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“Blessed are the Poor in Spirit” (Matthew 5:3) by Librae Jackson, Deacon
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
Posted by: The Gospel Church | more..
1,750+ views | 130+ clicks
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3)

This is the first of a group of statements, commonly known as "The Beatitudes." These are the first words which would comprise what's been famously called "The Sermon on the Mount." This is a lesson that The Lord Jesus Christ taught to His disciples, who were seated there with Him. The discourse consisted of instruction that was not only valuable for those disciples who were in His presence on that mountain, but also for those of us who would, thereafter, become His disciples. To the believing soul, these words are as fresh and meaningful, as when they were first spoken.

In these beatitudes, a series of blessings are pronounced. Let's learn here what it means to be blessed, according to Christ, who is, Himself, the source of all blessings. Everyone has their own ideas about what it means to be blessed. Let's hear the truth from Him, who is the actual authority on blessedness. Observe how it begins:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit"

It's notable that the first Gospel blessing He presents here, is for those who are spiritually poor. Before any other blessings are granted, this necessary first one will be experienced. The Gospel is the wisdom of God, and He wisely prescribes spiritual poverty as the way to blessedness. Indeed, the poverty, itself, can also be understood as a blessing. God blesses us with spiritual poverty, and He blesses the spiritually poor. Either way, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" is a good promise. The reason attached to it is "for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."

To be spiritually poor is to have nothing with which to recommend oneself to God. It's to be cognizant of the inability to please God, in and of, oneself. It's to have insufficient funds for purchasing salvation, or any other blessing from God. It's to be destitute of true goodness, and in need of the grace of God. It's to have no individual merit to present to God. It's to be absolutely empty and weak; devoid of spiritual strength; inept to perform godliness; unable to produce the holiness that God requires; impotent to live up to God's standard of righteousness; too sinful to earn God's favor; too inadequate to be considered worthy of any blessing. Truly, these characteristics belong to every human being. But if we are conscious of them, and they bring us to Christ, then we are blessed.

To be spiritually poor is to be totally dependent upon God alone. This is who gets blessed. It's a blessing to be aware of one's inability to stand before holy God, without a Mediator. They, who know this, are they, who get to Christ. These are the people for whom the Gospel is good news. All spiritual blessings are in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). He has done everything necessary to secure our salvation and eternal blessedness. Only the spiritually poor will have and experience the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8). Our confidence is rightly appropriated, as we focus not on what we do for God, but in what God does for us. We trust Him to give us the fruits of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

"Blessed are the poor in spirit"

Many go about religion the wrong way - along the path of self-reliance. Ignorantly, they think themselves rich enough to rouse some sort of spiritual power, from within themselves, to serve God. Rather than trusting Christ, they trust their own wills, thinking that what they muster up can somehow be good enough. They greatly underestimate the depths of their sinfulness, and as of yet, are not in desperate need of a Redeemer, to pay the entire cost of what they owe. They're not poor, spiritually. There's no sense of indebtedness for the broken Law of God, which cannot be paid by mere humans.

But those whom God blesses, and calls blessed, are brought low, and made to see our need of a Savior. The awareness of our sin makes us long for forgiveness, cleansing and deliverance. Then, we are encouraged to look to Jesus, who came to "save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). We see that "when were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). He said explicitly: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17). God's blessings are for those who acknowledge that they don't deserve to be blessed by Him.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit"

Being poor in spirit has nothing to do with being bereft of enthusiasm, or low in emotional energy. It has everything to do with being bereft of self-sufficiency, and emptied of spiritual pride. This is the type of person who God describes as blessed. This is the type of person who gets grace.

The Scriptures proclaim: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:5). God only helps the helpless. He only provides for the needy. He only feeds the hungry. He only heals the sick. He only fixes the broken. He only enriches the poor.

Blessed are we, if we understand, like Hannah, that "The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up" (1 Samuel 2:7).

Being poor in spirit will cause us to trust Christ, and go to Him for what we need. We refrain from touting our own virtue, and in desperation, seek to "touch the hem of His garment" (Matthew 14:35-36).

Being poor in spirit will transform our character from that of the self-righteous Pharisee, to that of the penitent tax collector (Luke 18:9-12). Thus, rather than admiring ourselves and despising others, we now despise ourselves, and have compassion on others. We know the plague of our own hearts, and walk humbly with our God, according to His mercy.

"for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven"

This is the reason that spiritual poverty is important. The spiritually poor are the people whom God brings into His kingdom. Weak and insignificant as we may be, our sufficiency is Christ. In Him, we have the kingdom of Heaven, and all that it entails, as a free gift of grace. Because of Him, we're invited into the very home of God.

In Christ, we are now able to stand in the presence of God. We have been made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). And though we are still sinners, we have conquering strength, because we are saved by grace.

He says “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)." If left to ourselves, we'd have reason to fear, but God is so pleased with Christ, that we are, by faith, absolutely secure in Him. Being given the kingdom of Heaven means that we are taken care of, by God. This King provides for all of our needs.

Being given the kingdom of Heaven means that our hearts have been conquered, and we are willingly under His rule. We're taught to relinquish our own thrones, and bow to Him as King.

Being given the kingdom of Heaven means that we're now able to serve God, because we are subjects in His kingdom. We have inclusion into God's family, with all of the rights and privileges of His children. The magnitude of our sonship is such that we are even described as joint heirs with Christ! (Romans 8:17)

Being given the kingdom of Heaven means that as we go into the world, preaching His kingdom, we are going in the King's authority. He said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (Matthew 28:18).

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven"

The kingdom of Heaven is for those who are too spiritually poor to contribute to it, but who receive it as a free gift. There are people in this world who are materially poor, and rely upon the charitable giving of others. Spiritually, we are blessed if we rely upon the charitable giving of God Almighty. To be poor in spirit is to be a constant recipient of God's grace. The kingdom of Heaven is something that we cannot merit, but in Christ, we can inherit.

Librae Jackson Librae Jackson

Category:  Librae Jackson

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