Blessed are the Poor in Spirit (2 of 26) by Jonathan McLeod

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Blessed are the Poor in Spirit (2 of 26)
Series: Kingdom Life
Jonathan McLeod
Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).

SCRIPTURE READING

Everyone who puts his or faith in Jesus Christ is a citizen of God's kingdom. And in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7), Jesus, our King, tells us that he expects his people to be different.

In verses 2-12, Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount with what are commonly called the Beatitudes. Each beatitude begins with the word ''blessed.'' Charles Quarles writes, ''The fact that Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with such pronouncements of blessing on His disciples before placing demands on them is significant. This order suggests that the righteousness described in the sermon is a result of divine blessing rather than a requirement for divine blessing.''

D. A. Carson calls the beatitudes ''the norms of the kingdom.'' The beatitudes give us a summary of what Jesus expects his people to be. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, ''All Christians are meant to manifest all of these characteristics.''

[Read Matt. 5:1-12.]

IS CHRISTIANITY A CRUTCH?

It's sometimes said, ''Christianity is a crutch for the weak.'' But is a crutch a bad thing? No, a crutch is a good thing for person who has a broken leg. Spiritually speaking, we all need a crutch. We are all spiritually lame.

Sometimes when a person has a broken leg, they're too proud to use a crutch. Christianity is only for those who will acknowledge their spiritual need and cry out to God for salvation.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS FOR LAME BEGGARS

In Jesus' day, a person who was lame would usually need to be a beggar in order to survive (e.g., the lame beggar who was healed in Acts 3). A lame beggar had to completely rely on the generosity of others. '''Poor in spirit' means 'beggarly in spirit,' and describes someone who is keenly aware that he is spiritually destitute and must rely entirely on the grace ...


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