Glenn's book is basically a commentary on the beatitudes. He shows us upfront that we do not perform them to enter the kingdom, but we perform them because we have already entered the kingdom. They are not a chore that we should do to make God love us. They are the fruit produced from a loving father.
He moves through each beatitude, showing what the meaning is and how it relates to the Christian life.
This is part summary - part review of the book.
What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
When we realize that we can not enter the Kingdom of God with our good works, we are on our way to finding out.
To be poor in spirit is to understand that Christ is our righteousness. He had to pay the price. We are poor. We have no way to pay our own price. He becomes our payment.
Why are those who mourn, blessed?
They are blessed because of the comfort they receive, not the mourning they endure. We can not mourn until we realize that our sin is something to mourn about. When we see how our sin is opposed to God, we will truly mourn.
God can not comfort us with the good news of the gospel until we mourn over the bad news of the law. We deserve hell. We have sinned against the Creator.
What does it mean to be meek?
Jesus was meek, but he turned tables over in the temple and ran out the money changers. Meek does not equal weak. Meekness means we do not put our self interests first. Jesus did not defend Himself. He had every right to. He never sinned. But we, on the other hand, deserve many of the things people accuse us of. We are sinful.
Hungering for righteousness?
We have to realize that we are not righteous. True righteousness comes only from Christ. We should hunger for the righteousness that we could never achieve on our own.
What is it to show mercy?
Mercy is to absorb the other person's need or wrong. It can not just disappear, it has to be taken away.
What does it mean to be pure in heart?
It does not mean to be nice. Nice people still go to hell. The gospel doesn't want to make you nice. It wants to remake you into a new creature. To be truly pure in heart does not mean to be perfect. It means to be truthful. To admit that your heart is not pure is to be pure in heart.
What is a peacemaker?
We are to bring people together in harmony just as Jesus made peace between us and the farther. It is one who helps reconcile people to each other and to God.
Ultimately Jesus fulfills each of the beatitudes. Because He is the fulfillment, we can do those things spoken of. It is out of love and not command. They are a description of those who have already entered the kingdom.
This was a very engaging book. Short and to the point, it shows us each beatitude and what it means. The Gospel is not a set of moral codes, it is an exchange of my unrighteousness for His righteousness. The beatitudes show us how that exchange is to be lived out.
I recommend this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
I received this book free of charge from Shepherd Press and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.