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Summary: The Beatitudes are markers of growth for the Christians.

INTRODUCTION

 How many of you want to live a blessed or happy life?

 Today we are going to start a series on what many have called the greatest teachings that have ever been taught.

 What Jesus gives to us here is a pathway to being blessed or happy.

 What is the world’s formula for “blessings” or “happiness”? In most cases the world’s formula for happiness is just the opposite of what Jesus taught and what He teaches us in this sermon. Who better to give the formula to happiness than Jesus, the author of giver of life?

 Most of the beatitudes are paradoxical, being the very reverse of the world’s view. For those who have put these to the test, there is no question that God’s way to blessings and happiness is the best way.

 This is the beauty of Jesus teachings, it is like when Jesus said in Matthew 16:25 (quickview)  that whoever wishes to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. To the skeptic, that statement does not make sense. To the skeptic, Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:1-12 (quickview)  does not make sense either.

 In Matthew 5:1-12 (quickview)  we find what has been called “The Beatitudes.” The word “beatitude” comes from a Latin word that means, “blessed” or “happy”. In this section of Matthew, Jesus gives to us the formula to spiritual bliss and spiritual prosperity.

 As we delve into this passage we will see a progression of thought. One step seems to build on another.

 What we find in this passage is attitudes that Jesus expects people of the Kingdom to strive to possess. Jesus wants all of His children to live in a state of blessing. With each corresponding attitude or action, a blessing follows.

 Today I want us to look at the path that Jesus has laid out for citizens of heaven.

SERMON

I. POOR IN SPIRIT V3

 This is the first step involved in growing in Christ. READ VERSE 3. Being poor in spirit is recognition on our part that we are missing something very valuable in our lives.

 Another way of reading this verse is, “Blessed is the man who has realized his own utter helplessness, and who has put his whole trust in God.”

 On the surface this does not make sense. How many people want to be spiritually poor?

 When we are poor in spirit we understand that we have a need, an emptiness within us that only a relationship with Jesus will fill.

 In the book of Revelation, the bible tells us that the church at Laodicea did not have this awareness and they were condemned because they thought they had no spiritual need.

REVELATION 3:17-18 (quickview)  says about this church, ’Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.


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