Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
Matt. 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3, "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
A. Christ begins His sermon with blessings because He Came Into This World To Bless Us.
Acts 3:26, "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."
1. The Old Testament ends with a Curse.
2. The Gospel begins with a Blessings.
B. The general Opinion of Happiness is, blessed are they:
1. That are Rich, and Great, and Honorable in this world.
2. That spend their day in Mirth, and their years in Pleasure.
3. That Eat The Fat and Drink The Sweet.
C. Our Lord came to Correct this Fundamental Error.
1 Cor. 1:20, "Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?"
Psalm 10:3, "For the wicked boasteth of his heartís desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth."
1. The Sermon on The Mount sums up our Savior's teaching.
2. The Beatitudes sums up the Sermon On The Mount.
3. This First Beatitude sums up the remaining Beatitudes.
D. "Poor" --- (Greek) "Ptoochos" --- One who is poor but does Not Satisfy His Own Needs.
1. His help must come from outside.
2. He is empty, poor, helpless.
E. How can a person be poor and at the same time be "Blessed"?
1. Because, "... theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
2. "Is" --- Greek --- Present Indicative Tense.
3. Because you have the Lord Jesus Christ In Your Heart.
a. Luke 17:21, "... behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
b. Though you are poor, you are the Host of A King.
c. "Things" do not bring real satisfaction to us, but a Person can.
F. When the Lord Jesus enters our hearts, we are Not To Order Him Around.
1. He is to Command Us.
2. We are not to establish Him as King and then act like Prime Ministers ourselves.
3. Jesus is More Than Just A Figurehead --- He Is The Real King of Kings And Lord of lords.
G. Poverty of Spirit is the very Basis and Foundation of All the other graces that follow.
1. A man must First Acknowledge His Need before he can hunger and thirst after righteousness.
2. Till a man is poor in spirit, he Cannot Mourn over his condition and the condition of others.
3. Till a man is poor in spirit, he is Not Capable of Receiving God's Grace.
4. All other characteristics are in a sense the Results of This One.
H. "Poor In Spirit " really means an Emptying.
1. The others are a manifestation of a Fullness.
2. We cannot be Filled until we are First Empty.
a. There must be a pulling down and then a rising up.
Luke 2:34, "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many ..."
b. The fall comes before the rising again.
c. Conviction must always Precede Conversion.
d. The Gospel of Christ Condemn before it Releases.
3. Those who would build high must begin low.
I. There is no entry into the Kingdom of Heaven without being "poor in spirit ".
I. What Being "Poor In Spirit" Is Not:
A. "Poor Spiritedness"
1. Cowardly --- excessively timid .....
2. A willing subjection to the lust of men --- Peer Pressure.
3. Mean disposition.
B. Poor In Worldly Circumstances.
1. Luke 12:15, "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a manís life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
2. There is as much Pride in the Poor as there is in the Rich.
3. Murmuring and complaining, and blaming their luck .....
4. High in spirit --- Haughtiness --- Resentful of the flesh.
5. Happiness does not depend upon the circumstances of life, but rather upon the Relationship of Man's Spirit With The Spirit of God.
6. The secret of happiness consists in what a man "Is" rather than what a man "Has".
C. Poor In Profession.
1. Voluntary Religious Poverty --- monks, etc.
2. In Pride and Pretence, to make ourselves poor by Throwing Away What God Has Given Us.
3. Many of them are both Lusty In Flesh and Haughty In Spirit.
D. Poor In Spirituality.
Rev. 3:17, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"
Poor in Spirituality --- Rich in Spirit (Pride).
1 Cor. 15:9, "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."
Rich in Spirituality --- Poor in Spirit.
II. What Does It Mean To Be "Poor In Spirit"?
A. "Poor In Spirit " is Contentment as supposed to:
1. Restlessness of Ambition,
2. Haughtiness of Pride.
3. Covetousness, which is Idolatry.
4. Desires for the Honors and Riches of this world.
B. "Poor In Spirit " is Opposite of the Pride of the Pharisaism.
1. A complete absence of Pride --- Self-Assurance --- Self-Reliance.
2. A consciousness that We Are Nothing in the presence of God.
3. He that is Vile In His Own Eyes, is Precious In God's Eyes.
a. God is Great --- we are Mean.
b. God is Holy --- we are Sinful.
c. God is All --- we are Less Than Nothing --- Can Do Nothing --- Have Need of All Things.
C. "Poor In Spirit " is the Opposite of that Haughty, Self-Assertive and Self-Sufficient disposition which the world so much admires and praises.
D. "Poor In Spirit " is the very reverse of that Independent and Defiant Attitude which Refuses To Bow To God.
1. Determines to brave things out.
2. Says with Pharaoh, "Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?"
E. "Poor In Spirit " is a sense of Emptiness and Helplessness.
1. A sense of Need and Destitution.
2. My righteousnesses are as Filthy Rags.
3. My best performances are Unacceptable, yea, even an Abomination to the thrice Holy God.
4. Brings the individual into the dust before God.
5. Acknowledging your utter Helplessness and Deserving of Hell.
F. "Poor In Spirit " is to become conscious of our poverty, and take the place of Beggars.
1. Always in want of God's grace.
2. Always begging at God's door.
3. Always glad to receive Divine charity.
4. Always seeks the "True Riches".
G. "Poor In Spirit " is being like:
1. Isaiah --- Isaiah 6:5, "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
2. Gideon --- Judges 6:15, "And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my fatherís house."
3. Moses --- Exodus 4:10, "And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue."
4. Peter --- Luke 5:8, "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesusí knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
5. Paul --- 1 Cor. 15:9, "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." --- 3:5, "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?"
H. Lowliness Is The Beginning of Holiness.
1. Psalm 34:18, "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
2. Psalm 51:17, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
3. Isaiah 66:2, "For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."
4. The heart that is Emptied of Self is Filled With Christ.
5. Poverty of Spirit Increases With The Increase of Our Knowledge of The Lord.
III. This Poverty of Spirit Is Not Found Among The Great Majority of The Religious Leaders of Today.
A. Most (not all) of the "Christian Ministries" of today --- Feeds Pride instead of starving the flesh.
1. There is nothing so unchristian in the church today as this foolish talk about "Personality" --- he has "Charisma".
2. Since when did God Substitute "Charisma" and "Entertainment" for the Power of The Holy Spirit?
2 Cor. 4:5, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesusí sake."
1 Cor. 2:3-5, "And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of manís wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
2 Cor. 10:10, "For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible."
3. The largest --- fastest growing --- Puffs Up, rather than Abases.
4. To be poor in spirit is Not Even Popular In Church now-a-days.
5. Anything that is calculated to Search and Strip is frowned upon by the Pulpit and is unpopular in the Pew.
Luke 16:15, "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."
B. There is a tendency to Justify Our Actions by saying:
1. "We are just trying to be Seeker Sensitive --- give them what they Want in order to reach them."
2. We are just trying to "Get The Message Across in ways that the World Will Enjoy."
C. My question is: "After You Reach Them, Whose Converts Are They, Yours or God's?"
Remember --- "There is No Entry into the Kingdom of Heaven without being "Poor In Spirit ".
IV. Instead of promoting the --- Higher life --- Deeper life --- Spirit Filled life --- etc. ---
A. How about promoting the --- Lowly Life:
1. Lay Aside Earthly Ambitions --- be willing to take the Lower Seat.
2. Phil. 2:3, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
3. Ephesians 4:2, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"
4. Luke 14:11, "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
B. How about promoting the Emptied Life --- we should be emptied of:
1. Self - Confidence,
2. Self - Assurance,
3. Self - Reliance,
4. Self - Importance,
5. Self - Expression,
6. Self - Righteousness.
C. The great tragedy of today is our Confidence in the power of Education and Knowledge.
1. A good coach, salesman, businessman --- gives the impression of confidence and assurance.
2. A Christian may be separate from gross sins and thereby become Self-Confident and Self-Assured --- filled with Pride and Self-Righteousness.
3. Nothing but a Miracle of Grace will ever Change His Attitude and bring him into a real relationship with God.
D. "Poverty of Spirit" deals with man's Attitude Toward Himself.
V. How Does One Become "Poor In Spirit"?
A. Do Not Look At Yourself.
1. The more you look at yourself, the more conscious you will be of yourself.
2. The more you are Filled With Self, the less "poor in spirit" you will be.
B. Look To God.
1. The more we look to God, the more hopeless we feel by ourselves.
2. You cannot truly look at Him without feeling your absolute poverty and emptiness.
C. Seek God's Will For Your Life.
Matt.11:29, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
D. Every Action We Perform Has Some Motive:
1. All creatures possessing intelligence act from some motive or for the sake of something.
2. Only material things have no set and conscious purpose.
3. The sun, moon, and stars revolve and shine for "No Sake" that they can comprehend.
4. An animal does things for the sake of its offspring.
5. You must act for the sake of something or someone.
6. What Causes You To Act Determines The Quality of Your Life.
7. What do you live for --- What motivates you:
E. In order that we may fully enjoy God in our lives, we must voluntarily make Christ the End, the Object, the Inspiration, and Motive of All that we do.
1. The more we are like Christ, the more of Christ people will see in us.
2. Matt. 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
VI. How May I Know Whether or Not I Am "Poor In Spirit"?
A. Are you Weaned from Yourself?
B. Are you an Admirer of Christ?
C. Are Lowly in Heart?
D. Do you spend much time in Prayer?
E. Are you content to take Christ on His Own Terms?
F. Are you an Exalter of Free Grace?
G. Do you have your eyes upon Christ rather than Self?
VII. To The Lost:
A. "Poor In Spirit" Depends Only Upon The Merit of Christ for your justification.
B. Luke 18:13, "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."
C. Matthew 18:3, "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
D. Matthew 19:14, "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters