Our message follows on from last week’s intro to the Sermon on the Mount. We get into the Beatitudes for the next eight weeks, a series of blessings pronounced by Jesus, and will begin with the first one here. Our sermon, then, is aptly entitled, Blessed are the Poor in Spirit. What does it mean, how does it apply, how does it launch into the idea that Christianity is the ultimate in counter-culture? We will explore themes of total depravity and free grace as opposed to bringing our own righteousness to God. We will cover Matthew 4:23-5:3, with an emphasis onMatthew 5:3. Our sermon outline asks four important questions:
- Who is Jesus speaking to?
- What is blessedness?
- Is this Law or Gospel?
- What Does It Mean to be Poor in Spirit?
Our public reading:Luke 18:9-14; Benediction:Ephesians 6:24
*Audio for this sermon was lost, this is a re-recording of the message and perhaps more clearly presented because of the hindsight.
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (ESV)