For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people). (1 Corinthians 14:33, Amplified)
For it is [His prophets repeating over and over] precept upon precept, precept upon precept, rule upon rule (or line upon line); here a little, there a little. (Isaiah 28:10, Amplified)
The Beatitudes are at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Sermon) by design. Order in the Bible is important (as in the construction metaphor previously used) and the Beatitudes illustrate this. God is a God of order, not disorder; of peace, not confusion. The Beatitudes were put together in deliberate sequence. The Beatitudes, and the Sermon as a whole, cannot be understood if it was put together in another order. When God gives us a lesson on Christian character we would expect it to be perfectly delivered. Isaiah 28:9-13 explains God’s way of teaching, “…precept upon precept, line upon line…” As two follows one and four follows three, each verse in the Beatitudes is in the only order that works in unison with the whole.
To use another analogy, look at the beginning of the Sermon much like a novel. The setting and characters are introduced and defined to give life to the rest of the story. In the same manner the Sermon starts with the Beatitudes which lay a foundation for the story of Christian character. The Lord is the Master story-teller and His masterpiece is the Sermon, and within the Sermon, the Beatitudes are where it all begins. Within the Beatitudes each subsequent Beatitude builds upon the previous one to give understanding to the disciple as a story-teller would develop a plot, the protagonist, and the antagonist. The Sermon has the same sequence as a novel. There is a beginning and there is an end and in between the story is told. This design not only shows the teaching method of the Creator, but the pathway to His purpose for us, as for the disciples before us. The purpose of the Sermon is building Christlike character.
Whenever reading the words of Christ the importance of the audience must be in view. Matthew 5:1-2 recognizes that the words were meant for disciples. The address was not intended for non-believers, the world, society, or democracies. The discourse is meant for believers, Christians who are His disciples. That is the premise from which this study will play out. The Sermon is not a lofty idea of how the world is to function. The Sermon is meant for Christians as the ideal for Christian living.
Commit today in prayer to treat the Sermon on the Mount as it was intended by Christ – your guide on how to live the Christian life. We start with the Beatitudes, and the Beatitudes begin with poor in spirit.