Presentation on theme: "Attitudes and actions that garner God’s blessings."— Presentation transcript:
Attitudes and actions that garner God’s blessings
What is this series about? An examination of 21 attitudes and behaviors identified in the New Testament as “blessed” A look at Christian conduct and characteristics that will enrich our lives with lasting joy A look at the condition of those who lack these qualities
Outline (Matthew 5:10) “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness” “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven” The cursed life
Persecuted for righteousness (Matt. 5:10) Persecution: intentional mistreatment of a person/group Persecution takes many forms: discrimination, threats, loss of privileges/opportunities/relationships, even death For the right reason: righteousness Not for unlawful civil disobedience (1 Pet. 2:13-15) Not for being rebellious (1 Pet. 2:18-20) Not for doing wrong (1 Pet. 4:15) Not for being a nuisance/mischief-maker (1 Pet. 4:15) Not for failing to follow good advice/instruction (Eph. 6:1) God does not bless people who bring affliction upon themselves in unrighteousness. There is no glory in purposely making yourself a martyr or in provoking your enemies to violence.
Persecuted for righteousness (Matt. 5:10) Righteousness invites persecution (why: John 3:19-20) 2 Tim. 3:12 “all who desire to live godly…will be persecuted” 1 Pet. 4:12 “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you” John 15:18-21 “if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” Read Luke 6:26. If you are never persecuted for righteousness, could it be that your behavior is more darkness than light?
Responding to persecution for righteousness Bless those who persecute us (Rom. 12:14) Pray for those who persecute (Matt. 5:44) Rejoice (Acts 5:41) and glorify God (1 Pet. 4:16) Focus on the reward (Rom. 8:17-18) Though you may be rejected by men, you are choice and precious in God’s sight (1 Pet. 2:4) Fear not their intimidation, but trust God (1 Pet. 3:14) Remember past victories over suffering (Heb. 10:32-39) Some believers fall away when persecuted (Matt. 13:20-21) Some try to avoid persecution by compromising w/ evil (Gal. 6:12) What will you do when persecuted?
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven “For the L ORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation” (Ps. 149:4) “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the L ORD delivers him out of them all.” (Ps. 34:19) God gives comfort in this life & in the next (2 Cor. 1:3-5) Kingdom and righteousness are inextricably linked together: seek them both (Matt. 6:33) Those who live the beatitudes will find persecution in this life, but the reward of heaven in the next!
The cursed life… Let us not persecute the righteous… Those who afflict the righteous will be punished (2 Thess. 1:6-9) Let us not fall short in our pursuit of righteousness… The unrighteous shall not enter the heaven (Matt. 5:20) Trust not in the deceptive praise of men… “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way” (Luke 6:26)
Summary “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed” (1 Pet. 3:14) Accept persecution as an expected result of following Christ If you suffer for doing right, count yourself blessed If you suffer for doing wrong, you are getting what you deserve Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
Believe in Jesus Christ (John 14:1; Acts 16:30-34) That He died for your sins and was resurrected (1 Cor. 15:3-4) Repent of your past sins (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9) Commit yourself to holy conduct (Acts 26:30; Titus 2:11-12) Confess your faith (Matthew 10:32) Declare your belief that Jesus is God’s Son (Acts 8:37) Receive Baptism (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12) Baptism puts you into Christ (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:27) Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) Baptism saves you (1 Peter 3:21) Be faithful until death (Revelation 2:10) Trust His grace and obey His commands (Hebrews 5:9) Or face the retribution due to those who do not obey 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Romans 2:8; John 3:36
Pray without ceasing…Practice what Jesus preached…Prepare for our next assembly