For Reading and Meditation: Galatians 2:15-21
We turn now to consider the second of our Lord's Beatitudes: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matthew 5:4). It is important to note that there is a very definite order in these sayings of Christ. Every one is carefully thought out and is given a precise place in the spiritual sequence. Once we see that entrance into the kingdom of God is through the acknowledgement of one's spiritual poverty and the acceptance of Christ's riches and resources, we are then ready to consider the next: "Happy are those who know what sorrow means, for they will be given courage and comfort" (Phillips). Before pondering the meaning of this Beatitude, we pause to make clear that the Beatitudes must not be viewed simply as a code of ethics, but as a description of character. Many people view these sayings of Jesus, as well as the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, as a set of regulations which they must follow in order to become a Christian - a kind of New Testament "Ten Commandments". The simple truth is that to try to live out these principles in our own unaided strength would be about as possible as trying to move the Rock of Gibraltar with a pea-shooter. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones said: "We are not told, 'Live like this and you will become a Christian ', but rather, 'Become a Christian and you will live like this.' " Advocates of the "social gospel" - the belief that we become Christians by attempting to live out Christ's principles - are seriously in error. We must first know Christ as a Person before we can fully live out His principles.
Father, how tragic that, down the centuries, so many have got Your truth the wrong way round - they have tried to follow Your principles before first knowing You in Person. Help me never to go wrong here - ever. Amen.
Bible Verses: Galatians 2:15-21Matthew 5:4Ephesians 3:1-19John 14:20Colossians 1:271 John 3:24
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