Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and not do the things that I say? Luke 6:46

If ye love Me, keep My Commandments. John 14:15

 

I see myself as EMPTY, Jesus come and fill me. Save me!

His indwelling, brings Blessedness, and “it” is His Kingdom in me,

I become/am Blessed, because God lives in me, thru Jesus, as my ruler and King.

Since He is from Heaven, part of heaven is also in me.

How much? That’s up to me!!!   bp

 

The Old Testament commandments concerning God and neighbor were a revelation of Law as the basis of moral life. Showing the people that they could not live up to God’s expectations by themselves, but through the priest could get forgiveness for their sins. They lived under God’s mercy.   The OT did not disclose the inner Love of God's Law to mankind. The New Testament disclosed Love/Grace as the true Law in the person of Jesus Christ--God Himself, who had become man (read Rom 8:1-4) did not condemn man, but condemned sin in sinful man. Jesus was our substitute.

 

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost brought the Perfect Love(Jesus) that could dwell in the hearts of Christians in the Church that the Holy Spirit founded for them that day.  God had united with mankind in Jesus Christ, united mankind with God through the (bride)Church. The new fellowship of man with God was God's adoption of man. The suffering of Jesus Christ relieved mankind of the penalty for all sins, lifting sinful people from death towards a truly moral and eternal life. (read Rom 8:10-11)

 

Christ has made possible the gift of these blessings to all men and women without exception.(read Rom 10:9) These blessings are not forced on anyone. But everyone in fellowship with Jesus Christ (born again believers) has them. (even if they don’t know/act like it) The example of Christ (His lifestyle) is in essence the self-revelation of God. To follow His example, far exceeds our normal abilities. It is necessary that God Almighty, who has revealed Himself to us, would Himself, through His indwelling within us, have to raise us up to the level, proper to Him, of absolute, unconditioned existence: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing ( John 15:5)."

According to the Savior's promise, each member of Christ's Church--each branch of the Vine--or the Body of Christ, in whose soul, the Holy Spirit lives, can reach spiritual perfection (maturity) (not physical/moral) by fulfilling Christ's call: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). The Christian starts to realize this when he begins to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, Who teaches everything, comforts in everything, in everything helps and directs, and makes joyous all things. The perfect example is the Person and Life of the Savior, which summed up the spiritual goals of the whole ancient world, especially of the people of Abraham. All their moral strength had come together in their hope of the Messiah, we know he came to the world as Christ the Savior. “Christ” was their Alpha and Omega--their beginning and end. Christ came into the world in order to bring us to His Father. For God so loved the world--we read in the Gospel according to John--that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

The spiritual life in Christ is not forced, but is given to whoever seeks it. Whoever seeks, whoever applies personal exertion (self control), will find it without fail, according to the promise of the Savior, Who said in his Sermon on the Mount:

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11)"

 

Our effort is needed to fulfil God's  Beatitudes. He who has repented gives himself over to serving God; and immediately he begins to serve Him by walking in His will. The Beatitudes are not heavy, but many obstacles are encountered, because of our internal inclinations and habits (satanic nature). Although with God's help, by giving ourself up to devotion to God's will. By keeping the Beatitudes of Christ we do not convey anything to Him, Who has no need for anything and is the Giver of all good things, but we benefit ourselves, with the enjoyment of unspeakable good things.

God requires nothing except that we have no sin in our life. (how about that- 1st John 1:9)

 When we actively fulfil/live the  beatitudes, we are filled with joy unspeakable, so that we are changed by a certain wondrous and inexpressible change, and, as if the burden of the body (satanic nature) is removed. I AM FREE. 

We need His power to sacrifice everything for God. as the Lord Himself says: Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it (Mark 8:35).

I am going to use the word happy, not as the world uses it but as peace, joy, and rest.

 

Christian living is an energy-filled force, the good news about salvation and eternal blessedness in the Kingdom of Heaven, the perfect happiness, toward which all people strive. According to the teaching of Christ, true happiness is the Kingdom of Heaven. To be happy means to be a member of God's Kingdom, to live with God. God's Kingdom begins here on earth now, and continues fully realized in heaven, in eternity. There is no end to happiness in the Kingdom of Heaven. No one can take it away. Happiness is blessedness: perfect goodness, beauty and eternal love.

The followers of Christ not only await blessedness, as something belonging to the future, but it is characteristic of their soul, now, as something present, insofar as God Himself is present in them."

Blessedness may also be called that happy, condition of highest joy, when our spirit is so alive that it ceases to depend on anything that might disturb it. According to the word of the Apostle Paul: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit (I Corinthians 2:9-10).

 

 

Blessedness is being bound closely, firmly to God, dependent entirely. In the fifth verse of 64th psalm we read: Blessed is he whom Thou hast chosen and hast taken to Thyself; he shall dwell in Thy courts. The 15th psalm assures us that Thou wilt fill me with gladness with Thy countenance; delights are in Thy right hand for ever (verse 11). Blessedness belongs to those who have accepted the Kingdom of God, as NOW. because, according to Christ's word, the Kingdom of God is within us.

So, the Christian believer can enjoy the beginning of blessedness in this life. The peace of soul and sweetness that we feel at times in our Praise music are an advance on that endless sweetness which we will experience eternally.

Christian life means good works (Eph 2:10) as well as blessed feelings. Such is the will of God; such is His plan for man.

In order to teach us, Christ offered nine short teachings-- of Blessedness--that name all the virtues that lead to blessedness, mapping out the path for spiritual renewal. The Sermon on the Mount, set in the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of the Gospel according to Matthew, with a part of the Sermon given also in the 6th chapter of the Gospel according to Luke, was probably given at more than one setting. Parallel to the commandments of Moses, they are called the Beautitudes of Christ. Moses' ancient Ten Commandments were written on tablets of stone for objective study, but  Christ's lifestyle of Blessedness are written by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the faithful.

When you see for, think because  …..   (see what I mean)

 

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for/because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
2. Blessed are they that mourn, for/because they shall be comforted.
3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
8. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
9. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake, (because of Me).

NOW WAIT A MINUTE. Read this in the first person!!

1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, because ours is the Kingdom of Heaven

2. Blessed are they that mourn, because we shall be comforted.

GET IT??

The Sermon and revelations of Blessedness sound like heavenly music. I repeat. The revelations of Blessedness are not forced on us, but they call all men. To attain eternal blessedness, we need these pre-eminent virtues: humility, repentance, meekness, thirst for righteousness, mercy, purity of heart, peacemaking, suffering for the truth, and if necessary,martyrdom for the Faith.

These truths are beautiful and holy. We can begin to experience blessedness only by immersing ourselves in them. Whoever approaches the revelations of Blessedness and the rest of Sacred Scripture, to him Christ has promised-- Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it (Luke 11:28).

(I did not write the following, but it is good, I dont remember where I got it. bp)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

 


The First Commandment of Blessedness

Usually the poor have nothing of their own and must ask others for help. The poor are not ashamed to admit that they get all their substance as gifts. The poor in spirit, like the ordinary poor, know they have nothing of their own in their souls, and that God gives them all their spiritual wealth and talents. The man poor in spirit sincerely acknowledges himself to be a spiritual pauper, having nothing of his own; waits for everything from God's loving-kindness; is convinced that he can neither think, nor desire anything good, if God will not give the good thought and the good desire, and that he cannot perform one truly good deed without the grace of Jesus Christ; considers himself to be more sinful, worse, lower than everyone;  reproaches himself and judges no one else;  acknowledges the garment of his soul to be defiled, dark, malodorous, worthless and does not cease to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to lighten the garment of his soul, to clothe him in the incorrupt clothing of righteousness;  unceasingly flees beneath the shelter of God's wings, not having safety anywhere in the world besides the Lord;  considers all his property to be God's gift and gives thanks for everything to the Bestower of every good thing and readily apportions his property to the those in need--this is he who is poor in spirit.

The First Commandment of Blessedness is also the first condition for spiritual life. Whoever is poor in spirit is blessed, says the Lord. This blessed poverty is called spiritual in the Gospel according to Matthew, because it is, first of all a state of the mind and heart, pertaining to the disposition of the soul. It likewise stands for the complete openness of a man before God, for freedom from all pride and from faith in the power of his own spirit, his own ideas and opinions. For freedom from the vain imaginations of his own heart (Jeremiah 23:17, Romans 1:21), as spoke the Prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament and the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.

Where there is humility, consciousness of one's neediness, one's poverty, wretchedness, there God is, there the cleansing of sins is, there peace, light, freedom, contentment and blessedness are. To such poor in spirit the Lord came to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, as is said: he hath sent me to preach the gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18), to the poor in spirit, but not to the rich; for their pride alienates them from the grace of God. . . If people readily extend the hand of help and compassion to those who are truly poor and in extreme need of the very necessities of life, is not God even more compassionate regarding spiritual poverty, does he not paternally condescend to it at its call and fill it with His spiritual treasures? It is said: He hath filled the hungry with good things (Luke 1:53).

Are not the valleys abundantly bedewed with moisture; do not the valleys blossom, are they not fragrant? Is it not on the mountains where snow and ice are, where lifelessness is? High mountains are an image of the proud; valleys are an image of the humble: Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low (Luke 3:5) (we read from the Prophet Isaiah). God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6), instructs the Apostle James.

Jesus Christ Himself not only had no place where to lay his head (Matthew 8:20), but His physical poverty was a direct result of His complete poverty of spirit. He said:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do. . . . I can of my own self do nothing (John 5:19, 30).

A Christian is called to leave everything and follow Christ in poverty of spirit, becoming free of the sinful desires of this world. According to the world of the Apostle John 

If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever (I John 2:15-17).

Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you (Luke 6:26)."

THINK ABOUT THIS..

God revealed that all His creatures are now poor in spirit, by what is called the ancestral sin, the source of all our misfortunes and sorrows. To be delivered from the consequences of it, one must become poor in spirit, like the hungry poor, who ask God for spiritual food, and whom the Lord feeds with fruits of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul counts these fruits: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (Galatians 5:22).

The Lord said: Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

 


The Second Commandment of Blessedness

In this commandment, Lord Jesus Christ speaks about the contrition and sorrow that come from knowing one's separation and remoteness from God. Christ lists this spiritual mourning next after those poor in spirit, counting them blessed who tearfully sorrow over their unworthiness, as King David cried out in repentant sorrow: Every night I will wash my bed, with tears will I water my couch (Psalm 6:7). So too did sorrow the Apostle Peter, who denied Christ: And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). The Apostle Peter wept continually. It is said that during his life, each time whenever he heard the cock crow, he would recall his denial, and, with a feeling of the most profound repentance until the end of his days, he would shed bitter tears.

Whoever thinks he can go along the way after Christ without mourning is naïve.

The First Beatitude--Poverty of Spirit--gives rise to the Second--Blessed Mourning. The man who is poor in spirit, who is free from spiritual and physical desires, cannot but sorrow over himself and in general over the fallen state of all humanity, and over the horrors of our godless world, held captive by its own vain inventions, a world which considers itself rich and prosperous, in need of nothing, but which is in reality, according to the word of the Apocalypse, wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Revelation 3:17). Knowing all that God gives us, and all who actually abides with God, one can only sorrow and weep--As the prophets did over the sinners of Israel, as the Lord did over the corpse of Lazarus, or over the city of Jerusalem, and last in the garden of Gethsemane, before the cup of His Own passion.

 

Who has not wept in life? We know sorrow from the loss of relatives and near ones. This is natural sorrow. Tears are a sign of suffering. But can suffering give happiness and blessedness to man? Not always, If a man suffers because of visible good things, because of pride, passions and self-love, then these sufferings only torture the soul and do not bring any benefit. But if a man accepts suffering as a trial sent by God, then grief and tears cleanse and wash his soul, and he finds joy and comfort even in grief itself.

 

"With people there are three different kinds of tears. There are tears for visible things--and they are very bitter and vain. There are tears of repentance, when the soul desires eternal good things, and they are very sweet and beneficial. And there are tears of remorse there, where (according to the Savior's word) there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12), and these tears are bitter and useless, because they are altogether fruitless when there is no longer any time for repentance."

 the second kind of tears is that blessed sorrow over sin necessary in spiritual life. Such mourning is considered blessed because the tears have no darkness or hopelessness, but, on the contrary, Christ's victory fills this sorrow with hope, light, and joy.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, writes the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Corinth, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you (II Corinthians 7:9-11).

 

 God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death,, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4).

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

 


The Third Commandment of Blessedness

Meekness is necessary in a spiritual person; the power of meekness erases anger, malice, enmity, and condemnation from the heart and adorns the soul with gentleness.

 

Christ Himself was meek. Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, said Christ. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

The Apostles of Christ also preached meekness. The Epistle of the Apostle James tells us--

Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits. . . . (James 3:13;17).

Let your moderation be known unto all men (Philippians 4:5), exhorts the Apostle Paul. He does not mean for us to be meek for show, but rather that we strive so that meekness becomes a widely recognized quality for Christians. The Apostle numbers meekness among the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:23).

Meekness means gentleness and kindness, freedom from selfishness and celebrity, and refusal to coerce and force matters. Meekness is to have a firm and quiet conviction that good is more powerful than evil, and that it can reach victory sooner or later.

 

Meekness is an unchangeable state of mind, which remains the same in honor and dishonor. Meekness consists in praying calmly and sincerely for a neighbor when he causes turmoil. Meekness is a rock overlooking the sea of anger, which breaks all the waves that dash against it, yet remains completely unmoved. Meekness is the buttress of patience, the door, or rather, the mother of love, and the foundation of discernment, for it is said: The Lord will teach the meek His ways (Psalm 24:9). Meekness prepares us for the forgiveness of sins; it is boldness in prayer; an abode of the Holy Spirit. But to whom shall I look? Even to him that is meek and quiet. (Isaiah 66:2). In the hearts of the meek the lord finds rest, but a turbulent soul is a seat of the devil.

He, who is completely incapable of becoming angry, is not meek, but rather he who feels the movement of anger and restrains it, overcoming his sinful self-centeredness. The meek man never repays evil for evil, offense for offense; he does not become angry, does not raise his voice in anger against sinners and offenders . . . he shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the street (Matthew 12:19),

 

It is possible to say, that the meek become like Christ, Who, as the Apostle Peter writes in his First Epistle, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously (I Peter 2:23).

 

Remembering the words of Jesus: Whosoever doth not bear his cross , and come after me, cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27).

The lot of martyrdom is not appointed for everyone, but we have the ability to be meek cross-bearers, according to the spirit of Christ's teaching, if, as the Apostle Paul says, we crucify our flesh with the passions and lusts (Galatians 5:24), if we preserve meekness and good-heartedness in the face of offences and insults, if we refrain from envy, anger, evil speaking and revenge.

God, our Father, before Whom we commit sins without number, always deals with us according to His meekness, does not destroy us, is longsuffering with us, ceaselessly benefits us. And with our brethren, we must be meek, condescending and longsuffering. For (according to the word of Christ) if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15).

Furthermore, all we, as Christians, are members of one body, and members take care of one another; besides, we are called sheep of the rational flock of Christ; why is this so? Because sheep are meek, free of malice, patient; such must we also be. Only those of us who are meek and free of malice, like lambs, belong to Christ's flock; but they who do not have Christ's spirit, His meekness and lack of malice ; they are not His.

The only reliable path to salvation is to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ's meekness: His judgment by Caiaphas and Pilate, the painful minutes being nailed to the Cross, and the hours being crucified and blasphemed. These images show heavenly meekness to the world.

And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace (Matthew 26:62-63)

We read in the Gospel according to Matthew, and in the Gospel according to Luke--

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:33-34).

We cannot bear the Cross of the Savior because His Cross is too heavy for us. But we must take up and bear our own cross in life, meekly enduring life's adversities for Christ's sake. The Apostle Peter says--

For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously (I Peter 2:19;23).

Christ's third Commandment of Blessedness promises the meek that they will inherit the earth.

This is true although difficult for contemporary man to comprehend in the context of stormy recent politics. States, parties and people continue fight for land and riches. Throughout history, people have fought over land and resources, making war and other violence, destroying so many human families as well other resources. The violence may well go on. Millions suffer in torment, and cannot see or take delight in the real beauty of our splendid earth, created by God.

Nevertheless, there are people who, as it is said in the Scriptures, have nothing, but posses everything (II Corinthians 6:10). These Christians ascetics live in the bosom of nature in deserts and mountains. They delighted in the beauty of the land and were nourished by its excellent fruits. They breathed the pure air and drank spring water. They prayed to God beneath the open sky. They worked with their own hands, and they never took away land from anyone. And the land really belonged to them. And they, in their meekness, possessed it.

By the commandment of meekness, Christ foresaw not only such a possession of the earth. The time will come, when the earth in reality will belong to the meek. According to the word of the Apostle Peter, we, according to his promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Peter 3:13). By God's Judgement, the meek will become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, which the Psalmist calls the land of the living. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 26:15).

Meekness is freedom from this sinful world, but a loving attitude towards it . The world needs healing by meekness. And meekness is readiness to endure suffering patiently and with joy. Only in this kind of meekness can one win, not by self-denial but by sacrificial love. This Christian victory is directly opposite to any worldly victory that suppresses enemies or rivals with vindication of one's purpose and pretension. Christ's victory is to attract to Himself the hearts of men. His victory challenges all worldly wisdom about man and man's futile aspiration. Christ's victory is goodness, self-renunciation, and love.

All earthy experience adds up to a loss in the face of what the Gospel calls treasure in the heavens. The believing mind knows that all things earthly evaporate and lose their power to attract. The believing mind wants heavenly treasure to nourish it fully without fear of loss f any kind.

The commandment the meek shall inherit the earth expresses the existential truth that unselfish love irresistibly attracts the human heart. It is an invincible power. We know that a mysterious law operates. True victors may look like people suffering defeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

 


The Fourth Commandment of Blessedness

We hardly think about the daily bread that we eat to keep up our strength. But the hungry man thinks about bread constantly; he seeks it everywhere. A man fainting from thirst feels himself ready to trade anything for a cold glass of water, to pay any price. As he seeks bread and water here and now for the body, so the Christian must seek the bread and living water of heaven for his spiritual hunger and thirst. Seeking righteousness throughout his life will bring him righteousness. At His baptism by John the Forerunner, Lord Jesus Christ called righteousness the fulfilling of God's Law. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him (Matthew 3:15).

Christ's Fourth Commandment of Blessedness promises blessing to him who suffers with every unrighteousness and who waits ardently for the triumph of truth. Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness (I Peter 2:24).

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?-- the Savior exhorts his followers--For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:31-33).

The saints followed this teaching of Christ. First they sought the kingdom of God, and then sought his righteousness. When they found them both, they were filled with happiness and joyous knowledge of God's world, and they became righteous themselves. Contentment and rest come from God, and they in turn bring a new hunger and thirst, but not in contradiction to the words of Christ: He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth in me shall never thirst (John 6:35).

 

Brethren, writes the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Philippians, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do [count]: forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded . . . (Philippians 3:13-15).

The Christian achieves righteousness through knowledge of God. The more a man comes to know God, the closer he fulfils the aims of life: first righteousness and then holiness. Via covenant….

According to Christ's word, that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). A saint thirsts after God's righteousness with all his strength and strives to know God. The saint's struggle sanctifies him and the world around him. The saints lead the rest of us toward knowledge of God.

God is invisible, but the saints can see him, who have become like Him. Christ is the most perfect self-revelation of God. Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him, we read in the Gospel according to Matthew (11:27). Christ, according to the word of the Apostle Paul, is the perfect image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). Christ asks that in Him the Father be loved. The Holy Spirit is the Continuer and Completer of the redemptive work of Christ, who testifies about Christ (John 15:26) and glorifies Him (John 16:14). Christians honor the Three-Person God in Christ. Our salvation is inseparably bound with the knowledge of the Son of God, accepted by the whole heart and mind. Revelation was given for the knowledge of God. But the Son does not reveal Himself directly, but through the Spirit of Truth, Who teaches everything and guides unto every truth (John 14:26; 16:13). The higher realm of knowledge or spiritual, divine vision is revealed exclusively by the Holy Spirit. The knowledge of God without keeping the commandments is a lie, teaches John the Theologian (I John 2:3-;4).

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). The feeling of spiritual fullness merges with consciousness of fulfilling one's duty before God.

Seek after God, and your soul shall live--cries the David the Psalmist (Psalm 68:37). Seek God as a treasure buried in the earth--not for cold knowledge about Him, but as a living, dynamic union with Him, to feel His love. This blessedness Christ promises to all who fulfil His Fourth Commandment of Blessedness.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy

 


The Fifth Commandment of Blessedness

Mercy is an attribute of Divine love and one of man's noblest sentiments. To show mercy means to be Godlike, for He, according to the testimony of the 102d psalm, is compassionate and merciful . . . long-suffering and plenteous in mercy. Jesus Christ speaks of mercy in His Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the 6th chapter of the Gospel according to Luke:

Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:35-36).

To show this mercy neither justifies falsehood and sin, nor tolerates foolishness, nor ignores specific injustice. To show this mercy means to have compassion upon people gone astray as captives of sin. It means to forgive those so unrighteous that they hurt themselves as well as others. All people are sinners before God and each deserve every blame. But the Lord, according to His infinite mercy, forgives and has mercy on repentant sinners, just as the Parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us. If we show mercy to one another, we too shall get mercy from God. Justly the merciful can say the prayer Our Father . . . forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:12).

Sacred Scripture abounds with sayings about the mercy necessary in man's spiritual life. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment, we read in [the Epistle of] the Apostle James (2:13). In his First Epistle, John the Theologian, the Apostle of Love, teaches us--

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (I John 3:17-18).

And the Apostle Paul exhorts us thus: But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased (Hebrews 13:16).

The Old Testament often mentions the importance of mercy: Blessed is the man that hath understanding for the poor man and the pauper, in an evil day the Lord will deliver him (Psalm 40:1), exclaims the Psalmist.

Christ counts six forms of help to render to neighbors. Identifying Himself--in his love, condescension and mercy--with everyone poor and needing help, the Savior says: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me (Matthew 25:35-36).

For I will have mercy rather than sacrifice (Hosea 6:6).

 

The more a man practices mercy and loves people, the nearer he draws to God; and the more a man experiences the personal Divinity with his heart, the more he loves people. Christ calls His Church to serve the needy and unfortunate rather than the self-satisfied and well-off

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

 


The Sixth Commandment of Blessedness

In this commandment, Jesus Christ prompts us to achieve purity of heart. The heart is the guardian of our spiritual life. It contemplates whatever the eyes cannot see and the mind cannot grasp. Spiritual contemplation is possible only with a heart that is pure. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord said: The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness (Matthew 6:22-23).

The pure heart and its vision of God are lofty concepts. A pure heart is meek, humble, guileless, simple, trusting, true, unsuspicious, gentle, good, not covetous, not envious, not adulterous. The life hidden from the physical eyes--the life of the spiritual world--is revealed to the pure in heart. He who has made his heart pure, will not only come to know the meaning and significance of things secondary and which exist after God, but on having passed through them all, will also see God Himself--in which is the extremity of good. The pure in heart are people who can clearly see God's real presence, and who can proclaim together with the Psalmist:

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