The beatitudes are one of the most popular and foundational teachings of Jesus. The actual word “beatitude” comes from the Latin word, “beatus,” which means, “blessed, happy, or blissful.” Therefore, the beatitudes are the eight sayings of Jesus that teach how the disciple can be happy and favored by God. Each of the eight teachings start with the phrase, “Blessed are” and are relevant in this present life. Today’s sermon deals with the bliss of sinners admitting their great need for God out of their spiritual poverty and for the believer to always remember the spiritual “rags to riches” miracle God has done in our lives.
Matthew 5:1-10, “1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- Disciples: Committed learners and students of Jesus Christ.
- Sermon on the Mount: The longest portion of Jesus’ teaching found in Matthew 5-7 which serve as the foundation of Christian morality and spiritual practice.
- Beatitudes: The blissful, happy, and blessed sayings of Jesus.
- Blessed: To be spiritually happy and successful because of God’s favor upon one’s life. Also, the term “blessed” has to do with God’s divine approval of one’s life resulting in His favor.
- Kingdom of Heaven: The active rule and reign of Jesus in one’s life and upon the earth with kingdom blessings, v. 3 & v. 10. Notice that Jesus teaches the kingdom of heaven is currently given to the disciple, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” not, “for they will have the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
POOR IN SPIRIT
- To be poor in spirit is not to lack material wealth but to boldly acknowledge one’s spiritual bankruptcy.
- It confesses one’s unworthiness before God and utter dependence on him.
- Everyone must begin their relationship with God by confessing that by themselves they can earn nothing from God but His wrath, Romans 3:9-24.
- Some falsely view salvation as if God made the downpayment for their house, but the believer must work to maintain the relationship by making monthly payments. However, salvation from start to finish and everything in between is always by grace through our simply trust (faith) in Him, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 2:1-10, Philippians 1:3-6, & Hebrews 12:1-3.
- For references in the Old Testament see Psalm 34:6-22, 40:17 & Isaiah 61:1, 66:2b.
- Two Ways to be Poor in Spirit: (1) Admit your need for salvation & (2) Live your life totally dependent upon God’s power.
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
- The active rule and reign of Jesus in one’s life and upon the earth with kingdom blessings.
- The kingdom is all about the King, Revelation 19:16.
- Jesus taught the kingdom of heaven is currently given to the disciple, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” not, “for they will have the kingdom of heaven.”
- The rule and benefits of God’s kingdom come from the Holy Spirit within the believer, Luke 17:20-21.
- The kingdom of heaven, which is also the kingdom of God, is filled with “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit,” Romans 14:17.
- The full expression of the kingdom of heaven will be upon the new earth for all eternity with King Jesus ruling from New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:1-22:5.
The poor in spirit come to God with nothing but poverty and leave with the greatest treasure of all- Jesus Himself.