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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. JOHN F. MACARTHUR pastors Grace Community Church The Only Way To Happiness: The Beatitudes (Foundations of the Faith) - Kindle edition by John MacArthur. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks.
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Character Formation: The Foundation for Living the Beatitudes

The dignity of the human person is an example of an eternal truth. The protection of innocent life is always a good to be achieved. The Ten Commandments express the principal precepts of the natural law. The beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount build upon the Ten Commandments by showing what a person who yields to the grace of God and imitates the life of Christ must do in love. They are able to choose between good and evil so long as they remain on earth.

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Freedom also makes the human person responsible for his or her acts: What does the person want or desire; what is he or she looking for? Obviously, the ultimate good can and should be behind every subordinate good: In the present example, a person who wants to do well out of fear of God is less good than one wanting to do well out of glorifying God. For the most part, human beings engage these principles automatically after living the Christian faith for years and through a conscience that has been well-formed by prayer, study and good habits.

Still, the principles can be very helpful, even to mature Christians, in times of crisis or in matters that are difficult to discern.

Beatitudes

They can provide support and grounding when responding to a culture that relativizes truth and goodness. An analogy might be a better way to show how living by the principles of Christian morality blossoms into a participation in the love of Christ. Who is freer to play the piano? A person who has never played before or the virtuoso who started playing when she was 5 years old, dedicating countless hours to learning notes, reading music and perfecting timing? Obviously it is the virtuoso. Through her discipline and practice and by developing her skill from the firm foundation of the fundamentals, the virtuoso now has the freedom to play the piano whenever she wants.

Moreover, whereas the basic skills are still evident in her playing, she no longer thinks about them.


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Indeed, now that they have been formed into a good habit, they free her to express her own personality in the music. The analogy is not perfect.

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Christian morality is not a discipline in the same sense as playing the piano if for no other reason than Christian morality originates in the person of Jesus, who is able to grant his gifts to whomever he pleases. Yet, the analogy is helpful. A person needs to know the basic rules and commandments of Christ to put them into practice.

The person, moreover, needs to be an active participant in a relationship with Jesus: Receiving his grace and love, too, through participation in the sacraments, and then sharing these gifts with others, are part of anticipating the full communion in heaven.

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All of these good practices build up a person to both receive and to share the love of Christ. Yet, when love has matured, the demands are sweet and become an oblation to the One who is perfect Love. May each person, through the grace and love of Christ, enter this perfect Love who remains for all God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. David Werning writes from Virginia. Foundations of the Faith Part 7: Scripture and Tradition reveal that the first human beings misused their intellect and free will, choosing to turn from God by sinning, which can be defined as disobeying the will of God that had been made known to them: Skip to content Skip to search.

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Series Foundations of the faith Foundations of the faith Chicago, Ill. Contents Machine derived contents note: Notes "Review and study guide" by James S.

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The Only Way To Happiness: The Beatitudes (Foundations of the Faith) by John F. MacArthur Jr.

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