“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
One of the chief characteristics of God’s children is their disposition to make peace. After all, the Holy Spirit lives in their hearts and the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc. Of course, this peace doesn’t mean “appeasement”. This isn’t “peace at all costs.” This peace is allied with divine love, which includes love for God, his kingdom, and his righteousness. Interestingly, Jesus also said he came not to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34)! By that he means, devotion to him who is the Prince of Peace inevitably brings persecution from those who oppose his peaceful reign and his gospel of peace. Continue reading “Blessed are the Peacemakers”
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
The people referred to in the Beatitudes are blessed because they belong to the kingdom and they possess the traits that identify them as belonging to the kingdom.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “PURE IN HEART”?
A) “Clean on the inside”, not like white-washed tombs which are clean only on the outside.
B) “Sincere” or unadulterated like unmixed wine.
C) “Single-minded” like a faithful husband who has eyes only for his wife.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SEE GOD?
They are blessed because they will see God. In other words, they are those who will be saved because by the purity of their hearts they prove that they really have put their faith in Christ (1 John 3:1-3). Without holiness, no one will see God. The holy God is too pure for sinful hearts to see. To the pure all things are pure; to the impure, all things are impure.
HOW CAN WE BECOME PURE?
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). But we can become pure –
(a) By God’s grace. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:10) See also Ezekiel 36:25-27.
(b) By confessing our sins: 1 John 1:9
(c) By keeping God’s Word: Psalm 119:9, 11
(Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash)
“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MERCY AND GRACE?
The previous beatitudes have to do with our attitude or relationship towards God. The beatitudes that follow have to do with our actions towards others resulting from our right attitudes towards God.
Mercy is compassion towards others who are in a miserable state. Grace, on the other hand, is generosity to the undeserving. Grace views the unworthiness of the recipient. Mercy views the misery of the recipient. Grace has to do with cleansing the guilt of the person. Mercy has to do with alleviating the miserable condition of the person. Continue reading “Blessed are the Merciful”