Matthew 5 begins what is called “The Sermon on the Mount”. Jesus preaches about some majorly relevant issues, and I believe that modern Christians fail to realize this. The very first thing He addresses is happiness. The Beatitudes begin with “blessed” which translates “happy”. If you want to truly be happy and blessed with joy unspeakable and full of glory, you need these qualities in your life.
- A humility that acknowledges sin – “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). This is the humility that takes place when a lost sinner sees his/her need for Christ and results in the lost sinner confessing his/her lost condition to Christ and seeking salvation.
- Mourning over sin (v. 4) – This mourning comes when we feel about sin the way God feels about it. Ephesians 4 says sin grieves the Holy Spirit. We should repent of our sin because it breaks God’s heart, not because we don’t want His judgment. Mourning over personal sin is comforted by confession and repentance. Mourning over the sins of unbelievers is comforter by God’s compassion.
- Meekness (v. 5) – Meekness is not weakness. Warren Wiersbe defines it as “power under control”. This is a work of God’s Spirit.
- An intense desire for God (v. 6) – This is the meaning of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. If you and I are hungry and thirsty enough for God, we will pursue Him and be satisfied.
- Extending mercy to others (v. 7) – Mercy leads us to have a forgiving spirit. If we do not extend mercy to those we have sinned against, Hebrews 12:15 says that bitterness will take root and manifest itself in various ways. The contrast to mercy is a judgmental, condemning spirit.
- A pure life (v. 8) – Those who are pure in heart because they have been cleansed by the blood of Christ will see God. Purity is necessary in order to be fit for God’s use.
- Peacemakers (v. 9) – Romans 12:18 calls us to live peaceably with everyone. Peace is also a fruit of the Spirit. Notice that it says peacemakers and not peace keepers.
- A willingness to suffer for Christ (vv. 10-12) – Persecution is a promise to all who live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12). When people persecute you, they are really persecuting Christ. Our response should be rejoicing (v. 12; I Peter 4:14). That sounds crazy, but persecution is a pretty good indicator that we are a threat to the devil.
I find it interesting that Jesus addresses happiness and blessing in the beginning of this sermon. Keep reading chapters 5-7 and you will see that He addresses prayer, worry, and many other things. The devil wants you to think that happiness comes from getting what YOU want. It truly comes from you getting what God wants for your life.