Yesterday, we posted a short piece by J. C. Ryle which illustrates 8 symptoms regarding false doctrine. In other words, it provides some points which assist us in discerning and recognizing some of the negative aspects which can be encountered, to lesser or greater degree, in false church(es), or among the deceived.
The following are 8 values which point to some of the positive aspects of the life of the true believer, which will be encountered, to a lesser or greater degree, in the true church and among those who are being saved.
The beatitudes are values described by Jesus Christ in Matthew 5: 3-12 and are not those normally seen in what the world regards as great. These values are found in simple and humble people, who without fanfare know and serve God whatever the cost, and even endure ridicule and suffering at times because of their faith. Such people have their eyes on eternal values, not those which the world necessarily understands or follows, since it involves not seeking personal glory or reward, denying oneself and taking up the cross of Christ.
Jesus spoke of the blessedness which would be experienced by those disciples who had the attributes He described in what is known as the beatitudes. There are 8 beatitudes described in Matthew, but it seems there are those who recognize seven, nine or ten. A beatitude is understood as having two parts.
Firstly, there is the part where the believing Christian has a different character and lives according to a different lifestyle than the unregenerate or unbeliever. In that the true disciple is poor in spirit, one who mourns, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker and persecuted for righteousness sake.
Secondly, these attributes will result in the true disciple of Jesus being blessed with receiving the kingdom of heaven, being comforted, inheriting the earth, being filled, obtaining mercy, seeing God, being called the children of God and inheriting the kingdom of heaven. These rewards are received by the true disciple during this earthly life in the form of great joy, peace and spiritual understanding, and also in eternity having received the greatest blessing of all in sharing in salvation and entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
The beatitudes guide us, teach us and show us which values are acceptable to Jesus.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
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