Kingdom Characteristics (Part One)
Date: August 20, 2017
Speaker: Jason Jordan
Series: Jesus Uncensored
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Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.
Sermon on the Mount Part 2 “Entrance into the Kingdom” Part 1
INTRO> Do any of you have an embarrassing story from you jr. high school days? Obvious questions right?! I’ll never forget trying out for my 7th grade basketball team. During try outs the ball was passed to me and i shot the basketball over the entire goal… literally. Then after tryouts you go into the gym, the coach gives the speech and then he calls of the names of those who made the team. He said my name! I couldn’t believe it, then one game i tried to show off with a crossover, the ball hit my ankle ended up in a turn over and humiliation. But i was still on the team! He called my name!
CONTEXT> Today we enter into the “Beatitudes” as they are called. Jesus being a first century rabbi, with his teachings and talk about the kingdom of God. Would have done just that, he would have started his sermon with those who are qualified to be on his team. And he uses a particular word, “Blessed” the word blessed looks like this in the greek εὐλογὲω markarios It is very hard for us to translate and understand. “Happy” is often used which is close but focuses on the person. This word finds it roots in the Old Testament and Hebrew, which focuses more on God’s blessing, his pronouncement. Some scholars translate it “Congratulations…” Think about that, it’s like God saying “Congratulations you made the team!” “True ,makarios can mean happy, but Jesus is not making a subjective judgment about how we feel, but an objective truth about how God thinks.” – John Stott
APP> We do not come to the beatitudes with the question, “HOW can I be saved” but rather “WHO is the saved?”” These statements are not fortune cookies. All scholars agree that these are in totality characteristics of a Christian, somone who is in the kingdom of God, somone who has been born again already. The first 4 are what it looks like to enter the kingdom, who is God’s favor on? The last 4 are how those people relate to the world around them. So here we go… “Who is on God’s team? Who is God’s favor on? How do I know I am in the kingdom?
- Admit that you are not good enough. v3
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Crazy Right, this is SO not correct. Jesus shouldn’t be saying this! This flys in the very face of our self help culture! APP> Jesus is not saying that you need to hate yourself, Jesus is saying that you are “poor” what does a poor person say? “I don’t have enough for that….” But it’s spiritually poor. *ILL> My iPhone being broken and the screen not working, “Mr. Jordan, the problem is on the inside of the phone.”
2) Accept the responsibility of your sin.v4
- “Blessed are those who morn, for they will be comforted” Jesus takes it even a step further, it’s not just admitting that you don’t have what it takes, it’s admitting that YOU are the problem.
APP> Ever since Genesis 3 humanity has played the blame game. Now, i don’t want to make light of your life experiences or what has happened to you, but the answer is not more self esteem.
“Certainly nothing offends us more rudely than this doctrine of original sin; and yet, without this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we are incomprehensible to ourselves. The knot of our condition takes its twists and turns in this abyss, so that man is more inconceivable without this mystery than this mystery is inconceivable to man.”- Blaise Pascal The bible calls this repentance. There is a great difference is remorse and repentance. Remorse focuses on WHAT you did, repentance focuses on WHO you hurt, namely God. “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight..” Psalm 51:4 APP> You see there is something under the murder, the rape, the lusting all of those are symptoms… at the core is us wanting to be our own King. APP> If you have never felt the comfort and grace of God? Have you ever truly mourned your sin.
3) Acknowledge that grace is greater than sin.v5
- “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” The word meek here is the greek word praÿs which actually carries the meaning of a wild animal that has been tamed.
*ILL> P.T. Barnum of the Barnum and Bailey circus (PIC), early in his career one of his most famous show cases was what he called “The Happy Family” (PIC) it was wild animals living together, one newspaper reads, “A miscellaneous collection of beasts and birds (upwards of sixty in number), living together harmoniously in one large cage, each of them being the mortal enemy of every other, but contentedly playing and frolicking together, without injury or discord.” APP>Meakness is not weakness, weakness is power under control. True freedom is found in submission!
4) Ache for God’s righteousness.
- “blessed are those who hunger and thirst” We don’t really know what it means to thirst and hunger… that’s why i have chosen the word ache… longing.
APP> Have you ever been to the DMV, or interviewed for a job. Isn’t it so nerve racking waiting… waiting to be approved for a bank loan, waiting to get the job, waiting to hear back from the doctor, why? Because essentially what you are waiting for is approval, the word righteousness means a right standing. “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:23-24
CLOSE> *ILL> Pastor Tim Keller tells a story about a lady named, Beck Pippert (PIC) she is a christian author and speaker. after one of her talks, a woman came up to say, “I need to talk to you,” and she went into a back room. This is what the woman said. “I was married recently,” and she said she was a member of a very, very conservative evangelical church. She was marrying a handsome young man who was also a member of that church. The two of them were considered leaders. They were considered shining lights in the church, and just about six months before they were to be married, they discovered she was pregnant by him.
They suddenly realized what that would mean. They suddenly realized they were going to have to show that very conservative evangelical church what they were preaching and what they were practicing were two different things. They realized the scandal. They realized the problems, and they decided she would have an abortion.
As she walked down the aisle that day, everybody was looking at her like the beaming bride, and she said to Becky, “What I was saying to myself in my heart was … I couldn’t stop this voice that said, ‘You, murderer!’ ”
All the way down the aisle, she said, “You were so worried about showing these people what you really were. You were so afraid of being exposed that you would murder this life, just so you wouldn’t look bad. I know what you are,” the voice said, “and God knows what you are.” She came to Becky, and she said, “I have confessed this thing a thousand times, over and over and over again, and I’m just obsessed with it. I’m depressed. It is running me into the ground. I’m emotionally a wreck. I don’t know what to do. How could God possibly forgive me? I guess God has forgiven me, but I can’t forgive myself.”
Becky Pippert suddenly had an idea. She swallowed hard, she prayed, and she said this, “My dear friend, Jesus Christ had to die for all our sins, sins of the religious and the non-religious, sins of the Nazis and the victims, sins of the moral types and the immoral types. We are all responsible for the death of the only innocent man who ever lived. The sin that caused you to destroy this life was pride, and it was pride that destroyed Jesus Christ’s life 2,000 years ago. As Luther said, ‘We all carry about in our pockets his very nails.’ You were already a murderer before this happened, and it was all totally paid for long ago.”
What happened to that woman? Did she suddenly say, “You’re making me feel worse?” No, because she got the point. She turned to Becky, and she said, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You’re right. I always in my head believed I was a sinner and my sins were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, and now I see it. I came to tell you I did the worst thing imaginable, and you told me I’ve done something worse than that. If I’m worse than I’ve imagined, if I killed God’s Son, and that can be forgiven, then anything else can.”
Of course, she couldn’t forgive herself, because all during this time, she was still relying on her own righteousness, and the day Becky Pippert told her she had done something worse and had been forgiven, suddenly she realized, and she began to hunger and thirst after Christ’s righteousness. She said, “Wait a minute. All along that was my only hope,” and she was freed. You can be freed too. Keller, T. J. (2013). The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive. New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
BIG IDEA> God’s Favor is for Failures.