Jesus’ Kingdom Manifesto…what in the world is that?
AUGUST 1, 2022
Jesus kingdom manifesto. What in the world is that? We’ll talk about it on this edition of Key Life.
This is Key Life. We’re here to let you know that because of what Jesus has done God will never be angry at you again. Steve invited our friend Pete Alwinson to do the teaching this week. Pete is a former pastor, founder of ForgeTruth.com, and the author of Like Father Like Son.
Thank you Matthew. This is Pete Alwinson sitting in for Steve Brown this week. It’s great to be with you all and hope you’re doing well. Well, this week we are going to have a lot of fun. We’re going to circle back to the Beatitudes that I started in a series earlier this year, and we’re going to wrap up that study, that we’ve been teaching through. And then we’re going to come to the end of the Beatitudes and focus on that. This has been a humbling teaching for me and challenging in all of our lives, I think. But, it’s going to be great. So listen, it’s Monday and let’s pray before we jump into looking at the Beatitudes. Let’s pray. Father, what a great day it is to come into your presence on this Monday. We are so thankful for Sunday and the week-end and the opportunity to worship you in Spirit and in truth with our church families. And Lord Jesus, you said that you would build your church. So, today we remember that the church is yours and not ours, and that you love your people with an undying love. So, help us to love more out outrageously and freely like you do. And this week, as we dive back into the Beatitudes, we ask that you’d show us how your grace unleashes us to live so uniquely in this world. And this world really does need people just like us, even though they don’t think so. So, we commit our week to you and ask that you would forgive the one who teaches and use one who is finite to communicate your infinite truth. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Well, if you were with us when we started this study some time ago, you remember that I started off with a story of W.C. Fields. Fields was a comedian and a famous alcoholic from the days of vaudeville and all the way through Hollywood’s silent movie era. And even into the movies of the 1940s. Well, one time when he was really sick, a friend visited him and saw that Fields was reading the Bible. And the friend said, W.C., you hypocrite, why are you reading the Bible? And Fields looked up in his usually slow and slurred speech and said, looking for loopholes. Well, some people do read the Bible to find loopholes with God, some easier way for eternal life than through faith in Christ. But those of us who’ve met Jesus or rather who have been met by Jesus on our own road to Damascus, have really been radically transformed by him. And reading his words are life, they’re life giving, they’re grace energizing words that absolutely do transform us. And that’s what happens when we study the Beatitudes, which is the first of five major sermons that provide the skeleton of the gospel of Matthew. By the way, if you want to impress your Christian friends, then just ask them, which of the four gospels is built around five sermons of Jesus. They won’t know and you will know that it’s the gospel of Matthew. And the Beatitudes are really the being attitudes, the intro to that first sermon, the Sermon on the Mount. And so, when we think about this being Jesus’ Manifesto, his Kingdom Manifesto. What do we mean? Well, we mean that a manifesto is a worldview, it’s what we stand for, it’s like that company that said they will help you build your corporate manifesto, the things you stand for, the things you believe in. Now, the word manifesto probably brings to your mind the most famous manifesto, in the history of mankind, which is the Communist Manifesto finished by Karl Marx in 1858. It’s atheistic, it’s anti-government, anti-free market, decidedly utopian. And it has everything to do with, well the opposite of what the gospel is. Now, what’s that got to do with the Beatitudes? Well, just as the Communist Manifesto is a utopian, man centered, atheistic vision for life, the Beatitudes is a Christ centered, gospel centered, grace energized vision for life. And in the Beatitudes, what Jesus is basically saying is, all right, I want you to know a new day has come. The kingdom of God is here with me. I’m here to institute a new day. And no, I’m not going to kill people. I’m going to serve people. I’m going to help people. I’m going to teach people. I’m going grace people. I’m going to show people the love of God, then I’m going to die and rise again from the dead for people. And that those who put their faith in me will be right with God and then they will have a way to live in the world, until I come back again. And that’s what the Beatitudes are, what we stand for as grace redeemed and energized people of God. So, let me read them to you again. And then we’ll do some review as we get into this week about the Kingdom Manifesto of Jesus, Matthew 5.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and he taught them saying: Blessed are the poor and spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 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 in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This is God’s Holy Word. And definitely these are words that we could memorize and put into our lives everyday. Well today we’ve got to do some review. So, real quick, let me remind you that the first Beatitude
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
does not teach that people who are economically poor have a decidedly more strong position with God. That’s not what it’s talking about. Of course taking care of the poor is important Biblically, yeah, absolutely. But ultimately poor in spirit is dealing with a person’s inner spirit. The poor in spirit have come to the end of themselves and they know they need Christ. They have miraculously given up on pride and self-reliance and good works to ensure their relationship with God. They rely on the Cross of Jesus alone. And so they have a poverty of spirit, that’s why they’re poor. But they recognize that they have riches with Christ. I don’t know who it was, but I like it, somebody said.
God’s office is at the end of your rope.
I love it.
God’s office is at the end of your rope.
And you know the truth is, it’s difficult to see grace when everything is going really well. Those who are poor in spirit are no longer living in denial. They know they didn’t hang the moon. They know they have significant issues. They know they can’t fix themselves. Poor in spirit is a great place to be because they get the whole kingdom of God. That’s a whole lot more than they bargained for. Well, the first Beatitude is followed up by this one.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
And to mourn really does seem counterintuitive to our desires to be happy. I mean, who wakes up and says, you know, today’s a great day to be depressed. I’m going to be like Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh. No, we don’t do that, but to mourn means, because and it does flow logically from the first Beatitude, to mourn means that we understand that we’ve come to the end of our rope. We’re a sinner. We’re poor in spirit. We don’t have anything to offer God. And so, we actually, by seeing God’s goodness, mourn over our sin. Let me give you a truth. If you have never grieved in the presence of God, you’ve never been in the presence of God. I, really have come to see this, that the longer I walk with Jesus and the more I see his goodness and grace, actually the more I mourn over my own sin. It’s a crazy thing. But that’s what grace does. Grace makes us see our sin, so that we mourn over it, but then it has a powerful effect in our life because the third Beatitude is
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Now notice that Jesus is not saying blessed are the weak or blessed are the geeks. Now, there are times I’m weak and I need geeks in my life, but what Jesus is saying and notice how this all builds on each other. The reality that when I am poor in spirit, I mourn over my sin and then I become more meek, more humble, less dependent upon myself. So it turns out that by God’s grace we become more powerful people like Moses and David that God can use. You take it to heart. Amen.
Thank you Pete. That was our friend Pete Alwinson joining us and continuing his study of the the Beatitudes, the Kingdom Manifesto, found in Matthew 5. And good news, Pete will be with us through the rest of the week. Hope you’ll join us for all of that, starting tomorrow. Raw and real that’s Psalms in a nutshell. Well, recently on Steve Brown Etc., we sat down with pastor and author Dane Ortlund to talk about the Psalms and how they remind us that our God welcomes us, no matter what we’re feeling. It was such an encouraging conversation, so encouraging in fact that we put it on a CD that we would love to send to you for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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