Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 5
October 28, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<388> Thesis: An aggressive campaign to discredit a believer is to be met with a clear understanding of its absolute final futility. Introduction: In our studies of the "beatitudes" recorded by Luke in 6:20-21 we have seen that there are definitive links between the attitudes we take in the present and the experiences we shall have in the future. Luke's record began with Jesus addressing the foremost issue of all: what it takes to have a place in the future Kingdom of God. This tipped us off to the probable approach Jesus was going to take: He began with the greatest issue, so it seems likely that He would pursue each following issue in a descending order. And that is what we discover. First, Jesus addressed the "attitude" that allows a person to be received by God. That attitude is the kind of humility that approaches the desirability of getting into God's Kingdom with a clear-eyed understanding that there is not one red cent in the bank of moral qualification for God's acceptance and, accompanying this recognition, there is an honest desire to be accepted. God is willing to accept people into His Kingdom who possess "faith" in two basic realities: they have no hope in themselves; and, they have hope in God's willingness to forgive and cleanse and regenerate. Second, Jesus addressed the "attitude" that permits a larger inheritance in the Kingdom for which humility qualifies: the hunger for righteousness that refuses to be addressed by substitute foods. And third, Jesus addressed the "attitude" that brings about a final exultation over the enemies who continuously attempt to undercut the accomplishment of righteousness by their methods of opposition: tears of significant grief because of the present destruction of the good. These first three followed this order: first, one's own attitude about one's own righteousness; second, one's attitude about how much of God's righteousness one could acquire in actual experience; and third, one's attitude about how badly God's righteousness is being distorted in the present. This morning we have come to the fourth, and final, and longest "beatitude". Up to this point each beatitude was a brief (the longest was only 10 words) sentence. At this point, the final beatitude takes up two complete verses. According to Jesus, the "problem" is the way people respond to the genuine faith of the believer, and the solution is to recognize how enormous is the heavenly reward for that faith. So, let's at least begin to consider this last, and longest, declaration by Jesus.