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Summary: Today's message is on the first beatitude and how those who are poor in spirit. We'll be looking at what the word "beatitude" means and what it means biblically to be happy. We'll also explore how being poor in spirit increases our happiness.

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Sermon On The Mount

“Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit”

Matthew 5:3

Last week we looked at the meaning of the word “beatitude.” The word “beatitude” comes from the Latin meaning happy or blessed. Walter Bauer in his Greek-English Lexicon defines this word as the “privileged recipients of divine favor.”

Consider, those who are poor in spirit, who hunger and thirst for righteousness are the privileged recipients of God’s divine favor, therefore they’re blessed and happy.

In the Hebrew the word means not only to be happy, but also “to go straight.”

The fullness, therefore, of this word can be found in the very first Psalm.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV)

And so those who are blessed are those who keep God’s commandments. They are the recipients of His divine favor.

Therefore all the beatitudes begin with the word “blessed,” or “happy,” and that’s because they reveal the secret of true happiness, which isn’t found in what we have, but rather in who we are in Jesus Christ.

Happiness in the Bible has a much deeper meaning than it has today.

Our modern word for “happiness” comes from the root word, “hap,” which means “by chance,” and it’s where we get our English word, “happenstance.” In other words, our happiness is dependent upon our circumstances. When things are going well, we’re happy, but when they’re not, our happiness flies right out the window.

But happiness in the biblical sense means spiritual joy and satisfaction that lasts regardless of conditions or circumstances. It’s a happiness that carries us through the pain, sorrows, losses, and grief associated with life itself.

That genuine joy or happiness can then come from being spiritually poor, which is diametrically opposed to our conventional wisdom. In our minds those who are blessed or happy are those who are rich and famous, the movers and shakers, the self-reliant and the self-confident.

But conventional wisdom is often at odds with biblical wisdom.

God’s wisdom our ways are radically different from what the world thinks. God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” (Isaiah 55:8 NKJV)

The Apostle Paul said, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” (1 Corinthians 3:19 NKJV)

And so was we enter into today’s subject and this sermon series, we must ask,

• “Are we willing to accept the radical teaching of Jesus?”

• “Are we willing to let it change our lives in the radical way they’re intended?”

Out of all the subjects Jesus could have chosen to speak on to start His sermon, why did He choose the topic of happiness? The reason may be because He knew that true happiness was what everyone wants and is searching for, but few find.


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