Parkview CHURCH of CHRIST

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CHRISTIANS AS BRETHREN:

PERSONAL CHARACTER AND CONDUCT

LESSON ONE


INTRODUCTION:  

1.  When we enter the saved relationship with Christ we are CHRISTIANS

a. Baptized disciples (Matt. 28:19, Mk. 16:16, Acts 11:26, Gal. 3:27)

b. The name stands for a definite character and conduct of a person connected with Christ (I Pet. 4:15-16; 18-19).


2. The Christian also enters the relationship with other Christians as BRETHREN

a. “ALDELPHOS” – related to “DELPHUS” – the womb – denoting closeness and kinship.

b. Individually (my brother)- Phil. 2:25

c. Collectively (my brethren)- Eph. 6:10

d. Members together of a spiritual family (Col. 1:2, 4:15-16)


3. God exhorts Christians to Interact with one another as a harmonious family.

a. Individually (Philippians 2:1-3)

b. Collectively (I Cor. 1:10)


I. THE CHARACTER OF THE CHRISTIAN CONVEYED IN THE BEATITUDES (Matthew 5:1-12).

    A. Jesus introduced His sermon before the multitudes in the mountain with eight characteristics God’s people should possess.

1. Characterized as “happiness” because of a “supreme blessedness” (Beatitude) in the Lord

2. Not a happiness that the world relates to: How can one that is poor be happy? How can one who mourns be happy? How can one experiencing persecution be happy?

3. The blessed state issues with happiness because one possesses the kingdom of heaven, though poor; One is comforted when in mourning, and one has a great reward waiting when suffering for Christ’s and righteousness sake (Matt. 5:3, 4, 10-12).

 

   B. All Christians are to have this character – not reserved for “exceptional Christians.” We should never think “ordinary Christians” are exempted.  Who is the “ordinary Christian?”  

 

   C. All characteristics are to be manifested in all Christians.  Like the “fruit” of the Spirit – Christians are to manifest every facet of the blessed sate like every facet of the single fruit (cf. Galatians 5:22-23)


   D. All Christians, possessing all eight of these character traits, manifest citizenship in a heavenly kingdom – different from the kingdoms of this world (cf. Jn. 18:36)

        1. All redeemed Christians are translated into this spiritual kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:13-14)

   E. Before we examine the “conduct” of the Christian, one’s actions; we will examine the “character” of the Christian and first examine who they “are…”  


II. BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPRIIT… (Matthew 5:3)


   A. The word translated “poor” is from the Greek word, “PTOCHOS” which conveys abject poverty making one a pauper or beggarly.

        1. Usually denoting the destitute who are financially poor

            a.  widow – all she had was 2 mites (a mite is equal to about 1/5 of cent) Mk. 12:43)

            b. the poor who cannot repay you (Lk. 14:13-14)

       2. Jesus specifies the type of poverty He has in mind “poor in spirit.”

           a. While Luke says, “blessed are the poor” (Lk. 6:20), it is not blessed is the spirit of the financially poor – like poverty exalted in the rule of God.  Such concept is behind of people taking an oath of poverty in their devotion to God.

           b. “poverty does not guarantee spirituality” (Martin Lloyd Jones, Sermon on the Mount, p. 43). – Poor can have a love for money, desiring to be rich (I Tim. 6:9-10).  Th poor can be jealous of those who are rich.    

           c. the poverty or destitution is in the spirit of one as he sees himself before God.

 

  B. Being poor in spirit is contradictory to the way the world thinks.

      1. Exalting poverty in spirit before God is thought to be a “crutch” - negative concept among people of the world who exalts “self-reliance,” “self-sufficiency,” and manifesting a “self-confidence” in the world.

          a. Is a crutch a negative thing when you can’t walk – powerless (cf. Rom.5:6)

          b. Jesus came to save the sick in sin, not the healthy who was self-sufficient, needing no one (Matt. 9:11-13).

     2. Poor in spirit vs. Self- esteem

          a. God did not encourage Moses with self-esteem when Moses balked with lack of self-confidence in being God’s spokesman – he needed to look to God not himself (Exodus 3:11-12)

          b. God’s help not self-reliance is the poor in spirit before God – Paul (I Cor. 15:10).

 

   C. Being poor in spirit is seeing ourselves before God, not merely when we sin, but When we are blessed by God – David (Psalm 51:17, cf. 2 Sam. 11; I Chron. 29:10-14)


   D. Peter’s and John’s “boldness” did not come from “self-reliance” but rather poor in spirit before the rule of God (Acts 4:13, 27-29).


CONCLUSION:


       1. It is fitting for Jesus to begin with the character of the Christian as he or she sees herself  before God.  Poor in Spirit before God is one that comes before Him empty of self and ready to be ruled by God.


       2. What makes the poor in spirit blessed or happy is that the one who has the humility to see self as in total need of God is one who characterizes those who are blessed by God in His spiritual kingdom


QUESTIONS:


1. Does the word “Christian” have a definite character connected with it?


2. What all does “brethren” in Christ signify?


3. What does God exhort all Christians in their interaction as brethren?


4. What does “beatitude” mean – how is it conveyed in the beginning of the sermon on the mount.


5. Are all Christians to manifest all the beatitudes?  


6. Do the Beatitudes emphasize the Christian’s character or his specified conduct?


7. What does “poor” in spirit signify?


8. Is Jesus exalting being poor monetarily?  Why or why not?


9. How does being “poor in spirit” contradictory to how the world thinks and what the world honors?


10. What does the demand to be “poor in spirit” say about God’s attitude toward man’s “Self- esteem?”


11. Is poor in spirit only seen when we are reflecting on our sin?


12. Did Paul manifest poverty of spirit when he said, “I labored more abundantly than they all?”


13. Were Peter in John manifesting being poor in spirit when they manifested “boldness?”


14. What reason does Jesus give for the poor in spirit to be happy, experiencing a blessed state?




CHRISTIANS AS BRETHREN:

PERSONAL CHARACTER AND CONDUCT

LESSON TWO


INTRODUCTION:  

1.  The second characteristic of the blessed or happy Christian is one who “mourns.”


2. The thought that should quickly come to our mind is that Jesus is not speaking from the point of view of this world…Who believes one can be happy while mourning?


3. This lesson will bring out how this blessed state of the mourning is not a contradiction, but a necessity in the life of the Christian and a blessing in the relationship of brethren.


I. BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MOURN… (Matthew 5:4)  

A. The Greek word “PENTHEO” means to grieve, mourn or bewail

1. Word denotes not only an inward grief, but the inward mourning that is coupled with tears or verbal weeping – Nations grieving over desolation of Babylon (Rev. 18:11, 15, 19).


2. The time for fasting coupled with mourning for having the bridegroom (Jesus) taken away in death will come – then a proper time to mourn (Matthew 9:15).  


3. Disciples are mourning and weeping when Mary brings them news of Jesus’ resurrection and personal appearance (Mark 16:10).

B. Mourning for sin

1. Sinners and doublemined should seek cleansing of sin – laughter of an unconcerned world needs to turn to mourning over their sins (James 4:8-10).

a. If the world remains in sin – one day it will mourn (Lk. 6:25).

2. David’s mournful heart regarding his sin (Psm. 51)

            a. He cannot escape his sin (v.3)

            b. Considers his sin in the context of God (v. 4).

c. Mourns so much his sin that he considers to be tainted with sin even to the point of when he was conceived (v.5, cf. Jn. 9:2-3).

d. He considers his sin in terms of the crushing of his bones – longs for inward joy (v. 7).

e. seeking the joy of forgiveness and right relationship with God (v.9-12).

f. fruits of repentance and forgiveness (v. 13-15).

g. God does not despise a broken and contrite heart (v.16-17).


II. THE BLESSED STATE OF THE COMFORT OF FORGIVENESS


A. Seeing mourning from the perspective of the world will never issue into a blessed state of being comforted.

1. The world loosing source of worldly riches have no promise of being comforted (cf. Revelation 18: 11, 15, 19)

2. The worldly disregard for spiritual relationship with God has only eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth in their future (cf. Lk. 6:25, Matt. 13:42).

B. When man humbles himself before God in mourning, God will exalt him to a renewed relationship with Him in forgiveness

1. No comfort when still unclean in sin (Psm. 51:10)

2. No comfort when separated from God (Psm. 51:11)  

3. Restoration of the joy of being saved from sin is comforting to look forward to.

C. The Gospel is comforting good news to the one who first mourns for his or her sin

            1. How Paul looked at himself, his sins, God and Christ

a. “Wretched man that I am! (Romans 7:24)

b. Thankful to God that in Christ he has no condemnation (Romans 7:25, 8:1, 2, 6)

2. Gospel is preached to the dead in sin as good news to those who stand condemned before God in their sin (I Pet. 4:6)  

 

III. BRETHREN MOURNING FOR SINS


A. Sin of the individual – man committing adultery with his father’s wife- not puffed up, overlooking sin (I Cor. 5:2)

 

B. Sins of others – not repented of (2 Cor. 12:21)


C. There is comfort in forgiveness (2 Cor. 2:6-7)

   

CONCLUSION:


1. The first two beatitudes emphasize the character of the Christian primarily before God

    a. Not self-sufficient – but God- sufficient (poor in spirit…)

    b. (Mourning) for sin – Not disregarding our sin in a laughing unconcerned world.  


QUESTIONS:


1. With the second beatitude, why might you to consider “blessedness” differently

    from a worldly definition of happiness?


2. The Greek word, translated “mourn” is not just a “inward grief” but is sometimes

     associated with ____________    __________________.


3. What two classes of people should mourn?


4. How deeply mournful was David regarding his sin of adultery with Bathsheba?


5. What does God never despise?


6. How did Paul go from mourning to comfort in Christ?


7. Is the Gospel good news separated completely from condemning sin?


8. What will a brother in Christ not overlook when he mourns for his brother’s sin?


9. What caused Paul to mourn for all brethren?  


10. Is there scriptural comfort in forgiveness?