Study 1The Christian’s Character—Part 1
Have you ever met anyone whose claim to be acceptably
“religious” is that he or she “just lives by the Sermon on
the Mount”? Maybe you’ve said those words yourself without
studying the profound implications of Jesus’s teachings. His
idea of “happy” or “blessed” doesn’t start where ours does.
In this well-known passage of Scripture called the Beatitudes,
Jesus did not tell us what to do in order to gain happiness.
Rather, he described the character of a person who is
happy or blessed.
1. Suppose you are eager to join an organization (maybe
a fraternity, a club, or a sports team). Would you
expect admittance based on your good points or
your weaknesses? Explain.
Read Matthew 5:1-6.
2. Why must a person acknowledge spiritual need in
order to enter the kingdom of heaven?
What makes it difficult for people to believe that
God accepts them on those terms?
3. What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
4. How does the emphasis in verse 3 differ from the
emphasis our culture places on self?
5. What is our natural reaction to mourning? Why?
6. By declaring mourners as “blessed,” what part of life
was Jesus affirming?
7. What kinds of mourning are there?
How can mourning fit in with poverty of spirit?
What kind of comfort do such mourners receive?
8. Contrast what Jesus said in verse 5 with the general
human concepts of power and meekness.
9. What does meekness not mean?
10. How does meekness work out in everyday life?
11. What promise is given to the meek?
Do you see this happening in any way? Explain.
12. Put verse 6 into your own words.
What characterizes a person who hungers and
thirsts? What is this “righteousness”?
13. Describe a person you know who hungers and
thirsts after righteousness. What freedoms does
such a person have?
14. How does your own personal hunger for righteousness
affect your sense of fulfillment in life?
Excerpted from The Sermon on the Mount by Gladys Hunt. Copyright © 2000 by Gladys Hunt. Excerpted by permission of Shaw Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.