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  • In the first four chapters of his Gospel, Matthew prepared us for this moment: the moment when Jesus would open his mouth to address us directly and teach us. Matthew wants to include us among Jesus’ disciples sitting at his feet on the mountain. If we are a disciple of Jesus, in this very moment Jesus is teaching us directly using the same words that he spoke to the disciples gather around him on the mountainside.
    Last Sunday based on Matthew 9:36, we learned that Jesus saw the crowds has harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. They were all “poor in spirit.” They had nothing of spiritual value to bring to Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. They were all broken by their sin – every one of them. Just like every one of us – we are all broken by our sin.
    What separated the disciples from the crowd was that the disciples came to Jesus. They brought their brokenness to Jesus. We, too, step out from the crowd of this world and come to Jesus with nothing but our brokenness to offer to Jesus.
    Like the disciples on the mountainside, we sit broken at the feet of Jesus. Jesus opens his mouth and the first word Jesus speaks is . . .


    What a glorious revelation of the heart of God toward us. Jesus looks at us and says, “blessed.” It is God’s heart, God’s desire, God’s intent to bless us.
    There are people conditioned to think that God is playing a cosmic game of “gotcha” with our lives. These people have the image of God sitting on His heavenly throne waiting for us to mess up. When we do inevitably sin God leaps from his throne and says, “Aha, gotcha . . . I saw that, now repent miserable worm of a sinner to appease my wrath or suffer the consequences of my judgement.”
    This is a Satanic image. God is not playing cosmic “gotcha”. Rather, God says to us: “I bless you!” When we sin, our sin grieves God’s heart. Yes, God wants us to repent, but not to appease his wrath – Jesus by his atoning blood took on himself the wrath of God that should have been ours. God wants us to repent so that we position ourselves to receive the constant flow of his blessing to us.
    Jesus opens his mouth and teaches us saying . . .

    Blessed are

    Notice that we are blessed – blessed in the present tense. Jesus does not point us to the future by saying “you will be blessed.” Jesus does not point us to transaction, you are blessed, or you will be blessed “if you are poor in spirit.” Jesus’ focus is in the here and now. Blessed are you in the here and now.
    Let me repeat again Jesus is not setting up a transaction between Himself and us. Jesus is not saying, I will bless you if you are poor in spirit.” Jesus is not saying, “I will bless you when you become poor in spirit.
    Hear Jesus’ words carefully – there is no condition in them, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”. The statement assumes the poor in spirit exist and that the poor in spirit are inherently blessed.
    Can you see that Jesus is telling us that we are blessed – in the present – because we are – in the present – poor in spirit.
    This is the Good News of the Kingdom that . . .

    Our brokenness – our poverty in spirit - is our blessing!

    I am not saying that God blesses us by making us broken. I am saying that we are broken by our sin, and when we bring our brokenness to God – he blesses us.
    Everyone in the entire world is broken. Here the word of the Lord:
    Psalm 143:2 NIV
    Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
    Ecclesiastes 7:20 NIV
    Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.
    Romans 3:10 NIV
    As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    Romans 3:20 NIV
    Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
    Romans 3:23 NIV
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    Every person on earth stands empty-handed before God. There are no good works, no achievement of moral and ethical character, no righteousness of our own doing that qualifies us for God’s forgiveness of our sins and merits for us eternal fellowship with him.
    In our unredeemed state, we are all spiritual zeros. Dallas Willard translates Matthew 5:2 like this:
    Blessed are the spiritual zeros – the spiritually bankrupt, deprived, and deficient, the spiritual beggars, those without a wisp of ‘religion’ – when the kingdom of the heavens comes upon them.[1]
    Willard continues, “The pages of the Gospels are cluttered with such people. And yet: ‘He touched me.’ The rule of the heavens comes down upon their lives through their contact with Jesus. And then they too are blessed – healed of body, mind, or spirit – in the hand of God.”[2]
    We are all broken – we are all poor in spirit, but the Gospel is that the kingdom of heaven is open to spiritual zeros like us – if we will come to Jesus. Faced with this good news what would keep a harassed, helpless, spiritual zero from coming to Jesus and experiencing the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. Let me offer four responses that keep us spiritual zeros from coming to Jesus.
    content slide with 4 points
    1. Denial – we deny our brokenness – we say, “there’s nothing wrong with me.”
    2. Projection – we project our brokenness on others – we say, “Actually, you are the problem”; or we say “they are the problem – not me.”
    3. Self-management – we attempt to self-manage our brokenness – we say, “I’m broken but I can manage it just fine.”
    4. Surrender – We surrender to our brokenness. We say, “This is just who I am; I was born this way; there’s nothing I can do – even if I want to be different than I am.
    What distinguishes the disciples of Jesus is that Jesus’ disciples step out of the crowd and bring their brokenness to Jesus.
    A man with leprosy came and knelt before [Jesus] and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.”[3]
    Disciples of Jesus sit at the feet of Jesus and absorb his teaching. By the work of the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves saying to Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing you can make me clean.” And Jesus says to us, “I am willing, be clean!”
    Our brokenness is our blessing in this sense – we don’t have to work to become “poor in spirit.” We already are “poor in spirit.” This beatitude is not about our performance. We do not have to become poor in spirit to be blessed. Rather, this beatitude is about our condition we are blessed to be in a condition where we can receive God’s grace.
    · If we will not deny our brokenness
    · If we will not project our brokenness on to others
    · If we will not self-manage our brokenness
    · If we will not surrender to our brokenness
    If we will acknowledge our brokenness and bring our poor spirit to Jesus, then we are blessed
    because . . .

    The Kingdom of Heaven is Ours!

    The kingdom of heaven is first and foremost the realm where God’s will is perfectly done in every respect. Jesus is saying to us that when we bring our brokenness to Him, we find ourselves enveloped within the reality of the perfect reign and rule of God. We are blessed because we have now entered into the place where the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can and will apply all the resources of heaven to bring shalom – complete wholeness and well-being in every dimension of our life.
    That does not mean we will experience instantaneous wholeness in every respect of our lives. Although, we may experience it in an aspect or aspects of our lives. Sometimes God in his mercy grants to us immediate healing in body, mind, or emotions. It is common to find people that God instantly delivered of alcoholism or drug addiction or for whom God created a miraculous financial turnaround or marriages restored in a brief time. The list could go on and on. However, that is not everybody’s story. For other people – in fact for all of us – there is an area or areas of our life where the road to recovery and wholeness is a long and difficult one. Complete wholeness awaits us when we see Jesus face to face.
    Having said that, the message of this beatitude is that we can enjoy substantial progress in the kind of life that God created for us to live – a life enveloped in an awareness of God’s constant flow of blessings to us, His constant care of us and His constant provision for us.
    If we will step into what it means to be blessed because we are poor and spirit, we will welcome our total dependence upon God for everything in our lives and every breath we breathe. If we understand what it means to enveloped as a child of the King with in the rule and reign of the kingdom of heaven we will grow more and more capable of discerning God’s blessing in all that comes to us. We are enveloped in the rule and reign of God – the God who only can and will act toward us with complete and perfect love – God allows nothing into our lives that he will not use to make us more like Jesus – and that is the goal. The goal of every disciple is to become like their Master.
    Is it enough of a blessing for us to know that God is moving heaven and earth to make us like Jesus?
    If it is not, there is nothing God can do for us that will satisfy us. We will constantly be running after this blessing and that blessing.
    The point, the whole point, of being a disciple of Jesus is to become increasingly like Jesus. You see, the more we become like Jesus individually and as a church family the more capable we become of walking in this world with the kind of confidence, courage, insight, wisdom, compassion, and love Jesus demonstrated in this world, because the life of Jesus is in us and lives through us.
    The more we become like Jesus individually and as a church family the more confident we become that Jesus really is the solution to the brokenness of this world – and everyone who will come to Jesus will be blessed because he will move heaven and earth to make them more like him.
    Jesus said,
    Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.[4]
    Although we can not see our Lord with our physical eyes, He nonetheless is present with us this morning moving among us. He sees our brokenness – our spiritual poverty and he implores us: do not deny it, do not project it, do not try to manage it, do not surrender it – acknowledge it and bring it to me. You are blessed when you bring your brokenness into my presence because there all the resources of the kingdom of heaven are put to work to bring complete wholeness to your life.
    We must decide if Jesus is truthful and capable. Is Jesus telling us the truth when he says we are blessed in our spiritual poverty because when we come to him we are enveloped in the rule and reign of the kingdom of heaven? Is Jesus competent to deliver the wholeness we seek when we bring our poor spirits to him?
    As true disciples of Jesus let us bank everything on the truthfulness and competency of Jesus when he says to us, Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    [1] Willard, Dallas. The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco, 1997. p. 100.
    [2] Ibid. p. 101.
    [3] Matthew 8:2–3
    [4] Matthew 18:20
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  • My Soul Finds Rest
  • Blest Are They
  • Pre-Scripture Reading Introduction

    This morning I want to take a few minutes to give some context to the beatitudes that will be helpful to us in understanding all the beatitudes, but which are particularly important for the beatitude we will focus on this morning: Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. First let’s consider the question . . .

    What does “blessed” mean?

    The word beatitude comes from the Latin word “beatus” which means blessed or happy. The Greek word translated “blessed” in each of the beatitudes is “Makarios” which means blessed or happy. However, we know Matthew grounds his Gospel in the Hebrew Scriptures and he is using Greek words and expressions to convey Hebrew meanings.
    When we look at the Hebrew concepts for blessed there are two word-groups. The word group related to the Hebrew word “berak” and the word group related to the Hebrew word “ashrei.” These words have different but overlapping meanings, but English translations use “blessed” to express both concepts. When one English word translates two distinct Hebrew words, we can lose or confuse significant differences in meaning clearly conveyed in the original languages.
    Berak means the experience of blessing as the result of God’s active favor. When scholars apply this meaning to the Beatitudes, they emphasize that these are the kinds of people who experience God’s active favor. Which is true. In fact, it is so true that “feeling blessed” is not a necessary characteristic of God’s blessing. Because they are living in relationship with God blessing flows to them. Negative feelings, the absence of feelings or adverse conditions cannot take away the blessedness of these persons.[1]
    On the other hand, the actual Greek word translated “blessed” in the beatitudes is “makarios” which is used in the Greek Old Testament to translate the Hebrew word “ashrei.” Ashrei conveys the idea of blessing as human flourishing. When scholars apply this understanding of blessing to the Beatitudes, they stress that these are the kinds of persons that experience the fullness of human life as God intended it to be. Given the direct linguistic connection, one can assert that this is the primary meaning for blessing as expressed in the Beatitudes. However, it is not an either-or proposition. Both of these meanings are true, and they overlap because one can only experience the fullness of human flourishing if one is the object of God’s active favor.
    Therefore, combining these two concepts, I propose this way of understanding the word “blessed” in the context of the beatitudes.
    Blessing is experiencing the fullness of human flourishing, which flows from the active favor of God.[2]
    To wrap up this introduction, I want to briefly answer the question

    What kind of Literature are the Beatitudes?

    The beatitudes are poetic in form – specifically Hebrew poetic form expressed in Greek. In addition to their poetic form, the beatitudes are “apocalyptic” literature. That might come as a shock. Because we think of “apocalyptic” literature as being “end of time” visions such as those contained in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. Remember that the word “apocalypse” means “a revelation – a revealing of something.” The beatitudes are apocalyptic in two senses.
    The first apocalyptic sense of the beatitudes is that in the beatitudes Jesus reveals to us what normal human flourishing looks like within the rule and reign of God.
    The second apocalyptic sense of the beatitudes is that although their blessings are available to us in the here and now, their ultimate fulfillment is in “The Day of the Lord” when Christ returns and God reconciles all things to himself in the new heaven and new earth.[3]
    With this background, let us hear the Word of the Lord as our Lord Jesus Christ speaks it to us in the Beatitudes.
    Scripture Reading Matthew 5:1-12
    Matthew 5:1–12 NIV
    Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    The Problem of meekness

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
    I do not know if you see it this way, but I think this beatitude is one of the most confusing for those of us submerged in the USA culture. Who are the meek? “The meek” when we run it through our cultural brains sound so much like “the weak.” Equating “meek” with “weak” causes in the best-case confusion and at worst revulsion. “Blessed are the weak” that idea runs rough trod over our American mindset to such a degree that, if we are honest, we find it disturbing.
    No American in our right cultural mind wants to be weak. Even worse, the thought of others thinking of us as “weak” is almost unbearable. What do we do when people let slip signs of weakness in our presence? Most often, we naturally find the words to remind them, “Hey, you’ve got to be strong.” In our culture strong is good; weak is not good.
    Most sermons on this beatitude that I have heard in the United States spend a considerable amount of time explaining that meekness is not weakness. This is most often accomplished by pointing to Jesus standing up to the religious authorities who opposed him and especially referencing Jesus chasing the money changers out of the temple with whips as proof positive that Jesus was not weak. Therefore, we are off the hook! Meek men don’t chase people with whips – Whew, thank God!
    The sermon then goes on to explain that a better understanding of the meaning of meek would be gentle. Unfortunately, in the American mind, “gentle” is a minor upgrade from “meek.” After all, Teddy Roosevelt in the Spanish American war did not lead the charge of the “gentle riders” – no it could never be – because Americans are “rough riders” that’s who we are.
    One cultural indicator of how we view ourselves in relation to perceived meekness or weakness is the names we choose for our sports teams. We have the Bears, the Tigers, the Panthers and list goes on and on. These are names that communicate strength and intimidation. Nobody names their team “The Nice Guys” or the “Hand holders.” I did find one team which must be the exception that proves the rule. They are the New Orleans Baby Cakes which play in the Pacific Coast Baseball League.
    Well, you get the point gentle is not much better than weak in the American mindset. Knowing this the typical sermon moves on to explain that humility is the key behavior associated with meekness. Humility is acceptable to the American mind because we do at least pay lip service to humility as being a good thing. In practice, however, considering our national dialog across the ideological spectrum – humility seems to be in short supply.
    What if our worst fears are true? What if the best way to understand meekness is that meekness runs right through weakness? That is exactly what I am proposing this morning. Despite our fears, understanding meekness as weakness opens the way for us to express meekness as gentleness and humility.
    I hope to trace the line of meekness through weakness in two ways. First, as a logical flow of the beatitudes and second in the way Jesus fulfils the Old Testament vision of the Messiah-King.
    Once we understand meekness, then we can take up its positive outcome, which is the blessing of inheriting the earth. First let’s consider . . .

    The Meaning of meekness

    Over the last two Sundays we have seen that the qualities of being poor in spirit and of mourning are not qualities that we are required to achieve in order to have the blessings that Jesus promises. Instead, being poor in spirit and mourning are natural states of being in a broken world. Likewise, contrary to what we might think, meekness is not an exceptional quality we must reach, but meekness is a state-of-being-in-a-broken-world.
    Being poor in spirit means that we have nothing of spiritual value to bring to God to merit his blessings. Without looking for trouble, evil hammers us from within ourselves and through the actions of others and the society in which we live. We know that in ourselves we cannot overcome our spiritual poverty; neither can we overcome the powers of evil. Intuitively, we understand that we are in a hopeless situation that we have no power to overcome.
    In this sense everybody in the world is a meek person. We are weak, powerless, and utterly humiliated by our spiritual poverty before a holy and righteous God, humbled by our vulnerability in the face of the unrelenting evil that comes our way and by our own desire to submit to and embrace evil rather than to move toward God and submit ourselves to him. It is not an interpretive stretch to say that . . .
    Meekness is acknowledging our weakness against the crushing forces of our natural spiritual poverty and the evil that naturally causes us to mourn.
    Let’s look at how the Old Testament speaks of a weak Messiah-King and how Jesus applies that understanding to himself in relation to meekness.
    In Zechariah 9:9-10 we read,
    Zechariah 9:9–10 NIV
    Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
    Notice that this Messiah-King shows three defining qualities:
    · The King is righteous. Which means he is morally upright and just in his behavior.
    · The King is victorious. Which means in his morality and justice He experiences triumph.
    · The King is lowly.
    The Hebrew word “ani” translated as “lowly” means without property, poor, wretched[4] [5] (deeply afflicted, dejected, distressed in body and mind, and needy).[6] In anybody’s world a person who believes himself to be a king yet who is without property, who is poor, who is deeply afflicted, dejected, distressed in body and mind, and needy – is not royalty they are mentally ill. This person, we would say, is too weak in their entire being to be a king.
    Isaiah described the weak Messiah King when he wrote,
    Isaiah 53:2–3 NIV
    He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
    In the New Testament, “ani” translates to Greek as “praus” which translates English as gentle and as meek.[7]
    Hebrew “ani” = Greek “praus”
    This is important to remember for later. But for right now, let’s look at how strong the Messiah-King is in his weakness. The King . . .
    · Takes away His people’s ability to make war. He disarms them.
    · Proclaims peace to the nations
    · Extends his rule to the ends of the earth
    Matthew records how Jesus fulfills Zechariah’s prophecy in connection with Jesus entry into Jerusalem the week in which evil men will take Jesus and crucify him. Matthew wrote,
    Matthew 21:1–5 NIV
    As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
    See your king comes to you, weak with no property, poor, wretched and needy, and riding on a donkey.
    Tim Keller has this to say about Jesus the weak Messiah-King.
    God works through weakness not strength, through poverty not wealth, through suffering and difficulty this is the pattern of God’s salvation, but beyond the pattern is a person. Jesus is the ultimate climax and embodiment of God’s pattern of salvation. Jesus comes as a poor man. He comes as a weak and powerless man. He is beaten, excluded, tortured, and put to death. He is a king – the anointed king that goes to a cross and not a throne. In this Jesus is saying salvation is by grace. If Jesus had come in strength, and said be strong like me, then that would be a strong God coming to save the strong. But if you have a weak God coming to die on the cross in your place to take the punishment for your sins. Then salvation goes not to those who think they are strong, but to those who know they are weak.[8]
    Then Jesus says about himself,
    Matthew 11:29 NIV
    Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    Knowing that Matthew uses the Greek “praus” to express the sense of the Hebrew word “ani”, we can legitimately paraphrase this verse like this: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am poor, weak, full of suffering . . . in my weakness you will find strength – rest for your souls.
    This is the call, this is the offer to every person who is weak, powerless, and utterly humiliated by their spiritual poverty and vulnerability to evil – which is everyone of us. Will we come to Jesus who became weak so that we can be strong, who became despised and rejected so that we could be accepted by the Father, who died in our place so we can live eternally? Will we come?
    Jesus turns to us and says, “Blessed are the meek, the weak ones, the spiritual zeros, those who have nothing to offer, those afflicted, suffering, and lonely, those who struggle with sin in their lives and those who mourn because of the evil in the world – they will inherit the earth!
    Oh, we need to come to Jesus for the salvation of our souls! And we need to continually come to him in our poverty, vulnerability, and weakness as we work out our salvation day after day. Will we come? If we will come to Jesus, then we will experience . . .

    The Blessing of meekness

    Jesus promises the entire earth to everyone who will bring their meekness, their weakness to him. What does it mean to inherit the earth? First, notice that it is an inheritance. We don’t buy an inheritance. We don’t earn an inheritance. An inheritance is not based on our deserving it. An inheritance is an act of grace. An inheritance is a gift. Most often, an inheritance occurs within the family. The Apostle Paul teaches us if we come to Jesus, we are children of God. Paul wrote,
    Romans 8:16–17 NIV
    The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
    In Ephesians Paul writes that the Father has,
    Ephesians 1:9–10 NIV
    he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
    God is actively working out his purpose to bring everything in heaven and on earth under Christ. The rule and reign of God is fully operational throughout the whole earth in the here and now. Because we are part of the family, we are already taking part in our inheritance. As God’s children, Father, Son, and Holy Spirt live in us. Where we go God is there. We are in small and big ways the answer to the Lord’s Prayer “may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As disciples of Jesus that is our job description – we are in the business of seeing God’s will done on earth as it is done in heaven. How is God’s will done in heaven? In heaven God’s will is carried out fully, completely, and without hesitation. Just so you know I’m not making this up let me give you some Scriptural support for the idea that this is our job description. When Jesus sent out the seventy-two disciples, he told them,
    Luke 10:8–11 NIV
    “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’
    You see when we show up, the Kingdom of God shows up. Whether we are accepted or rejected the message is the same, “The Kingdom of God has come near.”
    That’s what God calls us meek and weak people to do to see that His will is done fully, completely, and without hesitation – when we come to him he fills our meekness and weakness with his power and love to get the job done. In this sense we have inherited the earth!
    But there is another sense in which there is more to come. There is a new heaven and a new earth coming in which our inheritance will be complete.[9] Paul tells us,
    Romans 8:18–23 NIV
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
    When Adam and Eve sinned, it was an act so evil, so horrid that God cursed the earth. In a sense, God had to conform his perfect earth to the sinfulness of humankind. But in the Day of the Lord, it will be just the opposite. Creation groans waiting in eager expectation to see the children of God in our glory. How does that happen? Christ vanquishes the curse of the fall. Christ conquers death and redeems our bodies. Christ restores us to the full glory that was ours before the Fall. In that moment all the sons and daughters of God from all nations, every ethnic group from throughout all of time will have personally recognizable physical bodies that will radiate with unimaginable glory. That is the moment that all of creation is groaning for. After the Sons and Daughters of God are completely restored with glory, then creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay –[don’t miss this] – and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God!.[10]
    In the sin of Adam, the earth reflects the curse of death. When the new heaven and earth comes, the earth will reflect the glory of the children of God. It is that earth – the earth that reflects the glory of the children of God which will be our eternal inheritance.
    2 Peter 3:13 NIV
    But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
    Revelation 21:4 NIV
    ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
    Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth!
    [1] Wilkins, M. J. (2004). Matthew (p. 204). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
    [2] The discussion is based primarily on Pennington, Jonathan T. NT251 The Sermon on the Mount (Videos). Logos Mobile Education. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.
    [3] Horton, M. (2011). The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (p. 542). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
    [4] Strong, J. (2009). עָנִיʿânîy. A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 2, p. 90). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
    [5]Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 10, pp. 575–580). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.
    [6]Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Wretched. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wretched
    [7] πραΰς, πραεῖα, πραΰ Lust, J., Eynikel, E., & Hauspie, K. (2003). A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint : Revised Edition. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart.
    [8] Adapted from Tim Kellar, Hanna’s Prayer. June 1, 2020. Tim Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hannahs-prayer/id352660924?i=1000481737401
    [9] For support concerning “already but not yet” nature of the Kingdom of God see Horton, M. (2011). The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (p. 544). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
    [10] See John Piper, June 16, 2008. The Triumph of the Gospel in the New Heavens and the New Earth. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-triumph-of-the-gospel-in-the-new-heavens-and-the-new-earth--2
      • Matthew 5:1–12NIV2011

      • Zechariah 9:9–10NIV2011

      • Isaiah 53:2–3NIV2011

      • Matthew 21:1–5NIV2011

      • Matthew 11:29NIV2011

      • Romans 8:16–17NIV2011

      • Ephesians 1:9–10NIV2011

      • Luke 10:8–11NIV2011

      • Romans 8:18–23NIV2011

      • 2 Peter 3:13NIV2011

      • Revelation 21:4NIV2011

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