The Beatitudes

The Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-16) can guide us in the struggle as we are formed into the likeness of Christ. Reconciled diversity is the strength of unity and that is a challenge in this individualistic world.

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But the Beatitudes which mean “blessed” are just that, the Lord's favour poured on His family as they journey together in His counter-cultural Kingdom. Take whatever unity you have in your town or city and begin, or continue, as the case might be, your journey together.

Let’s look at the nine blessings the Father will bestow. The blessing releases the promises indicated at the end of each verse, as believers respond appropriately. Bible translator, Brian Simmons, calls the Father’s blessing “an empowerment for abundant living in every sphere of life.” (Genesis p3 TPT)

The end result of living in the light of the Beatitudes is that the good news of Jesus will light up your community. So, in your “unity” group develop each of these counter-cultural Kingdom qualities.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

God's Kingdom is given to those totally dependent on the Father and know they have no resources other than those given by Him. God will save your city, not you. He alone will supply all you need to be His instrument.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Injustice devastates a community. The people of God are to pour out prayers of lament over this devastation. At least 60 of the Psalms are Psalms of lament. List the injustices that need prayers of lament in your city.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Humility is the atmosphere of the Kingdom. God looks for the humble and contrite of heart (Is. 66:2).

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Christ puts us in right standing with the Father through the cross. He also puts us in right standing with each other. Christians long to see the righteousness of God in every area of city life. Some call it social righteousness.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

What amazing beauty there is in a church that exemplifies the Father’s mercy to a city, and not harsh judgmentalism, religious legalism or worse still, indifference to others’ struggles.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

How beautiful is childlike innocence. Criticism is stopped in its tracks when believers think the best of each other, and deal with interpersonal issues in a biblical way.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

The Father is most pleased when His children are family reconcilers on the one hand and pursuers of shalom on the other. This is the family “business.”

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The enemy hates the kingdom culture outlined above and will attack a unified humble church at every opportunity. Christians are called to embrace the suffering of Christ in the midst of spiritual warfare.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Persecution is such a given for Kingdom Christians that Jesus announced a double blessing for those suffering, while calling for an outbreak of joy and gladness at the same time.

The end result of the church in a city living under the above nine blessings of the Father will be that it is salt and light in the community. The city will be saved from decay, death and darkness by such a church. The city will light up with the joy of Jesus (Acts 8:8)

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.”

The very existence of the church in a city is to resist decay and death of the society and culture. If the church is not a humble servant hearted sacrificial people the world sees it as irrelevant and “tramples it under foot.”

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Lighting up a city with the gospel are the good works of a church “seeking the welfare of the city.” (Jer 29:7)

Justice in the city brings light. Is. 51:4 says “I will set my justice as a light for the peoples.” Injustice is the darkness of suffering and oppression. A primary focus of good works is the gathering of the marginalised, the righting of injustices and confronting the “powers” that perpetrate and defend evil that cause others to suffer.

Good works that glorify the Father are obviously the Spirit-breathed activities of Christians in all walks of life living the good news wherever they find themselves placed in the community.

Finally, continue the journey with Jesus into your community. As you unify and pray, the Father will download His strategy for the proclamation of the gospel in word and good deeds. Prophetically, Jesus is called “The Extraordinary Strategist.” (Is 9:6. TPT)

The Bible has the vision and the strategy for the church in every city and town.

By Ian Shelton Coordinator of Movement Australia


15 November 2023

The Beatitudes