The Gospel in Preview

The Gospel In Preview

In Matthew 4:23, we are told that "...Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom..." One of those preaching occasions, at a mountainside setting, is recorded for us in chapters 5, 6 and 7. The portion of text commonly called "The Beatitudes" might otherwise be labeled, "The Gospel in Preview". Let us study from this text today.

THE BEGINNINGS OF FAITH (3-5)
In these verses, the Lord provides some indicators, which are found in the heart of those who desire the kingdom of heaven.  Such a person will be aware of his own spiritual impoverishment; he will know that he is "...poor in spirit...". David penned, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart: these, O God, You will not despise." (Psalm 51:17). Not until one realizes he is spiritually lacking will he seek to be made spiritually whole by the Lord.

Aside from the acknowledgement of spiritual destitution, it is necessary that one also have sorrow for sin. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:10, "...godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation...".

And further, Jesus commends "...the meek...". There must be a willingness to submit to the will of God. As a bit brings the horse into subject, and the rudder gives control over the ship (James 3:3-4), we need to allow God's will to rule in our lives.

THE PROGRESS OF FAITH (6)
After faith has been cultivated, there is a need for it to be tended to, so that it might grow. Jesus speaks about those "...who hunger and thirst for righteousness..."

Whether we are young or old, we need to feed our spirits. Peter speaks of the need for babes to be fed with the pure milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2). Elsewhere, Paul indicates that brethren ought to have been ready for the meat of the word, but were not (1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-13).

THE PERFECTION OF FAITH (7-10)
A faith having been cultivated and tended to, soon will bring forth fruit. Jesus identifies now some fruit, which will be evident in the faithful child of God.

The Lord commends those who are merciful, "...for they shall obtain mercy." May I say that the Lord Jesus is the perfect example of mercy. Matthew 9:36 tells us that "...when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd." How did He react to the weary and scattered people? He came "...to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) No greater mercy can be shown than to teach the gospel message.

Friend, as we have opportunity to share the gospel with others, we equally have the responsibility to do so.  In Mark 16:15-16 Jesus said, And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Always remember that someone was merciful to us, teaching us the way of the Lord. Will we not likewise be merciful to those who are presently lost in sin?
 
Jimmy
Adapted
04/25/09