Micah 6:1-8, Psalm 15, 1 Cor 1:18-31, Matthew 5:1-12
The Sermon on the Mount opens with the beatitudes—eight statements beginning with the word blessed. This word affirms a state of blessing that already exists. Each beatitude declares that a group of people usually regarded as afflicted is actually blessed. Those blessed do not have to do anything to attain this blessing. Jesus simply declares that they have already been blessed. Thus the beatitudes are first of all declarations of God’s grace. They are not conditions of salvation or roadmaps to earn entry to God’s kingdom.