What do you know about the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:3-12? What have you been taught about their meaning? Are they the way to salvation as some teach? Are they the secret to peace on earth as others proclaim? Are they a window to the future and do not apply to us today? Who was Jesus speaking to when He taught these “attitudes”?

Let’s look:

    “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’” (Matthew 5:1-12)

Jesus is teaching His disciples how to be a Christian, not how to become a Christian. He is teaching His disciples how true righteousness manifests itself in the life of a Christian. The great Bible expositor Warren Wiersbe describes it thusly:

    “The main theme is true righteousness. The religious leaders had an artificial, external righteousness based on Law. But the righteousness Jesus described is a true and vital righteousness that begins internally, in the heart. The Pharisees were concerned about the minute details of conduct, but they neglected the major matter of character. Conduct flows out of character.”

Have you ever noticed how ugly Christians can be? This ugliness has manifested itself in my life in ways that shame me. And that is because I try to manufacture righteousness through my works whereas Wiersbe rightly teaches that “conduct flows out of character.”

Jesus is teaching me that I need an attitude adjustment. And the first attitude that needs adjusting is my attitude towards me. Do I have an attitude of selflessness or selfishness? In America today, and especially today in the materialistic harlot known as the American church it is all about me. What does church have to offer to me? Do they play the type of music I like? Does the pastor preach a “positive” message and not dwell on sin too much?

My first attitude I need to check for is, am I humble or proud? Look again at verse 3:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

What does Jesus mean by being “poor in spirit”? It means to be humble. How humble is the church today? For that matter, how humble are you? How humble am I? King Solomon taught extensively on humility.

    “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Proverbs 16:19)

WOW! Imagine that being taught in churches across America today? The good thing is if all churches would preach that across America it would weed out about 75% of phony baloney Christians attending on Sunday and real revival might actually break out!

Solomon also writes:

    “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12)

I wrote in my Boogai article “The Right Sailing of the Human Fleet” that “we are a people without national virtue.” Solomon tells us why; we are people of haughty hearts. And behold the destruction.

How did this happen? Because we focus on self. We teach the devil’s lie that we need self-esteem. I have offered anyone $1000 if they can show me in the Bible where it teaches we should have self-esteem. In the Beatitudes Jesus is teaching the opposite, as did Solomon in his proverbs. Solomon taught us what pride and self-esteem will do you to our lives:

    “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23)

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I am not advocating these wimpy, milquetoast metrosexual emasculated men who fold their arms in front of them and slump their shoulders forward with their hound dog head lowered trying to portray a false humility. “Oh, I’m not capable of doing anything; I’m so worthless.” That’s pure garbage too!

Jesus wants us to have the self-image in the way He sees us when we accept His wonderful gift of salvation. Beloved, to have self-esteem you have to lie to yourself. The Bible does not teach us to esteem ourselves! Look at what the Apostle Paul taught the Philippian church:

    “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:1-4)

Beloved, if I am to have revival come to my life; if we are to have revival come to our churches; if we are to have revival sweep across America; we all need an attitude adjustment about ourselves!

We can no longer do things out of “selfish ambition or conceit.” Self-esteem means I’m to think highly of myself and yet Paul teaches we are to have a “lowliness of mind” so that we can “esteem others better than” ourselves.


Pardon my yelling but that has to go a long way.

Imagine if you will if somehow across the country we had a National Sunday of Humility and all the pulpits preached the true meaning of Matthew 5:3. What do you think would happen?

We might actually start taking an honest look at our lives and actually admit and confess our sinfulness as individuals, as a church, and as a nation.

More on that tomorrow…

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers


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