Summary: 1st in a 12 week series on the Sermon on the Mount
The Beatitudes (Part 1)
When we start a new series, it has been our custom to start with some context, and background, explain some big idea that will serve as a unifying them for the series, and then finally zero-in on the particulars of a certain passage.
I like that approach… and, quite frankly, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of it. In just the short life of this church, over the past 18 months we’ve handled some solid series including:
The Book of Ephesians
The Gospel of John
The 7 Deadly Sins & 7 Heavenly Virtues
The Book of Philippians
Jesus in the Old Testament
The Book of Romans
And now we’ll start a twelve-week series on the Sermon on the Mount that will take us right up to Advent.
This morning I’m going to go a bit backwards…
Rather than starting with the big idea, I’m going to start with the detail elements and then in a sort of expanding, concentric circle approach, we’ll end up with a big idea for this series that starts today:
What do these words mean?
What is this passage saying?
What are these Beatitudes?
What is the point of this Sermon on the Mount?
What do these words mean?
Since this is an especially short passage, we can take this opportunity to carefully go word-for-word to make certain we know the meaning of each word.
Not reading Scripture
Teaching – It was the custom of Rabbis to sit as they taught.
Followers (more than the twelve)
To them he directed his speech, because they followed him for love and learning, while others attended him only for cures.
Not merely the crowds who were there for the show or the free lunch
i. Much of what we read in the Gospels is in the course of living, meeting needs, dialog, Passion Week.
ii. Here, Jesus takes a position of authority and deliberately instructs
Jesus, using a technique common in what we now know as the Old Testament, used this powerful form beginning with this powerful word “Blessed.”
A good example is found in Psalm 1:1
More than just “happy”… but like happy
Total Contentment. The Greeks reserved this word only for the gods or the dead.
Poor in Spirit
No dependence on self
Not bankrupt or corrupt in spirit, poor in spirit.
And not simply poor
i. Spiritual understanding
ii. Frame of mind
this poverty of spirit is a gracious disposition of soul, by which we are emptied of self, in order to our being filled with Jesus Christ. 
Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
IS – Not will be
Fullness of Christ
So the poor in spirit are enriched with the fullness of Christ, which is the kingdom in substance; and when He shall say to them from His great white throne, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, ” He will invite them merely to the full enjoyment of an already possessed inheritance. 
Kingdom means rule, reign, and authority
Commonly understood to mean either repentance or bereavement
The feeling of spiritual poverty
i. The second beatitude is the compliment of the first
ii. The one is intellectual; the other the emotional aspect of the same thing.