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Summary: Second message in series exploring the first two Beatitudes - "poor in spirit" & "those who mourn".

A Declaration of Dependence • Matthew 5:3-4 • January 16-17

Opening: Quote the Declaration of Independence…

We are a country of independence, aren’t we? It's more than a document by our founding fathers... independence is a way of the American life.

Think about it... Goal of healthy parenting – independent children; independent work ethic – applaud self-made man/woman; financial independence; relational ind – hurt. → decision to be friendly but not allow anyone in… not depend on anyone (JOKE)…

KEY QUESTION: What about spiritually? Are our lives characterized more by spiritual independence or spiritual dependence?

Introduction: What we discover through Jesus’ teaching in the Beatitudes is the fact that CITIZENS of His Kingdom are characterized by a DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE upon Him.

READ MATTHEW 5:3-4… PRAY…

I. Kingdom people continually declare SPIRITUAL BANKRUPTCY. (v. 3)

3 KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK IN LIGHT OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN…

- Compare with Luke 6:20 (poor vs poor in spirit)

Key Question: What does it mean? HISTORICAL EXPRESSION.

Who are the poor? Poor in spirit? Hebrew word trans “poor” = lowly, humble…OT develops truth poverty linked to piety. Why? Isa. 61:1; 66:2… OT/Hebrew concept informs our understanding bc poor in spirit is the person who is helpless and knows it… can’t rely on anything but God…. Poor have no security… can’t rely on their spiritual muscle to bail them out…

Key Question: Where do I start? HUMBLE CONFESSION.

Poor in spirit = those who live in humble acknowledgement of their poverty before God. Jesus reveals the Humble confession of the Christ-follower is the awareness of their need before God. See Luke 18:9-14. RD this admitting how repulsed we are by a spiritual sham & false humility. Continually declare Sp bankruptcy.

(EX of GIDEON ENDING – HUGE VICTORY & BEGINNING – JUDGES 6 – states Lord, there is no way I can do this apart from You! I am weak)

deepest form of repentence. GOSPEL brings conviction before it brings freedom.

Key Question: How do I live? WHOLEHEARTED RESIGNATION.

We cannot fill God’s standards… we must empty before filling… (CS LEWIS QUOTE – MERE CHRISTIANITY pp 96-97). Sin of Laodicean church. REV 3 was spiritual independence!

The Blessing… He will FILL you! But you must be empty! (illus. of changing oil in car... must drain the dirty oil before new)

II.Kingdom people continually dwell in SPIRITUAL BROKENNESS. (v. 4)

Mourning is the natural overflow of poverty. World loves to laugh. World dislikes mourners… not idea of weepiness…

2 KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK IN LIGHT OF THE PURITY OF GOD…

Key Question: Do I mourn OVER MY PERSONAL SIN?

Personal grief over sin. Isaiah 6:5; Romans 7:24. Truth is sin grieves the Holy Spirit but does it grieve us?

The Gospel provides no mercy except to those who forsake their sin.

Key Question: Do I mourn OVER OUR PUBLIC SIN?

More times than not we are prepared to walk with Jesus through Matthew 23 and his pronouncements of doom but we stop before the end of the chapter & join him in weeping over the city.

The transforming work of Christ in our lives makes us true realists. Death is real & must be faced. God is real and will be known by everyone as Savior or Judge. Sin is real and it’s black & ugly compared to the purity of God. Eternity is real and every living person is rushing towards it. Issue spiritually is life or death… pardon or condemnation… heaven or hell… Those changed by Christ, living in light of this, cannot do anything but mourn. Mourn for the blasphemy of a nation… erosion of truth… greed… lack of integrity… mourns that there are so few mourners…

MATT 11:28… come to me all weary… sin is a burden…

THERE IS HOPE… Comforted… The Blessing… He will DELIVER you! GREAT COMFORT! 1 John 1:9

Deliver’s from sin’s penalty – forgiveness (Jesus Christ)

Deliver’s from sin’s power – cleansing (root of sin)

Deliverance from sin’s presence – eternity (1 John 3:2)

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