The Beatitudes are not a description of how to get saved, rather they are a description of how saved people live immediately and increasingly as they grow in their salvation graces. The Beatitudes describe the Kingdom attitudes and actions that characterize its citizens living temporarily as ambassadors in a fallen and hostile world.
If the Beatitudes sound otherworldly, it’s because they are. You can only live this way if you’ve been born from above. Nevertheless, to make them a little easier to understand, I’ve attempted to translate them into a more contemporary idiom.
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit = blessed are those who are lowly, beaten down and disadvantaged in this world.
2. Blessed are those who mourn = blessed are those who have no hope in this world and who see the brokenness of this world.
3. Blessed are the meek = blessed are those who don’t push back and who don’t strive, cheat and scheme to succeed in this world.
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness = blessed are those who want more for this world, who want justice and mercy and kindness and truth in this world.
5. Blessed are the merciful = blessed are those who are not eager to condemn the people of this world, who assume the best, seek to understand and are quick to forgive.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart = blessed are the people who have not been corrupted by this world, who can still see beauty and whose hearts incline toward that which is right, loving and good.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers = blessed are those who seek reconciliation between God and man, and between friends and neighbours.
8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake = blessed are those who will push through some suffering and bear a little shame in order to pursue the Kingdom of God on earth – for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thanks be to God!
Pastor Paul Carter
N.B. To find the book I wrote on the Beatitudes see here.