Kingdom Attitudes - Pt. 1

Sermon on the Mount  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:59
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This morning we are going to begin a study through one of Jesus’ most famous sermons called the Sermon on the Mount. The sermon is really probably a collection of longer teachings that Jesus gave over time and we have two similar versions of the sermon recorded in Matthew and Luke. There are some subtle differences and scholars like to call Matthew’s version The Sermon on the Mount and Luke’s version The Sermon on the Plain, based off of where Jesus was when He delivered each of the sermons.
We are going to be looking at Matthew’s version over the next several months, and we are going to see that The Sermon on the Mount begins with blessings, or Beatitudes, to the follower of Christ who possesses these traits. These Beatitudes we are going to call Kingdom Attitudes and we are going to take a look at them over the next couple of weeks.
Look with me this morning in Matthew 5.
Matthew 5:1–5 ESV
1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
This morning’s message is going to set the table for us, if you will and then we are going to get into the first of the kingdom attitudes tonight, so you will have to come back then.
Jesus gives this sermon on the mountain that is above the town of Tabgha near Capernaum. There is a little Byzantine church that marks the traditional location that the sermon was given and its a beautiful spot that overlooks the Sea of Galilee.
Now before we get into the meat of the Beatitudes and our message today, I need you to understand something that may be different than you have ever seen before.
Matthew is trying to show that Jesus took the same route as Israel down into Egypt, out of Egypt, through the Jordan, and into the wilderness, and finally into the promised land as the better Son of God.
Think about the parallels.
1. When Jesus was born, Herod sought to kill all the baby boys just like Pharaoh sought to kill the baby boys in Egypt.
2. When it was safe for Joseph and his family to return to the land of Israel, he received a dream. Jacob also received a dream that it was safe to return to the land of Canaan when he had fled from his brother Esau and went to Laban; and also, Moses received a dream from the Lord that it was safe for him to return to Egypt when he was to lead out the people from bondage.
3. The Israelites went through the sea and through the Jordan river, just like Jesus went into the Jordan to be baptized.
4. Jesus was immediately driven by the Spirit to be tested in the wilderness, just like Israel went into the wilderness and was tested. Israel failed the test, but Jesus passed with flying colors.
5. Moses was called up on the mountain when he received the Law and then came down with it. Jesus called his disciples up onto the mountain and gave them the Sermon on the Mount.
6. The Law gave the rules that the community of faith were to live by in the Old Testament. Jesus gives us the rules that the community of faith is to live by in the Sermon on the Mount, and you will hear Him say, “You have heard it said, but I say to you...” Jesus corrects the misunderstandings of the Mosaic Law in the Sermon on the Mount.
You can see that there are several parallels in the Gospel of Matthew that he draws out to show that Jesus is the better, more faithful Son.
We keep using the word “beatitudes,” but what are beatitudes exactly?
Beatitude comes from the Latin world “beatus,” which means “blessed.” They are the blessings on those who are of the Kingdom of God and who have these traits.
I want you to understand something very important this morning. You and I cannot change ourselves by willpower alone. We must want to change and we must want to look like Jesus, but it takes a specific formula to change who we are.
We must first call out in prayer to God to change us. Prayer is critical for us to access the Spirit and the power of God in our lives, not because it is a tool or a talisman, but because it is the way we have communion with God. You will never change if you don’t walk in a relationship with God. God has to get inside of you through the Holy Spirit to allow the resurrected Jesus to live out in and through you.
Think about it. Israel failed! You and I fail! We will always fail. Jesus is the one who didn’t fail. He is the one who is the good and faithful Son who is well pleasing to the Father.
Listen to what Paul Miller says about this power that can live out in and through us to change us to have these Kingdom Attitudes.

To understand how the Spirit works in the church, we need to understand how the Spirit works in Jesus; after all, the church is his body. Let’s go back two thousand years to Easter morning to a garden tomb just outside the western wall of Jerusalem. It’s still dark, and the lifeless body of Jesus lies on a cold, limestone slab inside the tomb’s outer chamber. The apostle Paul gives us X-ray vision to see what happens next. “Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became the life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45 AT). What does Paul mean that Jesus became life-giving Spirit? The Spirit unites with Jesus so intimately that, without losing their separate identities, Jesus and the Spirit become functionally one.

Did you catch that? If you want to please God and receive the blessings, the Beatitudes, of the Kingdom of God, you have to pray and have the Spirit of God move into your life, fusing the life of Jesus with your life, so that as Paul said in Colossians...
Colossians 2:6 ESV
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
And again in...
Colossians 3:3 ESV
3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
And one more time for good measure...
Colossians 3:17 ESV
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Now, I want to stop for a minute and give you a breath, because that is a lot to take in! In fact, I want to lead us to pray right now for God to make this point stick in our minds!
Pause and Pray
This is such an important point for you and I to understand this morning, because if we don’t, we are going to write down all of these traits that we are about to look at and we are going to try to tick off the boxes and live them out in our own power and strength.
And do you know what will happen next?
You will fail! I will fail! And we will exhaust ourselves trying to live up to a standard of perfection that we can never achieve!
So I want this morning to invite you to come and sit down with Jesus on the mountain. Sit at his feet and listen to Him teach. But understand that all of these Kingdom traits find their fulfillment in Jesus’ character alone. He is the One that perfectly exemplified each one of them, and I want to try to help you see Jesus in them this morning.
I also want you to understand that the way you can access them in your life and have them become a part of who you are and receive the blessings from them is to pursue God in a relationship through prayer.
You must then call upon the Holy Spirit to enliven you and make Jesus real to you. He is real, but you need a personal experience of knowing Jesus and coming face to face with him.
We have to see this passage this morning against the backdrop of Moses on Mt. Sinai to really grasp all of it’s meaning and see things in full high-definition color.
When Moses went up on the mountain, he met with God face to face. His face and his countenance were changed. He radiated the glory of God.
Exodus 34:35 ESV
35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
You can’t meet with God through prayer and the Holy Spirit and not be changed to look like Jesus and reflect the radiance of His glory.
But there’s one problem. Do you know what it is?
The problem is that it doesn’t last very long! You have to keep coming back. Paul says this in 2 Cor. 3:12-13,
2 Corinthians 3:12–13 ESV
12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end.
If you want to live out your life like Jesus and have these Kingdom Attitudes, you must, I repeat, you MUST have a daily fellowship with God through prayer by the Holy Spirit.
Now what will happen is as you seek God in prayer, you ask God to show you Jesus. You read the Bible looking for Jesus. He’s there on every page!
Then the Holy Spirit will take the life of Jesus and fuse it with you so that Jesus is lived out in you. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a second filling of the Holy Spirit. It is a daily filling of the Holy Spirit.
This is not connected to your salvation. It isn’t connected to your being regenerated, or another way of saying this is the new birth. This isn’t connected to you being justified, or legally made right with God because of the consequences of the sin and the requirements of the Law.
This is a daily filling or breath of God on you that is related to your sanctification. That’s a fancy theological word that means you are being made holy every day until you reach heaven where you are eventually glorified and completely made like Jesus.
Let me show this to you in the Word so you don’t take my words at face value.
Romans 8:18–19 ESV
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
Romans 8:26–28 ESV
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Alright breath for just a second. Here it is...
Romans 8:29–30 ESV
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Do you see the pattern?
We Pray
We Depend on the Holy Spirit
We Have Jesus Formed within Us
We are Sanctified and Glorified and the Spirit Works though Us Producing Kingdom Attitudes and Works
The result of all of this in our lives is that we get to see the work of the Holy Spirit explode in our lives! We do the work of God in our field of service and in our families. We become the church alive that is attractive to the world.
Let me share two more Scriptures with you and then we are going to wrap things up this morning. If you haven’t been able to tell, we’ve covered a good bit just getting us ready for the first three Beatitudes. We are going to cover these first three tonight, so you will have to come back at 6 or you will miss out!
You say, “Well I don’t want to miss anything!” Then you need to come to church tonight. You should think about this every time you miss, we miss out on something. Let’s have such a hunger for God and being together with each other that we don’t want to miss what God might do in our absence. So go home and take a nap, eat a snack, and come back tonight ready to worship at 6 pm.
But before we do, let’s see what happens when we have Jesus manifest his life in us. There are two passages that I want you to see, both in John.
John 5:19–21 ESV
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
Jesus said that the Father would show Himself and would manifest Himself by doing greater works than these, namely the raising of the dead to life.
Jesus was the firstfruits of those raised to life. We follow in His train.
The second promise Jesus gave is this.
John 14:12–14 ESV
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Jesus says that we will do greater works than He did! How is this even possible? He raised the dead to life and cast out demons. He healed the sick and made the lame to walk. What could be greater than this?
Only one thing. If Jesus were multiplied! You see on earth in His human body, Jesus was limited to one place at one time. In His resurrected body lived out in the Church, the Body of Christ, we become His hands and His feet and we are a multiplied body!
We can do greater works than these by sheer numbers when we come to the Father through prayer and encounter Christ by the Holy Spirit. We then will explode with gospel power and God will give us encounters that will lead to that power being manifested through us and explode to the praise of his name.
All of this comes through the saints. It doesn’t come through the leaders of the church in any way other than we are like you and are just saints as well that are dispersed out into the world.
Paul said,
Ephesians 4:7–8 ESV
7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Again, we become the Body of Christ and He lives out through our giftedness that He has given us. The result is that when we see God working through us, we have our faith strengthened. When we pray and we see God answer that prayer in real things that are done through us or in other people, we have confidence in God to work through our prayers and the body of believers.
You can see that we’ve been all over the place this morning and that is not our normal pattern. I started in Matthew and we have gotten on a train and you may feel like I let you off in the middle of nowhere. I hope you see the connection that prayer and a daily pursuit of Jesus has with you living out what Jesus is going to illustrate for us with this Sermon on the Mount.
Tonight we are going to come back and look at these first three traits, or Kingdom Attitudes that we need to have. But this morning, you may find that you don’t have Jesus at all. You haven’t come to Him to be saved.
If that’s you, trust in Jesus right now. Call out to him in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to give you the new birth. Jesus said that unless you are born again you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. You have to have been born of water first, that’s your physical birth, and then born of the Spirit.
I pray that this morning the Holy Spirit is drawing hearts to Jesus. I pray that you will trust Him and be saved.
I also pray that you will come to realize the power of a life lived in pursuit of Jesus.
You know, I believe that the New Testament church and the Apostles just went and lived out their faith by telling everyone they met about Jesus. They didn’t plan to perform miracles, they just happened. They weren’t seeking to speak in tongues, God gave that to them to tell the nations about Jesus.
You and I should not be pursuing miracles, but Jesus.
I want to close with this.
We named one of our boys Andrew. We love Andrew, we love all of our kids. But we named Andrew after one of the Disciples, because Andrew was always bringing people to Jesus.
I just imagine him finding people and thinking, “Well, I don’t know what your problem is but let me take you to Somebody who can fix you. Hey Jesus! Here’s another one! Can you fix him?”
Brothers and sisters, we need to first come and get fixed by Jesus, but then we need to be like Andrew and go out and bring people to Jesus! I hope this week you will find someone to take to Jesus. Do it by praying or them. Do it by loving them. Do it bey sharing Jesus with them. And do it by inviting them to come and meet the Savior with you here at Bethlehem.
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