Author: Michele at ScriptureStudy.Guide
Posted: April 22, 2022. Updated September 12, 2022.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us 8 examples of what dying to self and taking up our daily cross actually looks like (Luke 9:23). These 8 examples are known as The Beatitudes and each comes with its own blessing. The 8 blessings are ways that we are clothed in the new by His blood, which is our inner man (our hearts) being renewed by God so others will recognize the likeness/profile of God who created us (Colossians 3:10).
Jesus then followed those 8 blessings with 27 teachings on how to live a Christian life in the spiritual kingdom while on this earth.
Living according to the examples and teachings given by Jesus prepares us to participate in New Jerusalem which is our renewed hearts (Revelation 21:1-4).
The 8 Steps to Blessings:
- Humility – Matthew 5:3
- Penitence – 5:4
- Meekness – 5:5
- Spiritual Hunger – 5:6
- Mercifulness – 5:7
- Inward Purity – 5:8
- Peacemaking – 5:9
- Sacrificial Suffering – 5:10-12
The 27 Teachings:
- Influence — Matthew 5:13-16
- Law Fulfilled — 5:17-20
- Self-Control — 5:21-22
- Reconciliation — 5:23-26
- Inward Purity — 5:27-30
- Marriage is Sacred — 5:31-32
- Do Not Swear Oaths — 5:33-37
- Non-Resistance — 5:38-40
- Unlimited Service — 5:41
- Benevolence — 5:42
- Universal Love — 5:43-47
- Divine Standard — 5:48
- Almsgiving — 6:1-4
- Prayer — 6:5-15
- Fasting — 6:16-18
- Heavenly Investments — 6:19-21
- Spiritual Vision — 6:22-23
- Undivided Service — 6:24
- Trustfulness — 6:25-32
- Primacy of God’s Kingdom — 6:33
- Charitableness — 7:1-5
- Stewardship of Truth — 7:6
- Divine Benevolence — 7:7-11
- Golden Rule — 7:12
- The Law of the Road — 7:13-14
- Fruit, Test of Life — 7:15-20
- Obedience, The Rock Foundation — 7:21-27
Step 1: Humility
Matthew 5:3 — BlessedG3107 are theG3588 poorG4434 in spirit:G4151 forG3754 theirsG846 isG2076 theG3588 kingdomG932 of heaven.G3772
The word poor here means “to crouch” and comes from the words G4422 which is “frighten” and is followed by the word G4098 which means “fail; fall down.”
This verse tells us that not all of God’s children have Spirit-strength poured out on them in abundance. This is why everyone is not a street preacher, an evangelist, or fiercely advocating for the severely persecuted — those who are poor in spirit and take on such roles typically fall or fail for various reasons known only to God.
While the level of one’s faith may be strong, their strength may be poor which may cause them to be wrongly judged by others in prosperity churches (see my article “Are You Producing Good Fruit?”). That word “frighten” (G4422) that causes one to “fail; fall down” (G4098) is labeled “anxiety” by the world and is looked at as a disorder, but God uses it to fulfill His will. This withholding of spirit-strength teaches extreme humility for which the afflicted will be rewarded the kingdom of heaven.
The severely persecuted in step 8 will also inherit the kingdom of heaven. So there are some who are persecuted by God for their own spiritual growth, and others who are persecuted by worldly men — both will inherit the kingdom of heaven.
God explains that the strength given by Him is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Step 2: Penitence
The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines penitence as “Repentance; pain; sorrow or grief of heart for sins or offenses; contrition.” It is a noun which is an idea.
Matthew 5:4 — BlessedG3107 are they that mourn:G3996 forG3754 theyG846 shall be comforted.G3870
The word mourn here is the act of grieving that comes from intense sorrow. This mourning is a suffering from intense guilt. Maybe someone feels that their sins were too great or too offensive to forgive. The Lord will comfort them and bring them to peace through His grace and mercy (if peace does not come while in this earth, then it surely will in the new earth and new heaven).
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Step 3: Meekness
Matthew 5:5 — BlessedG3107 are the meek:G4239 forG3754 theyG846 shall inheritG2816 theG3588 earth.G1093
The word meek here simply means “mild.” It is also associated with the word G4235 which means “humble.”
In the teaching on the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the meek would be most fruitful in the spirit of gentleness (see my article “Are You Producing Good Fruit?”).
So thus far, we see those with a frightened spirit will inherit the new heavens and those with a gentle spirit will inherit the new earth.
Step 4: Spiritual Hunger
Matthew 5:6 — BlessedG3107 are they which do hungerG3983 andG2532 thirstG1372 after righteousness:G1343 forG3754 theyG846 shall be filled.G5526
Another interpretation could be “Blessed are they which do crave and thirst for spiritual justification for they will be satisfied.”
The 1828 Webster’s defines justification: “In theology, remission of sin and absolution from guilt and punishment; or an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, on account of the atonement of Christ.”
Step 5: Mercifulness
Matthew 5:7 — BlessedG3107 are theG3588 merciful:G1655 forG3754 theyG846 shall obtain mercy.G1653
The word mercy here is from the root word meaning “compassion” (G1656) and is “the act of being compassionate” toward others.
In his 1828 dictionary, Noah Webster gives an extensive and beautiful definition of mercy, all of which he clearly connects to being a God-given gift. I will paste the entire definition verbatim — the scripture verses were provided by Webster:
MER’CY, noun [Latin misericordia.]
1. That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.
The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty. Numbers 14:18.
2. An act or exercise of mercy or favor. It is a mercy that they escaped.
I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies. Genesis 32:1.
3. Pity; compassion manifested towards a person in distress.
And he said, he that showed mercy on him. Luke 10:37.
4. Clemency and bounty.
Mercy and truth preserve the king; and his throne is upheld by mercy. Proverbs 28:13.
5. Charity, or the duties of charity and benevolence.
I will have mercy and not sacrifice. Matthew 9:13.
6. Grace; favor. 1 Corinthians 7:25. Jude 1:2.
7. Eternal life, the fruit of mercy. 2 Timothy 1:2.
I cry thee mercy with all my heart.
9. The act of sparing, or the forbearance of a violent act expected. The prisoner cried for mercy.
To be or to lie at the mercy of, to have no means of self-defense, but to be dependent for safety on the mercy or compassion of another, or in the power of that which is irresistible; as, to be at the mercy of a foe, or of the waves.
Webster’s impressive and insightful definition is a mini bible lesson in itself.
The act of extending mercy toward others will allow us to experience God’s mercy.
Step 6: Inward Purity
Matthew 5:8 — BlessedG3107 are theG3588 pureG2513 in heart:G2588 forG3754 theyG846 shall seeG3700 God.G2316
The word pure here means “clean; clear,” and the word heart literally means “heart.”
The heart is where our feelings, thoughts and emotions emanate from. Are we honest with people or do we double-speak? Do we have love for the brethren or are we condemning others with our thoughts? Do we have good intentions when dealing with people or are we out for ourselves? Are we honest with ourselves and with God?
Our inner man is our spiritual heart where God does His work in us (2 Corinthians 4:16)… it is where He writes His laws (Romans 2:15). Without purity of heart, we will never become New Jerusalem which descends down from heaven into the new earth (Revelation 21:1-4).
Step 7: Peacemaking
Matthew 5:9 — BlessedG3107 are theG3588 peacemakers:G1518 forG3754 theyG846 shall be calledG2564 the childrenG5207 of God.G2316
This verse in the English means exactly what it says in the Greek. In Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, he defines peacemaker as “One who makes peace by reconciling parties that are at variance.”
Step 8: Sacrificial Suffering
10) BlessedG3107 are they which are persecutedG1377 for righteousness’ sake:G1752 G1343 forG3754 theirsG846 isG2076 theG3588 kingdomG932 of heaven.G3772
11) BlessedG3107 areG2075 ye, whenG3752 men shall revileG3679 you,G5209 andG2532 persecuteG1377 you, andG2532 shall sayG2036 all manner of evilG3956 G4190 G4487 againstG2596 youG5216 falsely,G5574 for my sake.G1752 G1700
12) Rejoice,G5463 andG2532 be exceeding glad:G21 forG3754 greatG4183 is yourG5216 rewardG3408 inG1722 heaven:G3772 forG1063 soG3779 persecutedG1377 they theG3588 prophetsG4396 whichG3588 were beforeG4253 you.G5216
Quick note for my ritual-bound and old-covenant-bound friends: We see that “sacrificial suffering” does not include avoiding certain foods or avoiding certain physical works on Saturday — the blood of Jesus has overcome all that is in and of this world (John 16:33). We will not be given “additional rewards” for that which the blood of Jesus has already fulfilled and sanctified. All redeemed saints will receive a crown of righteousness on the last day (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Verse 10 says the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are pursued by evil men on account of their upstanding character and justification in Jesus Christ.
Verse 11 says these evil men pursue their targets to taunt and defame them, and tell wicked lies about them because of their righteousness. [More info on this in my article Encouragement for Targeted Individuals.]
Verse 12 says this persecution by the wicked should be celebrated because with it comes a great reward in heaven — the crown of righteousness.
Like the poor in spirit who are persecuted by God, those persecuted by the worldly will inherit the kingdom of heaven.
Difference between Heaven and Earth
According to Jim Brown with Grace and Truth Ministries, those who inherit the earth are “those who are ruled” in the eternal kingdom (the citizens). Those whose kingdom of heaven is theirs are the “rulers” (I think of it as the government body of the heavenly realm) — these are all those who experienced persecution while on earth. You can find two of Jim’s teachings on this topic on YouTube here and here.
The 27 Teachings of Jesus
Jesus said that whosoever will do these teachings, He will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock. But whosoever hears these teachings and does not do them, he will be likened unto a foolish man who built his house on the sand. During tough times, the house on the rock will stand firm, but the house on sand will be destroyed (Matthew 7:24-27).
These teachings are posted here using the NKJV bible except where otherwise noted.
#1 – Influence
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
#2 – Law Fulfilled
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
#3 – Self-Control
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
#4 – Reconciliation
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
#5 – Inward Purity
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell
#6 – Marriage is Sacred
31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
#7 – Do Not Swear Oaths
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
#8 – Non-Resistance
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
#9 – Unlimited Service
41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
#10 – Benevolence
The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines benevolence as:
1. The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; the love, of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.
The benevolence of God is one of his moral attributes; that attribute which delights in the happiness of intelligent beings. ‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:1.
2. An act of kindness; good done; charity given.
42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
#11 – Love Everyone
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
#12 – Divine Standard
Matthew 5:48 (KJV)
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
#13 – Almsgiving
Almsgiving is defined as “the bestowment [that which is conferred, or given; donation] of charity” in the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
#14 – Prayer
Matthew 6:5-15 (KJV)
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
#15 – Fasting
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
#16 – Heavenly Investments
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
#17 – Spiritual Vision
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
#18 – Undivided Service
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
#19 – Trustfulness
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [l]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
#20 – Primacy of God’s Kingdom
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
#21 – Charitableness
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
#22 – Stewardship of Truth
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
#23 – Divine Benevolence
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
#24 – Golden Rule
12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
#25 – The Law of the Road
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
#26 – Fruit, the Test of Life
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
A word study on the fruits can be found here: Are You Producing Good Fruit?
#27 – Obedience, the Rock Foundation
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
These 27 teachings are Jesus’ instructions for us on how to live our earthly lives while being in His spiritual kingdom. We will receive His promises and blessings if we abide by His teachings and build our spiritual houses on the rock of Jesus Christ.
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