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These Beatitudes list seven characteristics that make up the Christian character.

The eighth Beatitude deals

with the reaction of the world to these traits. These characteristics are all interrelated and progressive. The
Beatitudes are not natural characteristics, and they actually create a sharp distinction between the
Christians and non-Christians in the things they admire and the things they seek.

"Blessed" in the Greek means "Oh, how happy!" True happiness is a byproduct of a right relationship with God
and cannot be discovered by direct pursuit. The first three Beatitudes have to do with our response to the
revelation of God (Romans 7:9; Luke 18:11). This first characteristic of the child of God is a foundation that
God can build upon. God cannot build upon the foundations of pride, self will, or our own ambitions. God's
process is usually that of emptying before filling (Luke 2:34; Jeremiah 1:10). A man who is truly poor in spirit
will not be admired by the world (Luke 16:15). "Poor in spirit" indicates a willingness to surrender to the
authority and control of God, so that He might govern our lives. We will not be making demands, because
we're unworthy and undeserving (Genesis 32:10). Poverty of spirit is a consciousness of our own sinfulness
and spiritual poverty (Isaiah 6:5; Daniel 10:8; Luke 5:8; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Psalms 8:3-4). The way to
happiness is poverty of spirit (Luke 18:10-14; Matthew 7:13).

In the New Testament the "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" are used interchangeably. The
"kingdom of God" refers to God's sovereign rule over the whole universe. of which the "kingdom of heaven" is
a part. There are two aspects to the kingdom of heaven. (l ) Present-The kingdom of heaven has come to
those who have submitted themselves to Jesus to be governed by Him (2) Future-The King will come to reign
over the earth; the Kingdom of heaven will then be on earth (Matthew 6:10; Revelation 11:15).


v. 4a The word "mourn" in the Greek is the most intensive kind of mourning. It was used when Jacob thought
that his son Joseph was dead (Genesis 37:34-35). Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief
(Isaiah 53:3). John 8:57, 11 35: Luke 19:41; Matthew 23:37 There are three interpretations for mourning (1)
A very bitter, deep sorrow for the loss of a loved one or a deep abiding sorrow from an impairing affliction.
resulting in a quality of character that can only be developed by suffering (2) Mourning over the conditions
of the world and having a feeling of helplessness to do anything about it When Jesus mourned over
Jerusalem, He was grieving over the sin of the world (Matthew 23:37-39) (3) Mourning over our own sinful
state. Being poor in spirit creates a mourning over our own shortcomings and sins.

v. 4b We're comforted as God cleanses us of our unrighteousness and sins (2 Corinthians 7:10). We're
comforted by the hope of the better world that is promised to us (Isaiah 2:4, 11:9)


v. 5a When we realize the truth about ourselves, our attitude towards others is one of meekness. Meekness
is related to lowliness (Matthew 11:29; Ephesians 4:2), gentleness (2 Corinthians 10:1; Titus 3:2), and
learning the Word of God (James 1:21; Isaiah 61:1). We are to seek meekness (Zephaniah 2:3). In the Greek
the word for "meek" means "a happy medium between two extremes." Meekness is moderation. A meek
person can have anger when others are treated unjustly, but not be angry when he is unjustly treated (Mark
3:1-5; John 2:13-16). Another meaning for "meek" is "to domesticate a wild animal." A God controlled life is
meekness. The Jews didn't expect their Messiah to be meek. They were anticipating Him to overthrow the
Roman government by force. Meekness is having others see the truth about ourselves and giving honor to
others (Philippians 2:3). We have examples in the Bible of men that were meek: Abraham (Genesis 13:5-9,
21:22-34); Moses (Numbers 12:3); David (1 Samuel 24); Stephen (Acts 7:59-60); Paul (Acts 26:21-22); Jesus
(Philippians 2:5-8; John 4:34; Mark 14:36).
v. 5b In reality, a meek person has already inherited the earth because he is a satisfied person. A meek
person has learned that happiness doesn't lie in his possessions, but in a relationship with God (Philippians
4:11). In the coming Kingdom when Jesus reigns, the meek will reign with Him


v. 6a The first three Beatitudes were the emptying process. Now we come to seek for an answer to our
helplessness. In the Greek this verse denotes one of desiring, not just a portion but all of the righteousness
of God. The primary purpose of the Church isn't to take care of symptoms such as starvation and crime, but
to bring the Gospel to men so that they will be brought into a position of hungering and thirsting for
righteousness. Righteousness cannot be achieved in our own strength; it is a standing before God. God has
imputed to us righteousness because we believe in Jesus Christ There are two types of righteousness (1) Of
the law, which at its best leads to self-righteousness which results in judging others. (2) Righteousness given
by God through believing in Jesus Christ This is the righteousness of Christ. We cannot improve upon this
righteousness, and it leads to gratefulness Righteousness is being right with God and our fellow man We're
not to hunger and thirst after happiness, but after righteousness Blessed is the man, not who is righteous,
but who hungers and thirsts after righteousness. It isn't necessarily righteousness itself that brings happiness
(1 Kings 8:18)

v. 6b We shall be filled with righteousness.


v. 7a God is merciful (Psalms 103:8,11).

Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don't
deserve. After being filled, we become the next three Beatitudes. Because we have received the mercy of
God through repentance, we can be merciful. If we aren't merciful, we haven't actually received God's
mercy. Those who have received forgiveness show forgiveness. The Greek word for "mercy" has its root in
the Hebrew word meaning "to get inside someone else's skin." This means that you can totally identify with
what he's seeing, thinking, and feeling (Ezekiel 3:15). God came into the skin of man through Christ to be
able to identify with us. Sympathy is to suffer together or to experience together the pains and sufferings of
others (Luke 10:30-37). The Gospel places the emphasis on what we are, not on what we are doing
(Ephesians 1-4). Because of this, the call to action is wrong. If we're what God

wants us to be, we'll do what God wants us to do (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

v. 7b The Beatitudes are like a beacon light that calls us to self-examination. If we're merciful, then others
will be merciful to us (Luke 6:38; 1 Corinthians 11:28,31).


v. 8a The word "pure" here refers to a purity that is the result of a washing. The heart is the center of one's
being, the throne of the spirit. The Pharisees were concerned with the outward observances of righteousness
(Matthew 15:2). God is concerned with the inner heart (Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 17:9). The heart needs to
be cleansed (Psalms 51:10). Being "pure in heart" is a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Christian has a
renewed heart in an unrenewed body (Mark 14:38; Romans 7:15-25; Galatians 5:17; Psalms 103:14).

v. 8b We can see God in His creation, in the events in history, and in our daily circumstances (Romans 8:28).
In the future we shall see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; John 1:18; 1 Peter 1:8; John 6:46; 1
Corinthians 15:53).


v. 9a The Jews were longing for the Messiah to lead them in war, to conquer all Gentiles, and to rule the
world. Peace is more than a passive existence; it's a very positive state of good. A peacemaker is more than
one who stops quarrels; he brings good into other people's lives. A peacemaker might become involved in
great conflicts As long as the forces of evil prevail, there is no way to have peace except by destroying
them. Peacemakers deal with the corrupted issues so that there can be a true state of peace. Jesus was
fighting against the corrupted religious system and for peace between man and God (John 2:14-16; Matthew
23:27). Real peace can never be found in a compromise with evil. There can never be a peaceful coexistence
with sin (1 Corinthians 5:7; Isaiah 57:20, 48:22). Peacemakers bring others to God. Man's basic problem is
that he has to be

reconciled unto God.

Barnabas, which means "son of consolation," was a peacemaker (Acts 9:26-27).

v. 9b "Called" means "chosen." "Children" means "sons." This actually should say, "they shall be chosen as sons
of God." God initiated peace with man. We should have this same desire (Luke 2:14; Romans 5:1). When
Jesus comes again to the earth, He will be called "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). Even within our own lives,
God will never make a pact with sin. Our sins need to be dealt with.


v. 10 The Lord is upfront in telling us that we will suffer and that the world will not react in love and
kindness towards us (Matthew 10:16-25; Acts 9:1-16).

v. 11 To be righteous is to be Christlike. We'll be blessed for being persecuted because we're righteous, not
because we're fanatical or stupid (Luke 6:26; 2 Timothy 4:3-4).

The doctrine stating that Christians only go through suffering and afflictions if they don't have enough faith
is inconsistent with Scripture. (2 Kings 13:14; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Philippians 2:27; 1 Timothy 5:23). The
religious people were the ones who persecuted Jesus, because they were challenged by Him. Sometimes
persecution comes from religious circles.

v. 12 As Christians we should face persecution:

(1) by not retaliating against our persecutors (Matthew 5:44; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60); (2) by not holding
resentment against them; (3) by rejoicing in the fact that this proves that we are God's children and have a
great reward in heaven (Romans 8:7; Acts 5:40,41). Because we're His children, our position in His kingdom is
secure. We need to remember that we're His ambassadors on earth, and we represent Christ. We need to
remember where we're going (2 Timothy 4:8). The prophets were persecuted (Acts 7:52). All of the apostles
were persecuted for Jesus' sake. They persecuted Jesus Christ. Persecution has strengthened the Church
(Romans 5:3-5).