Monday, 17 September 2012

The Beatitudes

I just came back from a youth-group camp, and the talks were on the Beatitudes, so I thought I'd write a few posts on them. Firstly a summary:

The Beatitudes are 8 statements made by Jesus near the start of his Ministry which were basically the opposite to what people would expect. They can be split into Two groups: the first four are between man and God, and how we need to fix our relationship with him, while the second four are about how we should be treating fellow people. In comparison, we have the 10 commandments in Exodus, which are split into four which are about our relationship with God, and six which are about our relationships with others. Both are God's word, and both are applicable to our lives now. As christians, these eight things are crucial to living how we should. If we have faith in Jesus, we need to act like it - our works cannot save us, but if we are saved, we need to do good works - to glorify him, and to thank him for ll he has done, and also so that we prove to others that his word is truth and truly does change lives.

Each one has a command (Blessed are the...) and a reward (For they will...). Blessed in it's simplest form means happiness, but it doesn't mean happiness in how we think of it. it means having God's favour, his blessing on us. It is about pleasing God. Living here on earth, we will have times when we are happy, but we will also suffer for our faith. God doesn't promise prosperity here, in fact, he promises persecution and hardship for his sake (2 Tim 3:12). 'They' refers to them alone. It is only those who do certain things who will get the blessings. This is not because our works save us, but because if we are saved we will do these things. If we dont do these things, chances are we are not actually saved. 

So for the next week or two, I'll be posting about these beatitudes and trying to explain them a little. The Beatitudes are as follows:

Matthew 5:1-12
 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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