The study of the blessedness.

Grace and peace to you Beloved in the name of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for joining us today in our Bible study series on the Beatitudes.  If you remember my idea was to have two introductory studies, followed by the eight beatitudes, and then we will have one study each on each similitude, we are like salt and like light. So twelves studies in all.

Let’s pray and ask God’s blessing on our second study.

Please open your Bible to Matthew 5:1-12 and read along with me.  

The definition of blessed. 

As you remember the word beatitude means blessing or happy or favored.  Jesus says, blessed are the meek.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  Well my desire today is to just flesh out what being blessed means.

The source of our blessing.

As we begin to define blessedness, let’s begin with God.  Blessedness is a characteristic of God.  God is the Blessed One.  Christ is the Blessed One.  God is the infinitely happy One because He is the infinitely holy One.

Mark 14:60.  The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?”  61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Paul writes to Timothy, avoid things, which are contrary to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. (I Tim.1:11)

Listen to how our secondary standards summarize our primary standard defining God.

WSC 4  What is God? A. God is a Spirit,(1) infinite,(2) eternal,(3) and unchangeable,(4) in his being,(5) wisdom,(6) power,(7) holiness,(8) justice, goodness, and truth.(9)

(1)John 4:24 (2)Job 11:7-9 (3)Ps. 90:2 (4)James 1:17 (5)Exod. 3:14 (6)Ps. 147:5 (7)Rev. 4:8 (8)Rev. 15:4

God is perfect, holy, happy and every other good thing.  God is blessed meaning He is to be held in reverence and awe. He is to be hallowed, set part and treated as holy.  He is to be honored in worship.

Thus, (the Triune) God alone is essentially and perfectly praiseworthy, the Holy One, the One who is the source of all blessings.

So for our study when Jesus says to His disciples, you are blessed, He means first and foremost that they are favored by God. They are in a living union and friendship with God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Because they have faith in Messiah.  We are in Christ.  Therefore, we are the recipients of God’s saving favor.

The Hebrew word for blessed. 

The main Hebrew word for blessed is barakh.  The first place we find the word used is Genesis one.  Think recipients of God’s gifts.

God blesses with abilities.

Genesis 1:21.  God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.  22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”  23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

Be fruitful and multiply shows us an aspect of blessing is God bestowing good according to His pleasure and power.  Blessed in this context means being the recipient of some material or physical good thing from God.  Blessed with life, with existence, abilities, well-being, growth and so on.

This teaches us that God is intimate and active with His creation by His sovereign providence.  God blesses in creation. God blesses in sustaining His creation in providence.

God blesses with calling.

We also see that God blesses in that He bestows gifts upon man beyond physical gifts.  God blesses man far above the lower creatures.

Genesis 1:26.  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God originally blessed man, not only to be fruitful and multiply but also to rule over the earth as a sub-ruler or a servant ruler for God.  Rank and calling are derived by God’s blessing or His gifting.

God blesses with salvation.

Please note again, God the Creator (and the Redeemer) is the source of blessing.

And creatures, including man, are the recipients of God’s blessing.

In fact, only Man is the recipient of God’s spiritual goodness or blessings.  Only man is an image-bearer of God capable of being in union and communion with God in Christ.  Only man was created with true knowledge of God, true righteousness, and true holiness and dominion over the creatures.

Only man receives God’s saving favor in Christ. So when we speak of being blessed by God or in God it is tied to the truth of grace.  And when I use the word grace, I always refer to salvation in Jesus.  I will leave the discussion of so-called common grace for another study.

Remember the blessings that Jesus pronounces upon His disciples are not common to all men, but only for those in Him by faith.

Listen to how the Bible connects the ideas of being blessed and being the recipient of God’s saving grace in Jesus.

Psalm 1:1  How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Luke 1:42 And she (Elizabeth) cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women (Mary), and blessed is the fruit of your womb (Jesus)!

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Greek word for blessed.

Next, let’s consider the Greek word for blessedness, makarios.   

It refers to the objective happy state or condition of a man to whom Christ’s righteousness is imputed by faith.  We are blessed by God. We are forgiven, reconciled, redeemed, justified, adopted, being sanctified, and will be glorified!

And in another sense, to a man’s subjective experience of that condition, to feel happy, to feel blessed, to believe in our mind and to feel in our affections that we are favored by God in Christ, and then to live accordingly. We know and feel we are blessed of God.

Romans 4:7.  Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, And whose sins have been covered.  8 “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”  9 Is this blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.”  10 How then was it reckoned? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;

God blesses for special and spiritual use.

God’s blessing also denotes His separation of a thing or a person for special and spiritual use.

Genesis 2:2.  And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.  3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

God gave the Sabbath a special significance and use, namely for His worship by Man, first as creatures and after the Fall as redeemed sinners.

Like the Sabbath being sanctified/blessed, we who are redeemed in Jesus are blessed by being taken out of sin and consecrated for God’s holy use in Christ.

There is another Greek word, sometimes translated, thanked and or blessed.  The idea is we thank God for His free, merciful divine favor – blessing. (eucharisto)

1 Corinthians 11:23-26  23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;  24 and when He had given thanks,  He broke it, and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

1 Corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?

This cup represents so much blessing from God in Christ. We are freed from wrath and sin and freed for God, to be His loving children.  (Rev.1:1-10)

The examples of blessedness.  

Let’s spend the remainder of our time contrasting what blessedness is not and what it is.

What blessedness is not.

Let’s begin by examining what blessedness is not.  

True happiness does not consist in the acquisition of worldly things.  Christ does not say, blessed are the rich.   If our chief ‘blessings’ are built upon this world, they will fail us. This would be a foundation built on sand. (Mt.7:27)

Remember the parable of the rich fool.  (Lk.12:15-21)

King Solomon attained to great wealth, greater perhaps that any other man.  Yet for all his acquisitions he cried, vanity, vanity. (Ecc.2:8)  And after long contemplation on the matter, he came to the conclusion that…

Ecclesiastes 12:13  The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.

Things which only last a brief season cannot satisfy our souls.  The world is passing away.  We are created for eternity.  Temporal things cannot be our blessing.

1 Corinthians 7:29.   But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;  30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;  31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. (I Jn.2:15-17, Prov.23:1-5)

Also think of this thorns and snares often accompany wealth and positions of power or prestige.  The love of money is the root of all evil.  Money and good things can choke out the fruit of the word of Christ.  Remember Judas. (Mt.13:20-22, I Tim.6:5-11)  Remember Israel when they came into the Promised Land, they grew fat and worldly, God called them Jeshurun.  Outwardly rich. Inwardly poor.  

What blessedness is.

Generally our spiritual happiness or blessedness consists in the fruit or the outcome of being united to Christ and awareness of this.  So, blessedness is to Whom we belong.

Psalm 144:15.  How blessed are the people who are so situated; How blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!  (Ps.116:7, 16)

From which we learn that the godly are already blessed.  We are enriched with every spiritual blessing.  (Eph.1:1-5)

We are united with God.  We are married to Him. He is our head and husband.  We are His bride. God is our Father. We are His beloved children.  

1 John 3:9  No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

1 Corinthians 6:15   Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (I Cor. 3:16, 6:19, 2 Cor. 6:16)

We are blessed because our sins are not imputed to us. Our sins are imputed to Him. His righteousness is imputed to us in our justification. And His holiness is infused in us in our progressive and practical sanctification-holiness. We are progressively being conformed into His holy image!  

Psalm 32:2.  How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!  (Jer.50:20, Jer.31:33-34, Isa.54:4)  

We are blessed because all things work to our good.   

Romans 8:28   And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  

Romans 8:38. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Beloved if you are ever tempted to think, well my outward condition is hard therefore God has not blessed me as a Christian, ask yourself this question.  Is Christ blessed? Was Christ blessed when He lived upon the earth?  Yes.

Christ was infinite blessed. And He suffered. He was poor. He was opposed and hated. And He was murdered. But He was still blessed.

Beloved we enjoy all spiritual blessings in Jesus.  And these things can and do coexist with suffering for Christ.  Those in Christ are blessed in Christ and we share in the suffers of Christ and we will share in the glories of Christ.

Beloved, we are blessed.  We belong to God. We are loved by God. And we are destined to live with God.

Amen

Study Questions   

  1. What are some aspects of God’s nature and of His attributes that make God the Blessed One? Why is God blessed? (I Tim.1:11, Mk.14:61, John 4:24, Job 11:7-9, Ps. 90:2, James 1:17, Exod. 3:14, Ps. 147:5, Rev. 4:8, Rev. 15:4)
  1. What is the main Hebrew word for blessed? Blessed is first used in Genesis 1:21-23.  What truths are we taught about blessings and being blessed in this passage?
  1. What creature receives spiritual blessings from God? Why does God give them?  And why does this creature receive them?  (Gen.1:26-30, Ps.1:1, Lk.1:42, Mt.5:3)
  1. What is the main Greek word for blessed? What is objective blessedness?  What is subjective blessedness?  Use Rom.4:7-10 and your experience to provide your answers.
  1. God blessing something sometimes denotes the truth of being separated for God or consecrated. How and why did God bless the Sabbath day? What are we taught by this?  (Gen.2:2-3)  How are we blessed by being set apart in Christ?  (I Pt.1:1-10)
  1. Can things or wealth be our chief blessing? Can snares sometimes accompany things and wealth? (Lk.12:15, Mt.7:27, Lk. 12:15-21, Eccl.2:8, Mt.13:20-22, I Tim.6:5-10)
  1. In what way does time or the passage of time and the certainty of judgment affect how we define true blessedness in contrast with what the unbeliever finds their ‘blessings’ in? (I Cor.7:29-31, I Jn.2:15-17, Prov.23:1-5, 2 Pt.3:10-12)
  1. Why is true blessing found in belonging to God in Christ? (Ps.144:15, Ps.116:7-8, Ps.116:16, Eph.1:1-5, I Jn.3:9, I Cor.6:15, Ps.32:2, Jer.50:20, I Cor. 3:16, 6:19, 2 Cor. 6:16, Jer.31:33-34, Isa.54:5)
  1. How is it a blessing for all things to work to our good? How do all things work to your good? Explain your answer.  (Rom.8:28)
  1. What additional elements of our blessedness are we taught in Romans 8:29-39?
  1. EXTRA credit. How does being the recipient of God’s blessing make you “feel”? 😊  How then should you live? 

 

 

 

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