Author: Ron Graham
This page concludes our study of the Beatitudes with which Jesus opened his sermon on the mount in Matthew chapter 5.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).
"God is light and in him there is no darkness at all" (1John 1:5). Nothing impure may approach God, so if we wish to see God and have fellowship with him one day, then we must be pure in heart.
"Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." But this fellowship with God requires that you "Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts..." (James 4:8). There is only one way to purify our hearts, and that is "in obedience to the truth... with the precious blood of Jesus... " (1Peter 1:14-23).
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God" (Matthew 5:9).
There is more about being peacemakers in Matthew 5:38-48 and again Jesus says that we should be peacemakers, even to the point of loving our enemies "...in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:45).
If anyone is going to be in happy peaceful fellowship, surely it will be the sons of God! If we want to be among them, then we must "seek peace and pursue it" (Psalms 34:14).
So many people live their lives fighting and contending, opposing and avenging. This is not the way of the children of God. Our only fight is "the good fight of faith" (1Timothy 6:12).
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10-12).
God will take vengeance on those who mistreat others, whatever the motives or reasons. But he has special regard for those who are trying to do his will and who suffer persecution because of it.
"If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but glorify God in that name. Let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right" (1Peter 4:12-19).
1. What are the consequences of NOT being pure in heart?
2. What do "peacemakers" do? (I know they make peace, but what do they do in order to accomplish that?)
3. What has glory got to do with suffering persecution? (Luke 6:23, Romans 2:7, 2Corinthians 12:9-10, 1Peter 4:14,16)