Study Notes on the Beatitudes
(Brother Jerry Andrus)
We acknowledge that the principles listed as the beatitudes are requisite for all dispensations. And Jesus brought forth these elements as they filled his own benevolent heart.
He does not begin like the teachers of the Law, with commands and threats, but in a most kindly manner, with attractions and allurements, as He marks the development of the spirit of Beatific life from commencement to completion.
We are concerned with each virtue and how a believer in Jesus Christ can achieve that virtue, in other words these we deal with as to their primary application to and for the consecrated person in Christ Jesus, and this is why Jesus begins each of these beatific with the word blessed.
Verse #3, "Blessed" Greek (Mak ar ee os) Strongís #3107
The supremely blest, The Happy
Happiness is described as the joyful mood that comes to mankind from time to time.
But Blessedness relates to that permanent joy and comfort which are the results of the attunement of character in harmony with the Father of Heaven.
The POOR, Means that the poor are those who realize that they can never achieve salvation on their own and instead put their complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Verse #4, "Blessed are they that Mourn"
It is, of course, a paradox to say, "Happy are they that grieve!" but that is exactly what this beatitude means.
The ministry of grief, mourning, and sorrow as affecting the development of Christian character is set forth in detail in the New Testament. Tribulation results in patience (Romans 5:3,4). It yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11). Godly sorrow leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).
His is the KIND of mourning that brings unbelievable joy and hope to the believer.
It is the worldly sorrow that is a deadly thing. A depression because of a wounded pride, ETC, this brings into life a fretting of ones-self to death.
Verse #7, Blessed are the MERCIFUL for they shall obtain mercy.
Mercy is one of the highest qualities that can be possessed, it has no peer or boundary, and it is only circumscribed by justice.
Its synonyms: charity, grace, clemency, leniency, as well as its own meaning, are understood to be showing compassion or kindness in dealing with others.
Mercy implies compassion so great as to enable one to forbear punishment when justice permits.
It not only expresses giving and helpfulness but, seeks understanding and tolerance.
Mercy can be passive;
Luke 6:29, Phillips "As for the man that hits you on one cheek offer him the other as well"
The Pastor says this simply means, "do not render evil for evil, even though he smite thee on the other cheek also."
Mercy can be aggressive:
Luke 6:35 "Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
So we must see to it, that on the table of our heart, nothing is found but the writing of God.
Verse #8, Blessed are the PURE IN HEART for they shall see God.
Our own purity, in the sense of our justification by faith, comes before we can have any standing of relationship with our Lord, this same purity which is made the foundation of the new life, must be appreciated and lived up to as closely as possible, and the clearer view we get as to what constitutes purity the better will we be able to regulate and govern our mortal bodies, our acts, our words, and our very thoughts.
Verse #9, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
To be a peace-maker, one must first be a peace-lover. R2251:2
If this is the case the likeness of Godís dear Son has been traced in their hearts.
Citizens of Godís Kingdom shall be peacemakers. Indeed, persons without this attitude need not apply.
Peace is the result of work:
Character work, and sacrifice of those who are peacemakers. They wage a life of peace. In the name of the Prince of Peace.
When we look at a pearl, we look at an annoyance which has been ennobled. The results of the oysterís own treatment of its irritation over many years.
Friendís troubles may be made beautiful, by the peacemaker.
Remember "the peace of God" is compatible with great commotion, sorrow and pain. For it is not dependant upon outward circumstances, but upon the balancing of the mind and the condition of a heart, with a goodly measure of the beatitudes cited herein.
If we would know the power and security of this abiding Peace we need to look to Jesus.
What was it that held him so firmly and gave him Peace of mind while Jesus suffered the bitterness of the Worldís enmity and the Adversaryís calumny? It was "faith's anchor unto His soul."
Peacemakers learn to know and choose the path that leads to the "Peace of God that passes all understanding."
Notice it is number 7 of the listed Beatitudes. We will call it the results of the previous 6 beatitudes.
Far beyond question: No one will be a peacemaker from the divine standpoint unless he has the preceding development of the beatitudes in his heart.
James 1:17 (DRB) "The wisdom that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation."
"The wisdom that is from above" is a very precious gift from God; it is from above, not of the World.
The words of James here sound a lot like the beatitudes. Pure, peaceable, modest or meek, full of mercy and good works.
Easy to be entreated:
Easy of approach, not haughty, not disdainful, not hard or cruel, yet firm on matters of principle. Principles cannot be bent or modified; they belong to God. R2446:6
As a simple summation of the beatitudes meanings, we will offer this list:
1. The poor are those who realize that they can never achieve salvation on their own and instead put their complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
2. Christians mourn because they realize that they have sinned against a holy God and have brought dishonor to his name.
3. A meek person is a man or woman of God whose strength is controlled by God. He or she is controlled by God in thought, word, will, emotion, and action. The meek man is one who submits, not to his own will or to the will of the world, but to the great and gracious will of God.
4. Hunger and thirst for Righteousness, It is Jesus who is making the decisions that the righteous person will follow. For the righteous believer, all his daily actions, everything that he thinks about, every decision that he makes, everything that he reads and looks at, will be done the same way that Our Lord would have done them.
5. A Christian is to be habitually merciful, and all acts of mercy should be done in a thankful and cheerful manner. Just imagine how absolutely wonderful God would feel if in the act of being merciful he heard you say, "Praise be to you God for this opportunity that you have given me to help someone else in need. Thank you Father for letting me be of some assistance to another human being." So doing an act of mercy in a thankful and loving manner has to make God our Father just beam with joy.
6. Pure in heart - The Bible tells us that God has a plan to deal with the problem of sin infected hearts. God has a plan to save us and make us holy in thought, word and deed.
And the plan is found in many places such as in Romans 8:29. Here God tells us that he wants "to conform us to the image and likeness of His Son". Thus God's plan is to make us like his own Son, like Jesus Christ.
7. Peacemaking does not mean seeking peace at any cost, for the peacemaker realizes that peace at any price will usually end up in complete and total destruction. A peacemaker is one who through strength and Godly knowledge endeavors to establish a right relationship between estranged parties based on truth and righteousness.
Be beatitude, for the Fatherís joy and for Christ Jesus pleasure.
We will stop here and not comment on verses, 10,11,12.
It may a good study to relate these 7 Beatitudes to the 7 parables of Matthew and to the 7 Churches of Revelation.