Kingdom Characteristics (Part Two)
Date: August 27, 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 3 “Kingdom Characteristics part 2”
INTRO> I’ve mentioned in the past a TV show entitled “The Crown” PIC which shows the rise of Queen Elizabeth to the throne after her father, King George passed away. King George was loved by England and his family so much. One of the things that the program shows is how Elizabeth would make decisions, from conversations with Winston ChurchHill to many others, see would always ask herself, “What would my Father do?” She would always think insight of his rule and reign. She wanted to reflect her father’s kingship.
APP> That is what we see today in the last 4 beatitudes. We need to do a little review: We said last week that the first 4 beatitudes are not “HOW to enter the kingdom” but rather “WHO is in the kingdome” Jesus tells a man in John 3 that you have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God. So the question is how do I know that I am born again:
- Admit that you are not goo enough.
- Accept the responsibility of your sin.
- Acknowledge that grace is greater than sin.
- Ache for God’s righteousness.
CONTEX> So today, we see what someones life looks like in light of those things, just like the illustration with the story of the crown, Queen Elizabeth’s life was affected by her father kingship and she wanted to reflect that, these next characteristics aren’t things that we can do on our own, these are reflections of things that have been done to us and for us.
Big Idea> Kingdom citizens reflect the King.
- We show mercy because God has shown us mercy. v7
- “blessed are the merciful…” I think we have to distinguish mercy from grace here because they often times get confused.
APP> Mercy is grace in motion. Grace is an unearned gift from an unobligated giver. Mercy is the action of giving that gift. What can help us with this other than the gospel. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” Ephesians 2:4-7 Do you see that verse? Do you see God’s action, his grace in motion. *ILL> A story is told about the French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (PIC), a young man had committed a crime for the second time, he was up for judgement and sentenced to death by Napoleon, the young mans mother approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.
“But I don’t ask for justice,” the mother explained. “I plead for mercy.” , ”But your son does not deserve mercy,” Napoleon replied. “Sir,” the woman cried, “it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.” “Well, then,” the emperor said, “I will have mercy.” And he spared the woman’s son. “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13
2) We strive for purity because God has made us pure. v8
- “Blessed are the pure in heart..” Jesus is comparing and contrasting who looks good on the outside and what’s really on the inside. Notice, he didn’t say the “perfect” in heart but the “pure” in heart. The word pure here means, “singelness, ones” Which is interesting isn’t it?
APP> The psalmist says “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift his soul to what is false…” Psalm 24:3-4 APP> Purity in heart means progression not perfection.
- “they shall see God” This is it! This is the apex of human hesitance. *ILL> Anyone watch the Eclipse this week? NASA wins on the photo contest! (PIC1) (PIC 2) If that’s beautiful… how beautiful is the God who made it?
3) We make peace because God has made peace with us. v9
- “Blessed are the peacemakers…” This one is tough, peacemakers are people of action.
APP> Notice that Jesus didn’t say peacekeepers, because there is a difference. To “keep” the peace is to be absent from confrontation, to be a peacemaker requires being in the middled of it. “and through him (Jesus) to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross.” Colossians 1:20 APP> 1) Reconciliation always beats retaliation. 2) Peace making is a bloody process.
4) We will be persecuted because Jesus was persecuted. v10-11
- “blessed are those who are persecuted..” I’m not so sure that we really know what this means. Sure, we may lose friends because of Jesus but Jesus says that’s precisely what should happen. It important to notice two things.
APP> 1) Christians are persecuted because of their love for Jesus not because of being obnoxious. 2) We should be joyful of that.
*ILL> When we speak of persecution in the christians tradition you can’t help but speak about a man named Dietrich Bonhoeffer (PIC) who was a pastor and theologian during WW2, On April 8th, 1945 he was hung in Flossenberg, only 3 days before that camp was liberated. He loved and lived the sermon on the mount, “Here at the end of the Beatitudes the question arises as to where in this world such a faith-community actually finds a place… at the cross. The faith community of the blessed is the community of the crucified. With him they lost everything, and with him they found everything.” – Bonhoeffer, Dicipleship pg109
Big Idea> Kingdom citizens reflect the King.
*End with responsive reading of the Beatitudes.