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Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness;

Date:6/6/10

Series: The Sermon on the Mount

Category: Sunday Morning Sermons

Passage: Matthew 5:10

Speaker: Daniel Sweet

The Sermon on the Mount

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness; Matthew 5:10

 

Exposition of Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

  1. Blessed: Happiness or inward joy that comes from God
  2. Blessed are those who seek to be emptied of themselves
    • The spiritually poor, who mourn over spiritual poverty, who are gentle toward others who are spiritually poor, Matthew 5:3-5
  3. Blessed are those who seek to be filled with the things of God
    • Righteousness and Mercy with Pure Motives while seeking peace in relationships, Matthew 5:6-9
  1. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness
  • No blessing for those who are persecute because of our sin
  • Blessing for those who are persecuted for doing the right thing
  • Past tense “have been persecuted” – connected with the prophets of old from verses 12
  • Biblical Examples: Abel, Joseph, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
  1. For theirs is the kingdom
  • Only duplicate blessing in the list

o   Connects this beatitude with the first as is the pattern of Jewish wisdom literature

  • Encouragement for us: Your mistreatment for doing the right thing does not mean you are not in the kingdom

 


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The Sermon on the Mount

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness; Matthew 5:10

 

Scripture Reading and Prayer

  • Read Matthew 5:3-12 (slides)

 

Exposition Matt. 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
(Slide 1 – Header Slide)

  1. Blessed: Happiness or inward joy that comes from God
  • Philosophical question, why can I grow grass in the flowerbeds and not in the yard?
  • This is much like the application of the beatitudes, I seem to be able to perform the opposite of the words of Christ more than to live them out
  • The Gospel
  • Those who have believed the Gospel become part of the kingdom and these attributes mark their lives
  • They are happy, they are truly happy because of these attributes
  1. Blessed are those who seek to be emptied of themselves
    • Overview again of the nine beatitudes and their relationship to one another
    • Not a full disclosure of doctrine in this passage, but instead an overview of the fundamental principles of spiritual life
    • However, these nine statements give a powerful, simple and comprehensive overview of what it means to be a follower of Christ
    • There is more information needed than just the beatitudes to fully comprehend what Christ has said here
    • There is a progression in these
    • Not that you only do the first and if you wish you proceed to the next
    • This is the call for all believers in Christ is to continually progress through these attributes and to continually embrace each attribute
    • The spiritually poor, Matthew 5:3
    • Those who mourn over spiritual poverty, Matthew 5:4
    • Those who are gentle with others who are spiritually poor, Matthew 5:5
  1. Blessed are those who seek to be filled with the things of God
  • Righteousness, Matthew 5:6
  • Mercy, Matthew 5:7
  • Purity of Motive, Matthew 5:8
  • The next beatitude involves the work of kingdom citizens between other citizens and in the world
  • Blessed are those who seek peace in relationships
  1. Blessed are those who have been persecuted, Matthew 5:10 (Slide 2)
  • No blessing for those who are persecute because of our sin
  • Blessing for those who are persecuted for doing the right thing
  • Past tense “have been persecuted” – a passive, perfect, participle “who have been…”
  • Connected with the prophets of old from verses 12
  • Who are these prophets
  • Biblical Examples: Abel, Joseph, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
  • Read Hebrews 11:4 (Slide 3)
  • Read II Timothy 3:12 (Slide 4)
  • Historical Examples: Abraham Lincoln – shot by the racist John Wilkes Booth
  • In Washington DC this last weekend and Ford’s theater
  • Historical Examples: Dietrich Bonheoffer died in a Nazi German prison camp
  • Went to the holocaust Museum
  • Bonheoffer had earned his doctorate in theology at the age of 21
  • In the 1930s Bonheoffer was outspoken against the evils of the Nazis
  • In 1930s began the training of pastors at an underground seminary
  • In 1937 27 pastors, students and former students were all arrested
  • About this time Bonheoffer wrote the work for which he is best known “The Cost of Discipleship” which was written in the crucible of great trials
  • Bonheoffer was concerned about the “cheap grace” offered in the church at the time, a grace with no price
  • So he wrote this work based primarily on the Sermon on the Mount
  • He came to America in the late 1930s but determined it was a mistake and returned to Germany and there took up again the task of training pastors in an underground seminary
  • He also took efforts to participate in efforts to undermine the Nazis and to support the assassination of Adolf Hitler
  • He was arrested in 1943 and was executed by hanging in 1945, a few weeks before the concentration camp where he was held would be freed by Russian troops
  • The camp doctor who witnessed the execution wrote: “I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer ... kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.”
  • Hear Bonheoffer in his own words (read from Cost of Discipleship)
  • The time is coming in which similar decisions may be necessary
  • The mark of the days of tribulation, according to the New Testament, great natural and manmade environmental disasters, the entire world lining up against Israel, the unification of the world’s economic system into a single currency and a single trading, the emergence of a new world order with ten nations driving the world’s stage, 200 million soldiers coming from the East to engage in a war over Palestine
  • In the midst of this tribulation comes this statement about the Kingdom citizen
  • Read Revelation 12:11 (Slide 5)
  1. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Slide 6)
  • Only duplicate blessing in the list

o   Connects this beatitude with the first as is the pattern of Jewish wisdom literature

  • Encouragement for us: Your mistreatment for doing the right thing does not mean you are not in the kingdom
  • Matt Chandler is right when he describes the modern church theology as more in line with the idea of Karma than with what Jesus taught about life
  • Trouble in this life does not mean you are paying for some wrong
  • Trouble in this life may come because you are doing the right thing
  1. Application (Closing slide)
  • The Christian must not be surprised if difficulties come because of our pursuit of righteousness
  • This does not mark an individual as being outside the kingdom, but instead is a mark of kingdom living, those who live out their faith in Christ in such a way as to challenge sin will face hardships
  • The Christian life is marked by this and we must know that our struggles in this life for the sake of righteousness mean that God has indeed set His seal on us

 

Announcements:

  1. Next Sunday our students will spend a week in La Marque hosting a VBS.
  2. Today the men's ministry will attend the Rangers game at 2 PM. We will tailgate immediately following the 11 AM service. Tickets are $15 each. Lunch is free!
  3. Tonight summer discipleship starts. List of classes.