Zum Charakter der Berpredigt und der Seligpreisungen
The Sermon on the Mount was preached primarily and specifically to the disciples. … (W)e are not told in the Sermon on the Mount, `Live like this and you will become Christian'; rather we are told, `Because you are Christian live like this.'
(The Beautitudes) present a composite picture, so that each one of them should show a part of the Christian character. … the character of the Christian is described positively and negatively. First we see the sort of man he is, and then we are told, because he is that, certain things happen to him.
(H)appiness is never something that should be sought directly; it is always something that results from seeking something else. … The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it.
Zu den einzelnen Seligpreisungen
The world believes in self-confidence, self-expression and the mastery of life; the Christian believes in being `poor in spirit'.
To `mourn' is something that follows of necessity from being `poor in spirit'. It is quite inevitable. As I confront God and His holiness, and contemplate the life that I am meant to live, I see myself, my utter helplessness and hopelessness.
To be truly meek means we no longer protect ourselves, because we see there is nothing worth defending.
To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to desire to be free from self in all its horrible manifestations, in all its forms.
(To be gracious) does not mean only feeling pity; it means a great desire, and indeed an endeavour, to do something to relieve the situation.
The only way in which we can have a clean heart is for the Holy Spirit to enter into us and to cleanse it for us.
The peacemaker has only one concern, and it is the glory of God amongst men.
In a sense it is because the Christian is a peacemaker that he is persecuted.