Pre-Requisites of Happiness
Matt.5:1-12, "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
A. The Sermon On The Mount was given with Authority by virtue of Christ's office.
1. Casual instruction was usually given while strolling around or standing.
2. Official (Authoritative) teaching was given from a seated position.
B. The Beatitudes deal primarily with Character rather than Conduct.
C. All Christians are to be like the Beatitudes.
1. The Beatitudes are a Description of what Every Christian is meant to be.
2. It is Not merely the description of some Exceptional Christians.
3. We are All meant to exemplify Everything that is contained the Beatitudes.
4. We need to understand that the beatitudes are written to Christians.
D. No Man Naturally conforms to the descriptions given in the beatitudes.
1. Each beatitude is a Disposition which is Produced By The Grace of God alone.
2. The work of the Holy Spirit in us .....
E. These descriptions clearly indicate the essential Difference between the Christian and the Non-Christian.
1. Different in what the Admire,
2. Different in what they Seek,
3. Different in what they Do,
4. The more we become Like Christ, the more we become Unlike Everybody who is Not A Christian.
F. The Christian and the Non-Christian belong to two entirely Different Worlds.
G. "Blessed" in the Beatitudes means --- "Happy" ...
I. Everyone Is Seeking To Find Happiness!
1. A French Philosopher said, "The whole world is on a mad quest for security and happiness."
2. A past President of Harvard University has said, "The world is searching for a creed to believe and a song to sing."
3. A Texas Millionaire confided, "I though money could buy happiness --- I have been miserably disillusioned."
4. A Famous Film Star broke down, "I have money, beauty, glamour and popularity. I should be the happiest woman in the world, but I am miserable. Why?"
5. One of Britain's Top Social Leaders said, "I have lost all desire to live, yet I have everything to live for. What is the matter?"
6. A College Senior said, I am twenty-three. I have lived through enough experiences to be old, and I am already fed up with life."
7. A Famous Grecian Dancer of yesteryear once said, "I have never been alone but what my hands trembled, my eyes filled with tears, and my heart ached for a peace and happiness I have never found."
B. This Materialistic World rushes on in it's Mad Search for Happiness.
1. The More Knowledge we acquire, the Less Wisdom we seem to have.
2. The More Economic Security we gain, the More Boredom we generate.
3. The More Worldly Pleasure we enjoy, the Less Satisfied and Contented we are with life.
C. Happiness cannot be found in a world of sin and of sinful men.
1. True happiness Cannot be found from Within or from Without.
2. For true happiness you must look Upward --- Beyond yourself --- Beyond men --- Beyond things .....
3. You must Look To God Himself --- the Only possessor of Real Happiness.
Psalm 144:15, "Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD."
D. Personal happiness is fundamentally a Distinct Quality of God.
1. True happiness Cannot be acquired Apart From God.
2. You cannot have what God has without haveing God Himself.
2 Cor. 1:20, "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."
3. Man was created By God and For God .....
E. The teachings of Christ goes beyond the promise of happiness after death.
1. We need not wait until we die to experience this happiness.
2. The Greek word for "Blessed" is "Makarioi" and means the "Bliss of The Dead" or the "Happiness of The Gods."
3. For the Christian, Happiness After Death is only an Extension and Heightening of our Present Happiness.
II. A Christian Has Within Himself Everything He Needs To Make Him Happy.
A. Col. 1:27, "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
B. The Constitution of The United States guarantees every citizen the right to "life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
1. However, if the Happiness of This World was realized:
a. Would it be the Highest state of well-being to which you may attain? --- No!
b. Would there be Anything Superior to it? --- Yes!
2. The happiness of this world is a Sometime Thing, here today and gone tomorrow.
a. The English word for "Happy" comes from the root word "Hap" meaning "Chance."
b. The happiness of this world, then depends upon the Happenings of Life.
3. Non-Christians seek their happiness Aggressively --- they reach after pleasure, money, fame, power --- all in the pursuit of happiness.
C. God offers us something Far Better than this.
1. A Permanent Joy --- that is Not affected by the Ups and Downs of life.
2. The world around you can Neither Give You this joy nor Deprive You of it.
John 16:22, "And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you."
D. God give us Seven Steps that we must climb in order to reach the peak of Heavenly Happiness upon this earth.
1. The seven steps are know as the "Beatitudes."
2. There are evidently Degrees of Happiness Depending Upon the degree to which you assimilate the beatitudes to your life.
E. Our Lord makes known wherein True Happiness and Blessings consists:
1. Salvation --- Poor In Spirit.
2. Compassion --- Mourn.
3. Consecration --- Meek.
4. Transformation -- Hunger & Thirst After Righteousness.
5. Forgiveness --- Merciful.
6. Cleansing --- Pure In Heart.
7. Restitution --- Peacemaker.
8. Identification --- Persecuted.
F. The Purpose of Christ's Beatitudes, when applied to the human heart, is to change it into Moral Beauty, transforming it's:
1. Selfishness to Love,
2. Hardness to Gentleness,
3. Cruelty to Kindness and Sweetness,
4. Inhumanity to Ministry.
G. The degree of our happiness is determined by How Far We Go With The Beatitudes.
1. The laws of happiness are For Christians Only.
2. To the Non-Christian, they will make No Sense whatsoever.
H. A Christian must Aim at growth, maturity, and Full Expression of the beatitudes which Lie Dormant Within Him.
1. We Cannot Assume that a person becomes perfect the moment he is saved and his sins forgiven.
2. We have a great deal to assimilate and do before we can Grow To Maturity.
3. Actually, what the Lord is giving us, in the Beatitudes, is a guidance on how to Grow To That Mark He has set before us.
I. The beatitudes act like Gideon's Test --- they sift out those who's Appetite For Carnal Things and Worldly Comforts are Uppermost in their life.
1. There are no Accidents in our lives, nor Coincidences, just Providence's.
2. Our knowledge of life is very limited but God always takes the long-range view.
3. He does not look at Failures as the end of our hopes --- but a Steppingstone to the accomplishment of His purposes in our lives.
4. Happiness does Not come from Worldly Accomplishments.
J. Let us cease striving for Greatness --- it has to Come From God.
Psa.75:6, "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south."
K. God's Words Are God's Actions.
1. Whenever God speaks, Energy Is Released.
2. When God Speaks concerning us, Something Happens in our lives --- Blessed .....
3. When You Hear The Preaching of God's Word --- You Are Blessed!
4. God's Word Will Not Return Unto Him Void!
L. It is the Responsibility of Every Christian to achiever the Peak of Happiness.
III. God Commands Every Christian To Be Happy.
A. In The Old Testament:
Lev. 23:40, "And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days."
Deut.16:11, "And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there."
Psalm 5:11, "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee."
Psalm 33:1, "Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright."
Psalm 68:3, "But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice."
Psalm 97:12, "Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness."
Psalm 150:1-6, "Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."
B. In The New Testament:
1 Peter 1:7-9, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 4:12-14, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."
Acts 5:41, "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
Matt. 5:12, "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
C. We Should All Be Happy:
Psa. 144:1-2, "Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: 2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me."
Psa. 144:15, "Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD."
Pro. 16:20, "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he."
If you are Not Happy --- You are Not Trusting The Lord!
D. Paul, While In Prison, wrote to Christians in the comfort of their church.
Phil. 3:1, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe."
Phil. 4:4-7, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
1. Some members of the church at Philippi might not believe that Paul was sincere.
2. Why should we be happy?
1 Thess. 5:16-18, "Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
IV. "Fortune" Either Good or Bad, Has Nothing To Do With A Christian's Happiness.
A. The World Believes that outward comforts and luxuries are absolutely indispensable to contentment of mind and happiness of life.
B. Many people today are happy only because they have been Lucky.
1. If they have Good fortune --- they are Happy.
2. If they have Bad fortune --- they are Sad.
3. Their philosophy is that Happiness Is Conditioned by outward circumstances.
4. They Know Nothing of The Inner Resources that can counteract what they call "Bad Luck".
C. What bring happiness to you?
1. Does it take a Good Day to make you happy?
2. Do your happiness depend upon How People (Even Family) Treat You?
3. If someone told you off today --- some of you could not sleep tonight.
D. "Fortune" either good or bad, has Nothing to do with a Christian's happiness.
1. He can be Poor and yet Rich,
2. He can be Persecuted and yet Blessed,
3. He can be Hungry and yet Satisfied,
4. He can be Empty and yet Full.
5. He can be Sick and yet Healthy.
E. The Christian is indeed a Paradox:
1. He is Dependent Upon God who created him.
2. He is Independent of The World in which he lives.
F. Christians are not happy because of What The World may give them, but because of What God has given them through His Son:
1. Christ Is All-Sufficient.
2. Nothing in the Christian's life must detract from the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. If Our Joy Depends In Any Way upon what we Buy --- Own --- Achieve --- or Experience in this world --- then the Lord Jesus Christ is Less Than Satisfying.
4. Either Christ satisfies us fully or He does not satisfy us at all.
G. Nothing that happens to us from without can take from us the Character of God That Dwells Within Us.
1. When God is within us, we can expect pressure from without.
2. However, the State and Disposition of our Souls --- Not Our Possessions --- is the most important thing in the world.
H. All the Christian should care about is to please God --- because he knows that on this his happiness depends.
1. This is why Christians are Indifferent to the Praises or Criticism of men.
a. Criticism should Strengthen us.
b. Praise should Humble us.
2. Happiness for the Christian Does Not depend upon his being on Good Terms with some man --- at the sacrifice of Godly Principles.
3. His happiness Does depend upon his being In Harmony With God.
4. This Is Why A Christian Can Be:
a. Poor in Spirit --- yet own the Kingdom of Heaven.
b. Mourn --- yet feel Comforted.
c. Meek --- yet Rule The Earth.
d. Hungry & Thirsty --- yet be Full.
e. Persecuted --- yet own the Kingdom of Heaven.
I. Do You Have Christ Within You?
1 John 5:11-12, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
Col. 1:27, "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters