Christ the Teacher, "The Beatitudes" Part 1
General Idea: Christ is the Teacher, but He is not only a Teacher! If we see Him only as a teacher, we will become flustered by being totally unable to do as He instructs. He has set a standard that we could never meet on our own. What point could there be to a Christian life and Church if Christ is just a teacher? What point would there be to a sermon that cannot be followed, or as some proclaim, does not even apply to us until Christ comes back! When we have the notion that we can carry the Lord's message and work without His inward work in us, we will fail and be a hindrance. Then, we will not be the blessing we are called to be. We have to see Christ as our Savior and Provider, so we can respond in character and actions. We cannot do this just out of duty or obligation, but from a heart that is transformed. None of these blessing components could work if all we have is a lesson. They must be manufactured from within us by the raw materials He gives us. We become the factory of blessing by receiving Him, modeling Him, and in turn helping others build their own factory. These 'beatitude factories' do not just proclaim what He teaches, but also actually become what He teaches!
1. The title beatitude means "supreme blessedness or happiness." Real character qualities come from the inward love we have for our Lord that we desire to spill upon others. The world sees character as being strength in personality, wealth, power, and looks. The Christian must never see others with the world's counterfeit guidelines!
a. The word blessed (KJV; NIV; NKJV; NASB)/ Happy (most paraphrases)/ God Blesses those (NLT), refers to an emotional state of satisfaction, well-being and contentment that results from being approved by God, by our fulfilling of our duty. It is enjoying God's special favor and His Grace working in us. It is like being told by our parent/father that he is proud of us.
b. Psalm 1 gives us a template of how to please God, which Jesus clearly had in mind (because of language use, style, and syntax) as He gave this discourse.
2. It seems Jesus was answering the main questions people would have about the kingdom of Heaven.
a. Who would qualify and live there?
b. We cannot enter on our own strength, works, or merits! We have to be paupers in spirit and will, which means our will must be yielded to His!
i. Grace is obvious, as this is our fuel, power, and motivation, and the Spirit is our guide!
ii. The inner attitude that produces character is the main ingredient that spills to others from our receiving of grace. In addition, this is our purpose on earth (John 7:38; 1 Cor. 13: 4-8; Gal 5: 22-23; 2 Pet. 1:5-11), where attitude and grace all work together synergistically!
b. What would be the reasons and benefits?
i. Only in Christ can we succeed in pleasing God!
ii. Being content in life can only happen by being right in God!
c. Who will be the citizens of the kingdom?
i. We who are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8-9)!
ii. Because of our salvation, we are producing inward qualities such as the Fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23; 2 Pet. 1:2-11) because of our gratitude for our precious gift. These include the eight characters from this beatitude: being poor in spirit, mourning for our sins, being meek, hungering for righteousness, being merciful, having a pure heart, and, because of those, being willing to be peacemakers and even to suffer persecution!
d. Why should we endure this? Are the benefits greater than the hardships? Is it worth whatever persecution we might under go?
i. YES! Because, we are blessed for these! In addition, our blessing far outweighs our suffering or inconvenience (Psalm 1; Rev. 1:3)!
3. If we see Jesus only as a teacher, we will become flustered or frustrated by being totally unable to do as He instructs. Why would this be true?
4. What do you feel are God's standards that you could never meet on your own? (Use this passage as your template)
5. What point could there be to a Christian life and Church where Christ is just a teacher?
6. Why would people only want Him as a teacher?
7. What happens when we have the notion that we can carry the Lord's message and work without having His inward work in us?
8. How can you or others be a hindrance by following your own notions instead of Christ?
9. Visualize yourself as a blessing factory. What would you produce, and what raw materials would you need?
10. How would you help others to build their own blessing factories?
11. Why is it that real character qualities can only come from the inward love we have for our Lord that desires to spill upon others?
12. Why does the world see character as being strength in personality, wealth, power, and looks? What can you do to combat this faulty thinking in the church?
13. Why must the Christian never see others with the world's counterfeit guidelines? What happens when we do, in our secular life, or in the church?
14. How can you manifest the attitudes of satisfaction, well-being, and contentment?
15. Who would qualify and live in the Kingdom of Heaven? In addition, why cannot we enter on our own strengths, works, or merits?
16. What would be the reasons and benefits to yield to this sermon?
17. How and why is it that only in Christ can we succeed in pleasing God?
18. Why should we endure this sermon? Why do many Christians refuse to endure it, saying it does not apply to us until Christ returns for the Millennial reign?
19. List all of the benefits you will receive by being a citizen in His Kingdom.isHhhh How can that list be a comfort in times of stress and confusion?
20. What do you need to do to become what He teaches here?