True Blessedness 2

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

The world thinks of blessedness as having things, of being honored, of being self-sufficient. It thinks of blessedness as extracting revenge on those you want and of being at a high state of happiness all the time. It thinks that being merciful is weakness and seeking wine, women, and song is much better than a pure heart. In other words, what the world thinks of as making it happy is precisely opposite of what Jesus said is being in a state of blessedness. This, of course, is not surprising. The world is usually opposite of the truth of God.

While it is true that the world is opposite of the truth of God, it is also true that the professing Church is also opposite of the truth of God. The difference, though, is that the professing Church uses biblical words. However we have to be careful as it will twist those words and end up saying the same thing as the world does or at least have the same basic concept that the world does. The Bible in intent is God-centered, so whether a person pursues self with outward sin or self with religion it is still the pursuit of self. The professing Church will use the word “humility” or “meekness” and yet will have self as the goal of it. The world also has a concept of humility and it also has self as the goal.

The words of Jesus in Matthew 5 (Beatitudes) give us a clear teaching on the state of blessedness and also the nature of blessedness. This is to say that human beings must be in a state of blessedness to be truly blessed but there is also something that must be true in them and about them for the blessings to flow. No, we are not talking about works for blessedness as all blessings come by free-grace. What we have to learn is that free-grace puts us in a state of blessedness and then free-grace changes our hearts that out hearts become practically blessed and receive the true blessings of God.

When the Scriptures (Matthew 5 above) starts off with “blessed are”, it is giving us nine descriptions of blessed people. It tells us that there are a people who are blessed, then it gives us what we should seek to receive blessings while in a state of blessing, and then it tells us why people are blessed. As an example, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We can see that those who are poor in spirit are in a state of blessedness. We see what grace must accomplish in the heart for people to receive blessing. We see why those who are poor in spirit blessed. We can see that being poor in spirit is being in a state of blessedness but it is also what we should seek even more of to receive more of the nature of blessedness.

While this may sound somewhat confusing, it is simply saying that while the poor in spirit (and so on) are blessed, they should seek to be poor in spirit day after day and more and more of that in order that the blessedness may continue. It is not that they will lose out of being in a state of blessedness, but they will lose out on the flowing of blessedness or lose out on the degree of blessedness. We should seek the Lord to grant us more and more of being poor in spirit in order that we may have more and more the kingdom of heaven in us. It is not as if we become poor in spirit and receive all the kingdom that we are ever going to have, but instead this is something we are to grow in. Blessedness is something to be sought from the hand of free-grace and we should desire more of this blessedness in order that the glory of God would shine in and through us.

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