THE MESSAGE OF THE FIRST FOUR OF THE
SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
The Sermon on the Mount is much more than just another sermon which Jesus spoke while here on earth. As He gathered the men who would take His message to the world, He is giving to them the key to what all of Christianity is about, and God’s ultimate purpose in creating man. Centuries had passed in which man had viewed God
as a law-giver and demanding ruler of the Universe. Paul tells us that in that space of time, man had learned that he could not please God by keeping all His laws. Paul calls that time of law a “schoolmaster” to make us aware that we needed a Savior. However, man needed more than just a Savior. He needed a different concept of why he was created and what God wanted from him. The Sermon on the Mount gives the answer to those questions. It addresses the spirit of man who was made in the image of God, who is Spirit.
One or more of the seven fundamental principles which Jesus lists here are found in everything He taught in the rest of His earthly life. They form the essence of Christianity, and as we examine them, we will see why. Jesus was not only Savior, but He came to show us how God wanted us to live. He said, “When you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”.
The first four principles which we have studied describe the attitude man should have about himself. They are the antithesis of what Adam proved to be, when left to make his own decisions. He lacked the humility to realize that he was a created being and therefore subject to the purposes of his Creator. Had he been “poor in spirit”, he would have acted differently. Deciding that he could find purpose and happiness for himself, without God’s guidance, was his first mistake.
Adam’s second mistake was failing to realize that God’s ways were wiser and greater than his own, and therefore not choosing the greater wisdom. He lacked “meekness” in that he did not lose himself in that which was greater than himself, and in that, showed his lack of wisdom. Men still act out these two mistakes regularly.
Life on this earth is temporary and filled with sorrows, pain and failures. This is because we depend upon our limited and imperfect selves to give meaning to our life. The man who realizes this, and mourns his foolishness in failing to follow God, is finally on the road to glory. If one earnestly wants to be righteous and acceptable to His Father above, he puts himself in a position where God can solve his problems. This means doing what God wants, what Jesus would do, in every situation of life. The desire for righteousness must be followed by self-discipline and humble obedience to His will, no matter what the cost.
The first four fundamental principles which we have studied are the ways which we must develop in order to get the earth man with all his failures and hopelessness out of the way. Only then can God, who gives us the power of choice, move in and fill us with glory beyond anything which earth affords. He will do this only if we are willing to let Him bless us. We shall see this in the last three of the seven principles of Christianity which we are now about to study.