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Sermons on the Beatitudes Hardcover – November 1, 2006
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These sermons were delivered to encourage and illuminate its hearers, and they continue to do so.
I was especially heartened by the sermon entitled, "The Broken Blessed," on Matthew 5:1-4 and Luke 6:20-21. Calvin begins by pointing out that Christ's aim in the Beatitudes is "to show where true peace of mind lies, and what goals are especially worth pursuing" (18). We are mistaken if "we naturally regard as unhappy anyone who suffers poverty, want or sickness, who limps miserably through life, who never has a day's good health or who endures calumny or disgrace. Such things, we feel, are quite contrary to our nature. ... In short, we cannot reconcile the blessedness we seek with the idea of shame, poverty, hunger, thirst and other such afflictions. Here we need to reflect on the kind of life to which our Lord Jesus Christ calls us once we are in his school. He bids each of us renounce self and take up our cross. ... In a word, to take up our load is to be reckoned as utterly miserable so far as this world is concerned. That is the plain ABC which is taught in the school of our Lord Jesus Christ" (19). Calvin goes on to point out that our happiness and blessedness comes because "we have in view the ultimate outcome ... how God turns all that to good and to our salvation" (20). But it "is not simply a matter of being poor or miserable. There are many who experience poverty without being humbled by it. Rather they resist God as much as they can" (22). But the "poor in spirit" are "those who rightly humbled by the experience of affliction, have put aside their pride and look to God alone for help" (23). In this vein, Calvin continues to enrich us by building on these fundamentals for the rest of the sermon, opening to us the wisdom contained in these weighty verses of Scripture.
As an added bonus for those who would like to buy an extra copy as a gift as well as their own library, this slim Banner of Truth edition is beautifully bound and of fine quality.
After I read into the fourth sermon, I was feeling naked. I saw that I am in a great need of God's Grace.