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On Christian Virtue Part 11

Part 11 True Purity of Heart: Realizing the Promise Last week we discussed the sixth Beatitude, found in Matthew 5:8. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” We learned that Jesus is talking about those who are pure in their innermost being; in the heart, where the Bible says our and deepest desires, emotions, thoughts, and will reside.…

On Christian Virtue Part 10

We come now to the sixth Beatitude. Matthew 5:8: ““Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” In part 2 of our study of the Beatitudes, we learned that when Jesus talked about those who were poor in spirit, He did not mean people who lack material possessions. Instead, by ‘poor in spirit,’ Jesus means those who are spiritually…

On Christian Virtue Part 9

The Obstacles to Being Merciful By Pastor Don Strand The fifth beatitude; the blessing that comes from the Father to those who are in Christ, is for those who are merciful.  We learned last week that Jesus defines the ‘merciful’ as those who develop a quality of helpful compassion, a quality of sympathetic interest and activity for those who are suffering because…

On Christian Virtue Part 8

Jesus shifts His focus By Pastor Don Strand The Beatitudes can be a problem for people and for many churches.  Today there are many churches that are, what Michael Horton has termed, the “happy-clappy” variety.  The characteristic of Happy-clappy churches is their relentless stream of feel good, positive messages.  God is a God of love.  He feels sad when bad things happen…

On Christian Virtue Part 7

The Importance of Imputation By Pastor Don Strand Matthew 5:6 says ““Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” and,  But to get the full effect of Jesus’ words, I need to give you a small bit of Greek grammar.  Stay with me here for the discussion is worthwhile.  I said last week that God blesses…

On Christian Virtue Part 6

The Righteousness that Qualifies By Pastor Don Strand So far, the description of a disciple, one who follows and learns, of Jesus has been negative in nature.  The first three “Beatitudes,” the “blessed are” statements of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount have been about lacking.  A follower of Christ is poor in spirit, a person who mourns over sin and…

On Christian Virtue Part 5

What’s all this talk about meekness? By Pastor Don Strand The early church theologian, John Chrysostom, was once asked, what are the three most important Christian virtues.  His answer, “first, humility, second, humility and third, humility.”   With these first three beatitudes; how those who are poor in spirit, who mourn over personal sin and the sin in the world, and now, those…

On Christian Virtue Part 4

Why Are Those Who Mourn Blessed? By Pastor Don Strand Jesus continues, with the pronouncement of eight attributes that are seen in a disciple of Christ which will bring God’s blessing, with this second Beatitude.  ““Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4, ESV). How is it, that a condition of mourning can bring blessing?  Isn’t someone who…

On Christian Virtue Part 3

Going Broke: How to Become Spiritually Poor By Pastor Don Strand. Blessed are the poor is spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven is how Jesus began the most famous of all sermons, the Sermon on the Mount.  Last week, we learned that ‘poor in spirit’ is not an economic condition.  Instead, it is a recognition of our unworthiness before a…

On Christian Virtue Part 2

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit. By Pastor Don Strand. The heart of the message Jesus delivered to His disciples and a crowd of interested people, on a hill just west of the Sea of Galilee, is eight sayings, each of which He prefaced with “Blessed are…”.  Each of these eight beatitudes points to a way of living that results in the…