we must confess our sins and turn from them.
- In Luke 10:30-35 Jesus tells of a Jewish man who was robbed and beaten. He was left lying on the side of the road. A priest went by but didn't want to help so he kept on walking. A Levite went by and did the same. Then a Samaritan saw the maimed man and stopped to care for him. He bound up the man's wounds and poured oil on them--that was mercy. He rented a room for him at an inn so he would have a place to stay--that was grace. By mercy the Samaritan dealt with the beaten man's wounds. By grace he provided him with a better condition.
- Hebrews 2:17 - " For this reason Christ had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God." Christ is the great illustration of mercy because He intercedes for us before the Father. It is from Him that mercy comes.
- Jesus Christ was the most merciful human being who ever lived. He never did anything to harm anyone. He reached out to the sick and healed them. He enabled the crippled to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. He showed love to tax collectors, prostitutes, debauched people, and drunks. He redeemed them and set them on their feet. Our Lord wept with those who were in sorrow, and made the lonely feel loved. He gathered little children in His arms and loved them.
- Luke 7:11-15 - as Jesus entered a city a funeral procession went by. He saw a mother weeping because her only son was dead. She was a widow so she didn't have a husband or son to care for her. Jesus stopped the procession, put His hand on the casket, raised her son from the dead, and gave him back to his mother.
- In John 8:3-11 some scribes and Pharisees brought to Christ a woman who had been caught in the act of committing adultery. When her accusers had been confronted and had left He said to her, "Woman, where are your accusers? Hasn't anyone condemned you?... Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more"
- Did Jesus show compassion to everyone? The Pharisees lacked showing mercy so Jesus provided them truth but not with mercy. This shows what happens when you are not merciful.
Abraham - He mercifully helped deliver his nephew Lot (Gen. 14:8- 16) after Abraham had been wronged by him (Gen. 13:5-11).
Joseph - showed mercy toward his brothers and met their needs (Gen. 42:25; 44:1) even after they had treated him badly (Gen. 37:20-28).
Moses - When Moses' sister Miriam had rebelled against him (Num. 12:1) God afflicted her with leprosy (v. 10). In mercy Moses asked the Lord to heal her (v. 13).
David - spared Saul's life twice (1 Sam. 24, 26). A merciful person reaches out to forgive, care for, and help others.
22. If I am a merciful person, what are some of the things I would be doing?
- Compassionately meet the needs of others- even those who have wronged me
- Pray for others with needs
- Share the gospel with those who do not know
- I wouldn't condemn others, but will speak the truth in love
- I would forgive those who have hurt me
- I would be sympathetic, forgiving, gracious, giving and loving
- I would not hold grudges, retaliate, be vengeful, or recite the failures of others
23. What promise is made to the merciful and what does that mean?
- We will be blessed - Christ said, "Blessed are the merciful" (Matt. 5:7).
- Jesus' emphasis was that if a person is merciful to others, God will be merciful to him. God is the one giving the mercy in Matthew 5:7.
- Mercy isn't obtained by merit--otherwise mercy wouldn't be mercy. It would be a reward.
- If you are a merciful person God will continually pour out His mercy on you. He will forgive your sins and meet your needs.
- Proverbs 11:17 - Those who are kind (merciful) benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves." If you want to be miserable, then be merciless. If you are merciful, you will be happy.
24. Read Matthew 5:8. What is the prerequisite to seeing God?
- Of all the Beatitudes Matthew 5:8 is the clearest statement on how to enter the kingdom. When Christ said, "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8), He meant that only the pure in heart would see God in His kingdom--not those who merely participate in external religious ceremonies. Those depending on a religion based on human achievement won't make it into the kingdom.
- How can we receive a pure heart? Who purifies our heart? Jesus Christ came to earth to purify our hearts. He took our sin upon Himself and paid the penalty for it. Then He assigned His own righteousness to us (Rom. 4:24). What a fantastic exchange! He makes us pure in God's eyes! Because Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree (1 Pet. 2:24), His righteousness is given to us. It is by faith that God makes us pure--not by personal achievement.
25. What is the meaning of the word "heart" in Scripture? ( Mark 7:20-23)
- The Bible always refers to the heart as the internal part of a person. Predominantly it refers to the thinking processes--not the emotions.
- When our Lord spoke of the pure in heart He was talking about a pure mind that in turn controls a person's emotions. The Pharisees and legalists told the people that all they needed to do were external religious activities.
- In Mark 7:20-23 Christ affirms the importance of what's in the heart as opposed to external traditions. "What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come-sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person." Matthew 15:19-20 says For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them."
26. What is the Meaning of the word "Pure"? ( Jeremiah 32:39)
- The Greek word translated "pure" in Matthew 5:8 means "to cleanse." In a moral sense it speaks of being free from the filth of sin. In Matthew 5:8 it refers to a cleansed heart..
- In Matthew 5:8 it would refer to a heart unmixed in its devotion and motives. In that sense "pure in heart" would refer to spiritual integrity and singleness of heart focused on God as opposed to doublemindedness. Jeremiah 32:39--God said of Israel, "I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them." Here God speaks of single minded devotion and pure motives.
27. What are some Biblical examples of a pure heart? ( Leviticus 19:2; Acts 13:22)
- Purity is integral to the character of God - He is holy Leviticus 19:2
- Acts 13:22 - After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' David may have failed at times but his heart was set toward God. The legalists and Pharisees in Jesus' audience in Matthew 5-7 may have done righteous deeds, but their hearts were not directed toward God.
28. How can I be pure in heart? ( I John 1:7, 9; James 4:4, 8)
- A. Admit You Can't Purify Your Heart on Your Own - Proverbs 20:9 says, "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" No one can purify themselves on their own.
- B. Put Your Faith in God - 1 John 1:7 says, "The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin." If you want to be pure in heart you must by faith accept the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. If I am a believer I am positionally pure because the righteousness of Christ has been applied to me by God. When God looks at the believer He says, "You are absolutely pure in Christ." Believers are justified and made pure by His work alone (Rom. 5:1, 17-21; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:16).
- C. Read God's Word and Pray - John 15:3 "Now you are clean through the word."
- D. Confess and repent when you sin -1 John 1:9, which says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- James 4:4, 8 - " You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." God wants our heart and motives to be pure.
29. What promise is made to the pure in heart?
- Matthew 5:8 says that those who are pure in heart "shall see God (continuously)."
- When your heart is purified at salvation you begin living in the presence of God. You don't see Him with physical eyes but with spiritual ones. You begin to comprehend Him and become aware of His presence. Just as Moses saw God's glory (Ex. 34), the person whose heart is purified by Jesus Christ repeatedly sees the glory of God.
- God is alive in this world but you won't be aware of that unless your heart has been purified. Purity of heart cleanses the eyes of the soul, making God visible.
- Ultimately we who are in Christ will be completely pure, when we dwell with God in heaven. No more will we experience sin. 1 John 3:2 says, "We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
30. Have you seen God or the glory of God with your spiritual eyes? Where? When? In what way?
- Eg. Moses saw the glory of God ( Exodus 34)
- Job saw God in the midst of his trials ( Job 42:5)
- David, the psalmist, saw God in creation ( Psalms 19)
Intro to peace
- The theme of peace dominates the Bible. It begins with peace in the Garden of Eden before the Fall. When man sinned, peace was interrupted. At the cross peace became a reality again-- Christ became our peace (Eph. 2:14). Today there can be peace in the hearts of those who know Him. In the future Jesus will come again and His title will be "the Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6). He will establish a kingdom of peace that will lead into an eternal age of peace.
- God is called "the God of peace" (Rom. 15:33; Phil. 4:9).
- God has called Christians to bring back the peace that was forfeited as a result of sin. In Matthew 5:9 our Lord refers to a unique group of peacemakers. Those who have peace in their hearts.
31. Read Matthew 5:9. What is the meaning of peace? Where is real peace found? ( John 16:33)
What it isn't
- God sees peace not as the absence of conflict but the presence of righteousness. Righteousness will bring about right relationships.
- The peace of the Bible conquers relationship issues and builds bridges between people. That may involve struggle, pain, and anguish, but real peace is the result.
- Real peace is found in Christ alone. John 16:33 Before we can experience the peace of God we need peace with God.
Did Jesus birth bring a peaceful existence to this world? Explain.
- Just the absence of conflict. Peace is more than that--there is no strife in a cemetery but that's not a model of peace.
- There is a difference between a truce and peace. A truce is when people put down their guns and don't shoot for a while. True peace is when conflict is resolved and the parties become friends.
32. Why don't we have peace in this world? ( James 4:1)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? James 4:1 We are selfish, don't have peace with God, we aren't at peace with ourselves or with others.
33. How can we experience God's peace? ( Philippians 4:6-7)
- When we are restored in our relationship with God we will have peace and can be peacemakers.
- Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- James 3:17 says, "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable." True peace will never be found apart from God and His righteousness. That's because peace isn't based on circumstances.
34. What is meant by being a "peacemaker"? What would a peacemaker do?
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 - A peacemaker is one who has been reconciled to God and at peace with God and now strives to point others to this peace, including their enemies.
- They help others make peace with God - The greatest privilege a peacemaker has is helping someone at war with God to make peace with Him.
- The best way to be a peacemaker is to preach the gospel of peace in a way that makes plain to men and women their alienation from God. Romans 10:15 says, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace!" By telling someone the gospel you will accomplish more than a politician or statesman could ever do--only Christ gives peace that lasts forever.
- The early church preached "the good news of peace through Jesus Christ" (Acts 10:36). When you preach Christ, you preach peace. Are we sharing with others how to receive this wonderful peace with God? If not, why not?
- Peacemakers help people make peace with each other - They build bridges between people.
- God's peacemakers don't just stop wars--they replace what causes of war with the righteousness of God.
- The Bible commands us to be peacemakers. Mark 9:50 says, "Be at peace with one another."
35. What are some Biblical examples of peacemakers?
- 1 Corinthians 14:33 - "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." Apart from Him there is no peace.
- Romans 15:33--Paul said, "Now the God of peace be with you all".
- Hebrews 13:20--The author of Hebrews described God as "the God of peace."
- Ephesians 2:14 tells us that Christ is our peace. He came into the world as the peace of God that came to man.
- Colossians 1:20 says that Christ "made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself." It was Christ's sacrifice on the cross that made peace between God and man. There may not seem to have been peace at the cross but Christ's death on the cross provided the righteousness that alone makes real peace.
- Galatians 5:22 says, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, [and] peace.
- God is the source of peace, Christ is the manifestation of peace, and the Holy Spirit is the agency of peace." When you become a Christian the God of peace, the Prince of Peace (Christ), and Spirit of peace come to live in your life.
- 1 Corinthians 7:15 says, "God hath called us to peace."
- Reconciliation refers to peacemaking. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 affirms that Christians are ambassadors of peace sent by God to the world.
36. What is God's promise to peacemakers?
- Our Lord's promise to peacemakers is that "they shall be called the sons of God" (Matt. 5:9). We can be proud of our rich heritage but nothing compares to being called a son of God. (child of God)
- In Matthew 5:9 the Greek word translated "sons" means "children." The word was used to express tender affection; and describes a position of dignity and honor - the honor of being a peacemaker.
37. How does God view His children? What privileges do we have as His children?
- God has a personal and eternal love for those who are His own. He bears with our weaknesses and sin, accepts our imperfect service, provides for our needs, and shields us from danger. He has revealed His truth to us and made us heirs of all He possesses. He works everything for our good and will accept us into heaven. Those are all things God does for His sons. Peacemakers are indeed blessed!
- Zechariah 2:8 calls His children "the apple of [God's] eye." When someone harms one of God's children it's like he's poking his finger in God's eye!
- Malachi 3:17 says we are God's jewels and will be a part of His crown - treasured possession
- God cares about us--He makes us sons, princes, kings, priests, and fellow heirs.
- In Psalms 16:3 it says, "I say of the holy people who are in the land, They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight."
38. Read Matthew 5:10-12. What are some Biblical examples of godly people who were persecuted, insulted or falsely accused for righteousness sake?
- In I Corinthians 4:10-12 Paul says, "We are we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it". We're not called to ride into town as sanctified celebrities. Rather we're to endure persecution.
- In verse 13 Paul says, "when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world-right up to this moment." That's how Paul said the apostles viewed themselves! They had a realistic view of how the world appraised them. They had counted the cost of following Christ and were willing to make the sacrifice.
- 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 - " Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
- Then he said, "Of myself I will not glory, but in my weaknesses. 2 Cor. 12:5-8). Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. Paul may have had an eye problem that made ministry difficult for him. Whatever that "thorn" was, it was something undesirable. But instead of taking it away God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in [human] weakness" (v. 9). Paul responded, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (vv. 9-10).
- Jeremiah 38:1-6 - Jeremiah was thrown into a filthy cistern because of his righteous life. But God lifted him up and honored him.
39. What kinds of persecution may Christians in Canada or around the world face today? Are you experiencing any kinds of persecution?
- Revile means to be harassed or treated in an evil way. To abuse with vicious and mocking words
- Physical persecution - means to be pursued or chased away, imprisoned, killed
- Falsely accused - gossiped behind our back
- Not getting a promotion at work because people resent your Christianity
- May be disruption to one's home, or be ostracized because you live for Jesus Christ. If you are going to live a kingdom life you need to be prepared to be lonely in some crowds. That's why we as Christians need each other so much.
- Christlike people end up being chased out of the worldly groups they were a part of. They don't fit in anymore, but they should never stop loving and praying for these people.
- Persecution can come in the form of others who stop talking to you because you share your faith or don't participate in their sinful activities.
- The twelve disciples were persecuted just as Jesus told them they would be. According to tradition Andrew was fastened with cords to a cross so his death would be slow. Tradition also records that Peter was crucified upside-down after nine months in prison. Paul was beheaded by Nero. James, Matthew, Matthias, Bartholomew, and Thomas were martyred. It is likely that every disciple was martyred except John, who died after exile on the island of Patmos.
40. Who will be persecuted?
- Matthew 5:3-9 Those who live out the Beatitudes will be persecuted--the more a person lives for Christ, the more likely the world will react negatively.
- 2 Timothy 3:12 - everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
- God intends for all believers to experience some persecution
- We aren't to seek persecution, yet we're also not to run from it. And when in the midst of it we are not to compromise.
41. If becoming a follower of Jesus makes us better people, then why are we persecuted?
- We usually think of persecution as punishment. But Christ says the world rejects believers not because they hate them but because they hate Christ himself and the righteousness of Christ in them. In John 15:18-19 Christ says, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen your out of the world. That is why the world hates you."
- The world rejects Christ's standard. A Christ like life will produce the same reaction Christ received during His earthly ministry. No one has ever been more loving or a greater peacemaker than Christ. Some responded to His love and entered into a relationship of peace with Him. But the most loving, gracious, kind, and peaceful Person who ever lived created antagonism wherever He went because He confronted unrighteousness.
- Matthew 5:10 - those who follow Christ will suffer "for righteousness' sake,"
- Matthew 5:11 - says they will suffer for Christ's sake.
- John 3:19 - The world loves darkness
42. What should be our attitude if we are faced with persecution? Why? ( Hebrews 11:32-40)
- Rejoice and be really glad (jump, skip and shout for joy) that God will reward us some day for standing firm and responding correctly to persecution. We are to be happy when faced with persecution.
- When persecuted we know that we are in good company as the prophets, apostles and many other godly Christians throughout history were also persecuted. Hebrews 11:32-40 -This passage lists people who suffered for righteousness' sake in different ways. Verse 38 says the world was not worthy of them.
- Christ presented a kingdom in which persecution was to be endured without retaliation--a devastating blow to those who wanted a political Messiah.
- When you are persecuted for Christ's sake, it is a testimony that you belong to God.
Where did most of the persecution come from against Jesus?
Should we present the Gospel just as a life of happiness, peace and joy?
- The Gospel is that Jesus paid the price for your salvation so you can be saved from the penalty of your sins
- Matthew 10:34-36 says that when you follow Christ you may have trouble with family members being against you.
- In this world you will have tribulation, but I have overcome the world. John 16:33
- Christ also said He came that we may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
43. What is the promise Christ made to the persecuted?
- Matthew 5:10-11 : "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Whatever we forfeit in this world for righteousness' sake will be rewarded in God's kingdom.
- "Blessed" appears twice in Matthew 5:10-11. God doubly blesses those who are persecuted. Verse 10 and 11 begin with the word "blessed" - it's as if they need a double blessing because of their circumstances! Theirs is the kingdom and all that is in it.
44. Do you think the world understands, accepts or respects Christ's definition of happiness or those who live by the beatitudes? Why or why not?
- Poverty of spirit is the opposite of the pride of an unbelieving heart because it glories in pride and self-promotion
- A world indifferent to sin can't appreciate the contrite person who mourns over his sin because it doesn't want to think about sin's implications.
- The proud and resentful spirit of the world regards as contemptible the meek person who accepts wrong and doesn't strike back.
- A hunger for righteousness is a rebuke to the lust of the flesh
- Unbelievers know little about mercy because of the hardness of their heart.
- Purity of heart contrasts sharply with hypocrisy, corruption, and immorality.
- Our antagonistic society has little room for biblical peacemakers for they have never learned that making peace with God brings peace among men.
- No wonder persecution is inevitable for the true Christian. The characteristics described in the Beatitudes flagrantly counter the world system.
45. How about you...are you experiencing true happiness and blessings God's way or do you feel the standards are too high? God doesn't lower His standards to accommodate us but we can ask Christ to enable us to meet God's standards.
Now that you understand what each of the beatitudes means, let's go to the chart on the first page and do a personal checklist to see how we are doing.
My prayer is that you are or will experience each of the blessings that God has to offer us in the beatitudes!
My prayer is that you are or will experience each of the blessings that God has to offer us in the beatitudes!
- God doesn't lower His standards to accommodate us but we can ask Christ to enable us to meet God's standards.
- Now that you understand what each of the beatitudes means, let's go to the chart on the first page and do a personal checklist to see how we are doing.