Topic: Baptism Passage: Matthew 5:1–5:12
A Recap of Sunday’s Sermon
Matthew 5:1-12 contains the “Beatitudes” from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Each of these eight statements begins with a word that is not often heard today: “Blessed.” What does it mean to be blessed? By definition, it is to be designated as special and endowed with divine favor. The greatest blessing God could give us is a new heart. Apart from his intervention in our lives, our hearts are not fit for his kingdom. Thus, the Beatitudes start with “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom belongs to those who know they need a Savior.
Jesus blesses the poor in spirit with a new heart.
What follows is a life of transformation into Christ-like character. The Beatitudes are all for every believer. They are a progression describing what happens to this new heart. It starts with poverty of spirit, which is recognizing our depravity and brokenness. This leads to mourning for such a deplorable condition. This is followed by meekness, then hunger for righteousness, and so on. God declares these attitudes to be blessed. The development of such attitudes is both a work of the Holy Spirit and an effort on our part. Although it’s not an easy life, it is a blessed life with benefit now and in the age to come! The Reformers used to say “the law drives us to Christ for justification, then Christ sends us back to the law for sanctification.” The gospel makes it possible. The Good News is that we are more broken than we ever thought, but more loved than we dared imagine. The cross shows us both our sin and God’s love.
Taking it home: Discuss the significance of your own baptism. Do you feel blessed to belong to Christ?