01 Who Will Be the Citizens of Heaven?

Matthew 5v2-12

The word used for beatitudes means supremely blessed. They are called beatitudes because they are the setting of our attitudes – with all our powers. Those who will inherit heaven will have all the qualities that are mentioned in this passage – and all these qualities are interrelated. See 2nd Peter 1v5-11 – it takes effort!

We see eight interrelated graces:

  1. Poor in Spirit
    A humble opinion of ourselves, not proud at heart. Never forgetting that we have no righteousness of our own. Notice those who have life harder than you and comfort them. Worry about the mote in your own eye rather than that in your brother’s eye. See a lack and desire for Christ to fulfil it.

  2. Mourning
    Specifically for their own spiritual poverty. You are a Christian because you are not good enough not be. You need Christ. Knowing what happened on the cross and mourning over your sins that made it necessary. You seek His face every day.

  3. Meek
    Gentle – easy to be entreated. Turning the other cheek not out of weakness, but in humility. People who know that there is still spiritual work to be done in them. We have this desire because we:

  4. Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
    They look for perfect righteousness that can heal their spiritual poverty.

  5. Merciful
    To be more concerned about why somebody hurt you than how or what they did! Gentle and loving to those in misery. Jesus stressed this characteristic numerous times in His sermons, especially when He spoke about forgiveness. Grace is to give to people good things that they don’t deserve, whereas mercy is to withhold the bad that people deserve. Like Jesus who said on the cross ‘Father, forgive them…’ – like Stephen did while being stoned. Gracelessness and mercilessness are some of the surest signs that someone isn’t saved. Grace and Mercy grow out of personal experience with Him.

  6. Pure in Heart
    Singleness of heart – no selfish motives – sincere and honest – no hypocrisy. We need this to see God.

  7. Peacemakers
    Wonderful to meet people like this! They are following the Prince of peace and proclaiming the Gospel of peace.

  8. Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake
    And when we have the above, we will be persecuted. Allow it and endure it. Not fleeing but submitting to God. We tend to reduce people to their worst attributes. When you have seen something bad it is hard to see anything else – like haters do with Christianity.

So we see how the characteristics of the citizens of heaven are so interrelated and are producing the right kind of character. We will see next week the benefits. But now, if you are poor and mournful of your sin, don’t rest without making peace with Him!!