Finding the Golden State of Blessedness
"Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
Imagine the shocked multitude, who were devotees of the Pharisees and had zealousy pursued Pharisal righteousness. If Pharisaic righteousness, which required a rigid observance of 365 prohibitions and 250 commandments, was not sufficient to bring men into the Messiah's kingdom, what kind of righteousness was necessary?
The answer is found in the Sermon on the Mount. Indeed the kind of righteousness necessary to enter God's kingdom is found in the 1st four beatitudes. (R E A D)
On seeing the multitudes, Jesus "went up into a mountain" and taught. The Sermon on the Mount has ever since remained as a perfect formula for lifting Christians to higher ground. Its message bears all the marks of coming from above. It contains all the indicators of being a message from the throne room of God. It calls for the highest in ethics and the best in conduct.
No mere man could have, or would have, formulated such principles. The first time you read the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount, you feel sure they will not work, the 1st time you try them, you know nothing else will work.
And do not water it down, the Sermon of Christ calls for perfection in your Christian walk, but demands that you make allowance for imperfection in others. To read the sermon should create a holy ambition:
"I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I'll pray til life I've found,
Lord, lead me on to higher ground."
And that higher ground is the golden state of blessedness found only in God's kingdom.
These (4) beatitudes tell us how to enter in.
I. First, we must recognize our need (v. 3)
The word blessed, or happy, as used by the Greeks, originally described the conditio ...
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