Yesterday, we saw from Scripture that Jesus came to save sinners, and sinners are the ones chosen to enter the kingdom of God, but these aren't just any sinners. The sinners that enter the kingdom of God are those that realize their unworthiness and believe that the blood and sacrifice of Christ is the only thing that makes them worthy of inheriting the kingdom.
Today, we're looking at the character of kingdom citizens. Jesus detailed what it meant to be a kingdom citizen in his sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7). Particularly, Jesus shared that those that are a part of the kingdom are very different from what the world would expect. Here are some of the characteristics:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Do you see the characteristics that Jesus said are blessed:
Those that exhibit these characteristics are given promises from the Lord that relate to the kingdom of God. They shall:
Who wouldn't want these blessings that Jesus promised? However, the people that receive these promises are those that display the characteristics above. The people that display these characteristics are kingdom citizens, and these citizens are far different from the people of the world.
Jesus even continued, calling kingdom citizens the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world" (Matthew 5:13). He called his citizens to be a shining example to the rest of the world so that others may see their "good works and give glory to [their] Father who is in heaven." If we are followers of Christ and citizens of His kingdom, we are called to live out our lives in this way as well.
If as followers of Christ, we are experiencing these things, we know that there is a greater inheritance and kingdom coming. I don't know about you, but this is encouraging to me in the midst of day to day living. We'll explore this more tomorrow.
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