Kingdom Living Is Communal
Conversion to Christ and to the cross should lead in turn to conversion to community. Kingdom living is about loving and serving God and others, and it is most clearly embodied in the eight beatitudes that introduce our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12):
1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Poverty of spirit is the realization of our utter bankruptcy before God and our consequent need of His grace.
2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Growing awareness of the depth of our sin leads to contrition and repentance.
3. “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Those who understand their true condition before God have nothing to boast about; instead, they walk in the humility of radical dependence upon God for all things.
4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” People who cultivate passion for God and His character discover that satisfaction is the byproduct of seeking God’s approval above that of men.
5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” The more we realize how mercifully God has treated us in the past and present, the greater our capacity to show mercy and grace to those who injure us.
6. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Those who are pure in heart will one thing above all else. Because of this, they are single-minded, not double-minded, and they walk in simplicity, not duplicity.
7. “Blessed are peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” People who enjoy peace with God and with themselves become peacemakers in their relationships with others.
8. “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Those who are serious about serving the best interests of believers and outsiders run the risk of rejection, misunderstanding, and betrayal. But they press on through the pain when their eyes are focused on Jesus.
Notice the corporate implications of the beatitudes—when our character is centered on Christ, our conduct with others is marked by humility, compassion, gentleness, sincerity, mercy, truthfulness, reconciliation, and security.
The body of Christ is the New Testament context for relational unity in diversity and oneness in plurality.
Taken from Ken Boa’s Handbook to Spiritual Growth
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