Monday, December 12, 2011

The Beatitudes And The Path to Salvation

The beatitudes in Matthew 5 are often read as a list of different qualities of different people.  There’s the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted: all different people with different blessings associated with them.

But what if this list was never meant to be about different kinds of people?  What if it is about one specific kind of people: the redeemed? 

Think about the path to salvation in terms of the beatitudes for a moment:

The first step is acknowledging that you are a sinner, that you have nothing to offer God spiritually.  Your religious acts to this point, if there have been any, have fallen short of the glory of God.  You are in fact spiritually bankrupt, or poor in Spirit.  

And the separation you feel between you and God breaks your heart.  What’s more when you look around at the fallen state of your life and the world you’re living in, you cannot help but mourn.

You mourn because there is nothing you can do about any of it.  You can’t help yourself, and you can’t help others.  In and of yourself, you just don’t have the power to change anything.  This realization results in humility and meekness.

But despite all this, you hunger and thirst for righteousness.  You long to do what is right and see justice in the world.  Not only do you want to live rightly, but also the thought of a child in Africa going hungry or a woman being sold into sex slavery tears you up inside. 

When you compare the evil others do to you to what you’ve done yourself, the differences are negligible, and you cannot find it in yourself to hold those things against them.  So you cannot help but readily forgive others.

Then you hear about Jesus Christ and how His blood washes away sin and restores relationship with God and with your fellow man, and you respond to His invitation by believing on Him.  He comes into your life and purifies the very innermost part of your being; you have a pure heart.

And with the peace you’ve found in your own reconciliation with God, you cannot help but share this good news with other.  You begin to tell others about Jesus, and how they can make peace with God.

But you find that the world’s reaction to this good news is not always met with joy and open arms.  In fact, people start to ridicule and insult you; some even physically harm you because of your message. 

Take heart because Jesus says that if you have followed the path of the beatitudes, you are blessed.  He has sent His Spirit to comfort you when you mourn (John 14:16).  He has clothed you in His own Righteousness (Philippians 3:9).  He has shown you mercy just as you have shown mercy (Matthew 6:14).  He is made you pure with the sacrifice He made at Calvary (Hebrews 10:22).  He has made you a coheir with Him, so you will inherit the Earth; you will inherit the kingdom of God (Romans 8:17).  And because you are a coheir, you will see God’s face (Revelation 22:4).

God’s plan of salvation is what makes the Beatitudes beautiful.  Praise God!

Featured Non Profit

This month a Christian non-profit that is worthy of support is being featured every day until Christmas.  The criteria for being featured are that they bring glory to God, they are financially accountable, and finally they must have a mission that includes one of the following: reach the lost, empower believers, or help those in need in the name of Jesus Christ.

Today’s featured non-profit: Prison Fellowship

Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship has been reaching out to those behind bars all over the world since 1976.   Colson is a former aide to President Nixon who was incarcerated because of his involvement with the Watergate scandal.  When he came to Christ, he could not forget those he left behind in prison and formed Prison Fellowship to reach inmates with the Gospel.

Prison Fellowship not only shares the Gospel and disciples inside the prisons, but it also help connect and prepare those released for life with Christ outside the prison bars.  During the Christmas season, their Angel Tree program helps prisoners send gifts to their children who they have been separated from. 

If you want to support this ministry, follow this link.

View the following video for more information:


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