A Kingdom Attitude
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
1. Be Happy Phil. 4:4-17 “4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever…”
2. Be Humble Phil. 4:6 “6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
3. Be Hurt Phil. 3:7 “7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”
4. Be Healthy Phil.4:11-13 “11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Col. 3:17 “17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Poor in Spirit” means It is poverty, absolute and abject poverty of spirit. It is being destitute and conspicuously poor in spirit.
A. Being poor in spirit does not mean that a man must be poverty-stricken and financially poor.
It doesn’t mean a person is hunger, naked , or not pleasing to the eyes God, especially in a world of plenty. Christ is not talking about material poverty. He means what He says: poor in spirit. Being “poor in spirit” means several things.
1) It is to acknowledge our utter helplessness before God, our spiritual poverty, our spiritual need. We are solely dependent upon God to meet our need.
2) It is to acknowledge our utter lack in facing life and eternity apart from God. To acknowledge that the real blessings of life and eternity come only from a right relationship with God Ep. 1:3
“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
Jn. 10:10 “10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Ga. 5:22–23 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
3.) It is to acknowledge our utter lack of superiority before all others and our spiritual deadness before God.
We should acknowledge that we are no better, no richer, no more superior than the next person—no matter what we have achieved in this world.
Our attitude toward others is not proud and haughty, not superior and overbearing.
To be poor in spirit means acknowledging that every human being is a real person just like everyone else—a person who has a significant contribution to make to society and to the world.
The person poor in spirit approaches life in humility and appreciation, not as though life owes him, but as though he owes life.
B. The opposite of being poor in spirit is having a spirit that is full of self.
There is a world of difference between these two spirits.
There is the difference of thinking that we are righteous versus acknowledging that we need the righteousness of Christ.
There is the difference of being self-righteous versus being given the righteousness of Christ.
Self-righteousness goes no farther than self; that is, it goes no farther than death. Self dies and everything with self including our self-righteousness. But the righteousness that is of Christ lives forever.
Ro. 3:21–22 “21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”
Ro. 10:6–7 “6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Ph. 3:9).
I’m reminded of Jesus and the rich young man in:
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
C. Two critical steps are taken by the person who truly acknowledges his spiritual poverty.
1. He turns his primary attention away from the things of this world. He knows things can never make him rich in spirit.
2. He turns his primary attention to God and His kingdom. He knows God alone can make him rich in spirit:
Ep. 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10
“1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
D. The poor in spirit are weary and burdened for the world.
They know the truth of this world and of eternity.
Therefore, they have set their faces to do their part for both.
1. They are weary of the deceptive appearances and enticements of this world. They have learned that “all is vanity [empty]” and all is corruptible. Ec. 1:14 “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
All waste away, even human life itself. Therefore, they feel weary and burdened for those who are still lost in the world.
James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
2. They are weary from having labored so much to reach their generation. They have labored to serve and make their contribution as God has called them. They have toiled so laboriously for one reason only: the love of Christ constrained them to reach their generation (2 Co. 5:14).
E. The poor in spirit are those who approach the world as a child Mt. 18:1–2 “1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,”
Mk. 10:14 “ But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
These notes give an excellent description of what it means to be poor in spirit.) All children are very, very precious to God and are given angels to look over them (Mt. 18:10 see Ps. 91:11).