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Wesley’s Sermon on “The Sermon on the Mount”

November 28, 2007

Hello all.

I wonder if I have any readers left since I only post about once a month now!  It gets harder and harder to get on here and post.  There are a number of reasons for that, but none of them are really good.  I suppose the main reason is that I’m mainly just teaching a whole lot and have no news for my family and friends about the wonderful country of Thailand.  I will be travelling soon (again) and hope to send out some pictures and do some blogging.  I’m not sure I sent out that last round of pictures, but if I didn’t I will be sure to this time.

Anyway, I wanted to briefly post on what I’ve been reading lately, mainly John Wesley.  This man could preach!  He challenges me to my core and ever makes me realize how in need I am of Christ’s redemptive grace and mercy ALONE!  So I want to leave you with a small part of this sermon.  May it whet your appetite for more:

“Who then are “the poor in spirit?” Without question, the humble; they who know themselves; who are convinced of sin; those to whom God hath given that first repentance, which is previous to faith in Christ.

One of these can no longer say, “I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing;” as now knowing, that he is “wretched, and poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked.” He is convinced that he is spiritually poor indeed; having no spiritual good abiding in him. “In me,” saith he, “dwelleth no good thing,” but whatsoever is evil and abominable…He sees more and more of the evil tempers which spring from that evil root; the pride and haughtiness of spirit, the constant bias to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; the vanity, the thirst after the esteem or honour that cometh from men, the hatred or envy, the jealousy or revenge, the anger, malice, or bitterness; the inbred enmity both against God and man, which appears in ten thousand shapes; the love of the world, the self-will, the foolish and hurtful desires, which cleave to his inmost soul…

O that we may feel what they were not able to express! Sinner, awake! Know thyself! Know and feel, that thou wert “shapen in wickedness,” and that “in sin did thy mother conceive thee;” and that thou thyself hast been heaping up sin upon sin, ever since thou couldst discern good from evil! Sink under the mighty hand of God, as guilty of death eternal; and cast off, renounce, abhor, all imagination of ever being able to help thyself! Be it all thy hope to be washed in His blood, and renewed by his almighty Spirit, who himself “bare all our sins in his own body on the tree!” So shalt thou witness, “Happy are the poor in spirit: For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

 In many ways, this is a call to the lost to turn from their sins, but in other ways, I feel that this is the place that we as Christians must come back to who have become satisfied in our “Christianity.”  Are we poor in spirit?  Do we really have intense sorrow over sin?  And have we fallen at the mercy of Jesus to be thoroughly cleansed?  If we still harbor the above mentioned qualities of love of the world, pride, envy, judgment, etc., then I daresay we have not. 

 Let us come back to this point.  Let us become “poor in spirit.”

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