So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19, NASB)
The third of five principles to keep in mind in studying the Beatitudes is that the character built by living the Beatitudes has nothing to do with natural tendencies of individual Christians. Nobody is born with the nature to live the Beatitudes besides Christ Himself. No matter one’s natural disposition, this character cannot be built upon the nature of man in his fallen state. We are the man after the fall of Genesis 3 – man born into sin. Those born after Adam are compared to those who are born after Christ in Romans Chapter 5:12-31. Before Christ’s act upon the cross brought justification man in his natural state is lost and is incapable of living out the Beatitudes. Before Christ man is made a sinner through disobedience. After Christ man is made righteous by accepting the free gift of grace of new birth that leads to justification. Now living the Beatitudes is possible, but only in Christ the perfect man.
For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. (Romans 12:3, Amplified, emphasis added)
And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. (Romans 11:6, NKJV)
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things to come [that will happen in the future]. (John 16:13, Amplified)
It is only through Christ that we can stand before God; and it is only in Christ that we can build Christian Character by living the Beatitudes. The nature the Beatitudes describe is the nature of Christ and no man can stand in the flesh and claim to obtain Christ’s nature of their own doing. Man cannot work his way to Christ’s character. It is only by grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18; John 15:26-27) that such Christians with the character of the Beatitudes are reborn. To conclude our third principle: the Beatitudes present the character of Christ and must be built upon the grace of rebirth and the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18, NKJV)
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27, NASB)
Pray now to allow the Holy Spirit to be in complete control of your life as you seek to develop Christian character and the first beatitude of being poor in spirit.