And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying… – Matthew 5: 1-2
Among the revered writings penned on paper, but etched in American history is the Bill of Rights. These simple, but radical rights adopted by the founding fathers in 1789 are guaranteed to all citizens of the United States of America. Time will not permit a discussion of the ironic fact that the original drafters of these rights claimed them for themselves while withholding them from Native Americans, African slaves and women. Suffice it to say, however, that at least they had a vision of liberty which transcended their own parochialism and prejudice.
Citizens of the Kingdom of God also have a series of rights. Jesus revealed them at the beginning of what has come to be called the Sermon on the Mount. This Believer’s Bill of Rights, which has traditionally been called The Beatitudes, express what those who accept Christ can expect and do experience. The Ten Commandments might be seen as the Believer’s Bill of Responsibilities while The Beatitudes could be seen as the Believer’s Bill of Rights.
They pretty much speak for themselves.
- v03 – Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- v04 – Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
- v05 – Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
- v06 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
- v07 – Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
- v08 – Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
- v09 – Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
- v10 – Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- v11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
- v12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
If you qualify for the first part of the verse, then you have a right to expect the second part!