True spiritual mourning produces a hatred for our sin and a repentant heart that desires to be in a right relationship with the Lord. We should desire to be holy as God is holy.
Mourning is to be our lifestyle. It’s not just a one time moment when we first came to a recognition of our utter spiritual poverty before the Lord—it is a continual part of our lives as believersTrue spiritual mourning produces a hatred for our sin and a repentant heart that desires to be in a right relationship with the Lord.
We want to cultivate hearts that are sensitive to the sin our lives and mourn over them. We want our mourning to be genuine not just an emotional reaction or because we got caught but that there is true confession and repentance and genuine mourning.
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Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd Jones
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All of Grace by Charles SpurgeonMourning is to be our lifestyle. It’s not just a one time moment when we first came to a recognition of our utter spiritual poverty before the Lord—it is a continual part of our lives as believers
“Is Jesus, then, giving us a word of general encouragement in what he says here, assuring us that sorrow will eventually abate? Is he saying, ‘Keep going. It will soon pass. Time heals all wounds’? That would be far too superficial a reading of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking about life in the kingdom of God. The poverty he describes is in a man’s spirit, not his pocket. Similarly, the grief Jesus describes is man’s mourning over his own sinfulness; it is regret that he has proved a disappointment to the Lord. Numbed by the discovery of his poverty of spirit, he learns to grieve because of it. Here, then, is another characteristic of the Christian. He does not excuse his sin, or belittle it, or ignore it…As with all spiritual graces, it is possible for us to be deceived about the real nature of this mourning. It is emphatically not to be equated with a heavy and depressive spirit. Some of us by nature are melancholic, and sink more easily in our spirits. We become introverted and develop a poor image of ourselves that surfaces in the way we look at or address others, even in the way we hold our heads and walk. But all of these things can be characteristics of a person who is absorbed in himself; rather than is poor in spirit. By contrast, the man who genuinely mourns because of his sin has been drawn out of himself to see God in his holiness and grace. It is this – his sight of God – that has made him mourn. Paradoxically, it is the same sight of God that will bring him comfort. The God against whom he has sinned is one who forgives sinners!”
~ Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Sermon on the Mount, Kingdom Life in a Fallen World
“In my morning devotions my soul was exceedingly melted, and bitterly mourned over my exceeding sinfulness and vileness.”
~ David Brainerd
How can one know they are mourning as Christ teaches?: Knowing whether or not we have godly mourning is not difficult. First, we need to ask ourselves if we are sensitive to sin. If we laugh at it, take it lightly, or enjoy it, we can be sure we are not mourning over it and are outside the sphere of God’s blessing. The godly mourner will have true sorrow for his sins. His first concern is for the harm his sin does to God’s glory, not the harm its exposure might bring to his own reputation or welfare. If our mourning is godly we will grieve for the sins of fellow believers and for the sins of the world. We will cry with the psalmist, “My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Thy law” (Ps. 119:136). We will wish with Jeremiah that our heads were fountains of water that we could have enough tears for weeping (Jer. 9:1; cf. Lam. 1:16). With Ezekiel we will search out faithful believers “who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed” around us (Ezek. 9:4; cf. Ps. 69:9). We will look out over the community where we live and weep, as Jesus looked out over Jerusalem and wept (Luke 19:41). The second way to determine if we have genuine mourning over sin is to check our sense of God’s forgiveness. Have we experienced the release and freedom of knowing our sins are forgiven? Do we have His peace and joy in our life? Can we point to true happiness He has given in response to our mourning? Do we have the divine comfort He promises to those who have forgiven, cleansed, and purified lives? The godly mourners “who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Ps 126:5–6).”
~ John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 Commentary
“A wicked man will say he is a sinner, but a child of God says, I have done this evil.” ~ Thomas Watson
“God’s comfort is relational. It comes in the form of his divine companionship. He is our ally. He personally binds up our sorrows and consoles us. How comprehensive our comfort is! It is immediate. It comes to us alone. It comes personally in the Person of the Holy Spirit. And it is based on the forgiveness of our sins. That is why we are called “blessed.” What a stupendous paradox! Jesus stands truth on its head to get our attention, and he says, “Would you be comforted? Then mourn. Would you be happy? Then weep.” Only when a person mourns (and weeps) over his or her own sinfulness will that person be comforted by the only Comforter who can relieve their spiritual distress. To those who mourn God grants pardon, forgiveness, deliverance, strength and reassurance. Jesus Christ with His own precious blood has fully satisfied all our sins (1John 1:6, 7, 8, 9), and delivered us from all the power of evil. You can either sweep your sins “under the rug” or you can put them under the blood. The choice is yours beloved. Hughes asks “Have you experienced that in your life? Have you been flat on your face before God mourning over your sins and failures and found Him to come and place His hand on your shoulder and deep within your soul you know His peace that passes all understanding. If you are carrying a deep burden of sin and you sense that grief even to the point that it is beyond you to carry, drop it at the feet of Jesus and receive His pardon and grace. He speaks to the soul with pardon and release and assurance that all your sins are under His blood…The saddest thing in life is not a sorrowing heart, but a heart that is incapable of grief over sin, for it is without grace. Without poverty of spirit no one enters the kingdom of God. Likewise, without its emotional counterpart – grief over sin – no one receives the comfort of forgiveness and salvation. For Christians, mourning over sin is essential to spiritual health. It is significant that the first of Martin Luther’s famous 95 Theses states that the entire life is to be one of continuous repentance and contrition. It was this attitude in the Apostle Paul that caused him to affirm, well along into his Christian life, that he was the chief of sinners (1Ti 1:15).
~ R. Kent Hughes, Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom.
2 Corinthians 12:21
2 Timothy 3:12
1 John 1:9
1 Corinthians 7:10
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Martyn Lloyd Jones
Sermon on the Mount The: Matthew 5-7 Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice
Matthew 1-7 MacArthur New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur
Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew by J.C. Ryle
The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom (ESV Edition) by R. Kent Hughes
Sermon on the Mount by Sinclair Ferguson
The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 by Thomas Watson
The Message of the Sermon on the Mount by John Stott
Sermon on the Mount Teaching Series by Sinclair Ferguson at Ligonier Connect
The Beatitudes by R.C. Sproul at Ligonier Connect
The Beatitudes from 50,000 Feet Sermon by Alistair Begg
The Beatitudes, Part 1 (Matthew 5:1-4) Sermon by R.C. Sproul
The Only Way to Happiness: Be Poor in Spirit Sermon by John MacArthur
Rags to Riches (Matthew 5:3) Sermon by Pastor Ross Layne at Grace Community Church
Study Guide for Sermon on the Mount at Blue Letter Bible