Volume. XXXVI, No. 2
Sunday, 11 July 2021

From the Pastor’s Heart: The Beatitudes

As you know, Rev Mathews Abraham is our missionary pastor at large, stationed in Singapore at the moment.  Thank you for praying for his health and needs of his family.  Pandemics and his health concerns have prevented him from travelling.  However, by having him with us, we have a reliable prayer partner for missions.  I asked him to write a series of articles for Lively Hope, by which we may gain more insight into the truths of God.  In the following few weeks, he will give us some lessons from the Beatitudes.  I hope and pray that you will pray for him and his family and benefit from his writings.  Would you pray for his family in your daily prayers?  His wife is Ratchanee, and his three sons are Onesimus, Nicodemus and Theophilus. 


The Beatitudes is one of the most famous texts of the New Testament in the Bible. The Beatitudes are the eight statements of blessedness spoken by Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12), each starting with the words, "Blessed are..." In these short and beautiful verses, Jesus lays out the character sketch of a Christian. The person whom Jesus describes in this passage has a different quality of character and lifestyle than those still "outside the kingdom." Augustine was said to have described the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes as a perfect standard of the Christian life. 

Jesus spoke the Beatitudes to "the disciples," not "the crowd." From the text, it becomes evident that Jesus literally "saw the crowds" and "went up on the mountain."   In Luke 6:13-16, Jesus ascended the mountain to summon the twelve disciples. So, Jesus was probably directly teaching and interacting with the disciples while the multitude listened in on the conversation. It is important to note that the Sermon was directed at the disciples. They are blessings pronounced to those who are already Jesus' followers, not the conditions of entry for outsiders. Jesus earlier had already given the message of repentance to the disciples. Jesus said in Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” To such disciples who repented and were now followers, Jesus the master teacher gave the Sermon on the Mount, describing what true blessedness is or, in other words, who is a Christian and what he will look like.

Eight Beatitudes begin with the exact words, 'Blessed are.' Even though there are eight statements on the Beatitudes, we should consider them as one unit. You can see that the eight Beatitudes of verses 3–10 are a unit when you look at the first and the eighth. Notice the promise of the first Beatitude in verse 3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." And notice the promise of the eighth beatitude in verse 10: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Both have the identical promise, "For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." So we must take the eight Beatitudes as one unit, much like the fruit of the Spirit, which has nine characteristics but is still one fruit of the Spirit.

Another important thing about the promise is the tense. Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them,"—present tense. Then, when you come down to verse 10, He says, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them." So you have this present tense—the kingdom is theirs—and in between, in verses 4 through 9, they are all future tense: " Verse 4: "For they shall be comforted." Verse 5: "For they shall inherit the earth." Verse 6: "For they shall be satisfied." Verse 7: "For they shall obtain mercy." Verse 8: "For they shall see God." Verse 9: "For they shall be called the sons of God."

What does that teach us? You can both count on the promises of God which have a present reality and future promise. For example, we have the promise of comfort, 'they shall be comforted.' We are comforted now on earth through the Holy Spirit, our comforter through the means of grace like the Word of God and Prayer, but we know that full comfort will only be in heaven. As Revelation 21:4 says, "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore."  We partly experience the comfort of God now, but there is a future promise when perfect comfort will be ours. We have foretastes of it now, but we will experience vastly more in the future.

One of the keywords of the Beatitudes is 'blessed.' Some translations use 'happy' instead of 'blessed.' Happiness is temporary. Not even the most optimistic person in the world is happy all the time. We know of many celebrities who ended their life after depression. The reality is we all face sorrow, sadness, and down days. We feel happy one day, and the next, we might feel depressed. The word 'blessed' has a much deeper meaning as it has to do with our souls, our inner being. This blessedness is not merely an emotional state but an inner attitude that gives us true peace, joy, contentment and fullness of life.   It refers to a deep, contented state, deep in the heart, knowing we belong to God and are joyful knowing His love and sovereignty.   A truly blessed person will experience His favour and grace in spite of trials. The apostle Paul writes about the times he has been shipwrecked, lost at sea, beaten nearly to death, put in prison, and then he writes about the joy that comes from his faith in Christ. None of those were happy experiences, but they didn't diminish his joy as he knew he was blessed.  We are indeed blessed people and will remain blessed because of Christ.

Jesus wants us to enjoy this blessedness as these are the characteristics of God's children. The Beatitudes are about life and about how to live. The Beatitudes are the foundation of the Christian life upon which a godly life is to build for God's glory. This is the blueprint of true joy and satisfied living. Jesus calls the disciples to live a life of blessedness. Take a closer look at the Beatitudes and the sins present in the world, and you will see two paths ahead of us and with clearly two sets of invitations. Both call us to serve them, eat their fruit, enjoy, believe, and experience life.  But only one will lead us and make us blessed. Listen to this invitation from Jesus to us and embrace the Beatitudes.

Do you have these character traits? Are you a blessed person?


Rev Mathews


More Lively Hope



  • Welcome to our pulpit – Rev Kyle Graham.
  • With easing of restrictions, worship services will resume as before with Sunday School children and families in the Sanctuary, with light refreshments after service.
  • Final reminder that ACM ministry reports are to be submitted by today.
  • Tithes & offerings - electronic - refer to Lively Hope. Please indicate if it is for offering, tithe or for a specific person or ministry.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence for the past week.
  • Easing of COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia.
  • Integrated Fellowship camp: speaker (Rev Kyle Graham), organisers and all who attended.
  • Journey mercies: Pastor Ki & Sis Myung Ki (Mildura), IF campers (Woodhouse); and all who have travelled.


Prayer Requests

  • Healing: Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore) & all others who are unwell.
  • Recovery from COVID-19 - Sis Ang Liang’s husband, Elder Ady, and daughter, Olyvia.
  • Comfort in grief.



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