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Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit

Seldom in history have so few words been spoken with so much meaning. The Beatitudes of our Lord are powerful, holding before believers and unbelievers alike a descriptive picture of the true disciple of Christ. The Beatitudes cover the glorious hope and are a reward that the Christian can expect now as well as in eternity. These Beatitudes regularly consist of two clauses, the first pronouncing blessedness upon a certain type of person, the second giving the reason or grounds for such blessedness.

The first of the eight Beatitudes is "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5: 3)

To be poor in spirit is not poverty-stricken, financially poor or having a lack of courage. It is a spiritual poverty, acknowledging our utter dependence upon God for our spiritual needs. Knowing that our spiritual needs and even all of our mental and physical needs can only be truly satisfied through a vibrant personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The poor in spirit realize that they are unable to respond to life's trials and temptations in a way that is pleasing to God unless He enables them to be overcomers.

The opposite of being poor in spirit is having a spirit of self righteousness -- the "self-made man" syndrome. There is a world of difference between these two spirits. The spirit of self takes charge and will not surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is an eternal difference between good works that bring glory to a denomination, a church or ourselves, compared to true righteousness that points people to a personal relationship with Christ. Being religious is not the same as being poor in spirit. Self-righteousness leads to death, being forever separated from God. A person who is poor in spirit rests upon the righteousness of Christ alone, and is empowered by Christ to live a life of holiness. He knows that the only good thing in him is Christ. "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Galatians 6: 14)

Two critical steps are taken by the person who becomes poor in spirit. 1.) He turns his primary attention away from this world and the things in it. His love is for Christ and for the things of God. 2.) He turns his primary attention to God and to His kingdom. His purpose is to lift up Christ in all he does...

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