Presbyterianism, whose bodies are also called Reformed Churches, share a common origin in the 16th-century Swiss Reformation and the teachings of John Calvin, and today is one of the largest Christian denominations in Protestantism.

The Path to Glory

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  • The Path to Glory

    The Beatitudes have most often been understood as a list of promised blessings that come with right living in the LORD. But another pattern emerges when we consider them in the light of sanctification. Specifically, I would like to show how the Beatitudes are a blueprint of the path to glory – the saint’s journey from regeneration to glorification.

    We begin with “blessed are the poor in spirit…” To be spiritually poor is to become aware of the knowledge that we are bankrupt spiritually before God, and that we have absolutely nothing to offer Him. This awareness only comes to us at the point of regeneration. Not only is it the first step, but the basis for all the other steps, for we cannot grow unless we are constantly in a posture of poverty of spirit before our God.

    The next beatitude we encounter is “blessed are those who mourn…” We understand from our own experiences that what follows from a state of spiritual poverty is mourning. Once a person is reborn, they have a new realization and appreciation of the horror of sin against a holy God. The mourning process flows seamlessly from a poverty of spirit. What follows is a plea for mercy. Now we are ready to grow.

    “Blessed are the meek…” Meekness is often misunderstood for weakness, but on the contrary, meekness is great strength under control. Here Jesus established meekness as the third characteristic of a Christian which is displayed before God in our relationship to Him. One must first go through the first two steps, becoming broken and bowed low. It is at this point that the saint stops “kicking against the goads”, and is ready to obey.

    The fourth beatitude is “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...” True hunger and thirst are after righteousness, and the LORD promises that those who eat His food and drink from His fountain will be satisfied. What is this righteousness that we are to hunger and thirst for? Once the believer has developed a spirit of meekness, he begins to love the law of the LORD/His word and hunger and thirst for it. This step in the sanctification process is essential for bearing fruit, and bearing up under trials which are sure to come. Righteousness builds roots - roots of strength in God’s grace, provision and will, but most importantly in our love for Him. This is where the “new you” begins to appear. Rather than being filled by the things of the world, your interests and desires change toward knowing and loving the Lord more.

    We come now to "Blessed are the merciful…” This is where maturity in a believer’s sanctification begins to show - being reminded daily of the great cost for our salvation and the forgiveness of our sins in Jesus Christ. This causes the saint to want to imitate his Savior, by showing a shadow of this mercy and forgiveness towards others.

    "Blessed are the pure in heart…” As we follow Christ further we begin looking past this life to the life to come. The pure in heart are given the promise that they shall see God. As their faith develops inwardly and is manifested outwardly, the Christian begins to resemble his Father. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:2-3)

    “Blessed are the peacemakers…” A maturing saint desires to be salt and light. Being a peacemaker has everything to do with our relationship with an unbelieving world. We are to be mediators and imitate our Father who made peace with us. One who has been saved appreciates the immense gift of salvation. This flows into a deep desire to see others at peace with their Maker, causing the believer to think evangelistically, wanting to be like his Savior. Christ brought with Him peace from God the Father. He mediated a covenant of peace for His people, and we, as His followers, are to “go into all the world making disciples of all men”, bringing them the Good News, the Gospel of peace.

    The Gospel of peace often brings a hostile response though. This puts the ever-growing saint in a position to be persecuted. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake…” In this step of sanctification, the saint is now able, with strong, established roots, to stand firm for the right reason - the cause of Christ. These types of works for the kingdom and glory of God often come at the cost of personal pain – resulting in even greater maturity and spiritual growth.

    "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…” This is the final step in the maturing and preparing of the saint for heaven. Many saints who have gone before us have been called to suffer and even lay down their lives for the cause of Christ. Neither you nor I may ever receive that call, but we know that if we do, He will prepare us to say, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)

    We as saints are all being made into His image. These steps are the main characteristics of a Christian not only at regeneration but every single day of his life while upon this earth. For “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6) The true believer will grow into these beatitudes along the path to glory. If that were not enough, The LORD has further promised a reward: an immediate promise, for “Blessed are you” while on this very earth and an unfathomable future inheritance awaits you as well – with a double portion, the LORD restores His own. This great sermon of Jesus does not end with the Beatitudes. It covers three chapters in Matthew’s gospel, being the longest sermon that Jesus preached. I would encourage you to spend some time in this sermon (Matt. Chs. 5-7), looking at it in light of this article. You are richly blessed!



  • #2
    Very beautiful, Jason.

    I love the perspective you established from Matthew 5:3. Perhaps, it is because of the recent sermon by Pastor Landis this last Sunday that I am seeing things in a whole new light concerning Matthew chapter 5 and chapter 7. Pastor Landis suggested that Matthew 5:20 sets the context for both the Beatitudes in chapter 5 and chapter 7 "For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Unlike the Pharisees the blessed poor in spirit do not inwardly swell with pride and cruelty.

    Originally posted by Jason T V View Post
    The next beatitude we encounter is “blessed are those who mourn…” We understand from our own experiences that what follows from a state of spiritual poverty is mourning. Once a person is reborn, they have a new realization and appreciation of the horror of sin against a holy God. The mourning process flows seamlessly from a poverty of spirit. What follows is a plea for mercy. Now we are ready to grow.
    For the longest time I held to a non-reformed view of this verse. Professor William Barclay suggested that those who mourn have seen the best of humanity, they have in times of mourning witnessed others coming to them to offer support and aid while in distress. Whether mourning a deceased loved one etc. While I couldn't deny this by experience, I couldn't help but acknowledge the relationship man has with a Holy God as you have shared through the process of regeneration to glorification. We are reduced to nothing in ourselves and turn from our helpless condition towards God alone for comfort - our ultimate source of Joy rather than a form of happiness dependent on our surroundings.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      Thank you William,

      Indeed, Jesus sets forth I believe clearly that the "blessed" stand in stark contrast to the Scribes and the Pharisees. This is the one who will be "accepted" by God, they are the "salt of the earth"...and "the light of the world." And that they are to let that light shine before men in verse 16.

      Everything with the Pharisees and Scribes as Jesus points out constantly is by the letter, and that there hypocritical in that. But still he says unless your righteousness exceeds there's, "you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." "What hope have we than?!" Jesus proceeds to tell them in the following verses that it is an issue of the heart and not the law. If a man or woman thinks with lustful intent in there heart, that is enough to be charged with sin by God! And to hate your brother is murder. it is not enough to follow the letter, but also the spirit of the letter, and that the spirit is far greater than the letter, which no man can achieve! You must be perfect as God is perfect.

      Praise God in Christ for making a way! "For they shall see God."
      Comment>
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