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Summary: The first quality of character of a citizen of God’s Kingdom that Jesus addresses is spiritual poverty. The poor is spirit are blessed with a deposit of God’s Kingdom now knowing that the best is yet to come.

This message is an edited version of a sermon given at Loving God Fellowship. Copyright © 2007 Loving God Fellowship, Inc. http://www.LovingGodFellowship.org . You are encouraged to share this message with those you know that are hungry for God’s Word.

The Poor in Spirit

The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached Series

By Greg Johnson

Matthew 5:3

Jesus Christ is the greatest person that has ever walked this earth and He preached the greatest sermon ever preached referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount holds the same significance for the new covenant as the giving of the Law had for the old covenant. As Christ followers, we need to spend a lot of time knowing and understanding The Sermon on the Mount as it outlines the basic principles of life in the Kingdom of God in which Christ followers are citizens.

Jesus said (Matthew 5:3 NIV) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

The first quality of character of a citizen of God’s Kingdom that Jesus addresses is spiritual poverty. The poor is spirit are blessed with a deposit of God’s Kingdom now knowing that the best is yet to come.


The poor in spirit are those that realize they are a sinner under the wrath of God and deserve nothing but the judgment of God. It is this realization that draws one to Jesus Christ as it is understood that Jesus took God’s wrath and judgment upon Himself providing one eternal life as a citizen of the Kingdom of God.

In Jesus’ day it was not the religionist that entered the Kingdom. They thought they were rich because of their merit and they thanked God for what they had accomplished. Jesus said (Luke 18:10-14 NIV) ""Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. {11} The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. {12} I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ {13} "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ’God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ {14} "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.""

The poor in spirit are not like the religionist. Instead, they are like the tax collector who realized his spiritual poverty and humbled himself before God. One of our core values at Loving God Fellowship (www.LovingGodFellowship.org) is practicing humility.

• The poor in spirit practice humility.

• The poor in spirit know that without Jesus, they are nothing.

• The poor in spirit know that Jesus must increase and they must decrease.

• The poor in spirit humbly deny self, take up their cross and follow Jesus.

Perhaps the best example of our day is found in the letter that the glorified Christ had John write to the church in Laodicea. The letter says (Revelation 3:14-22 NIV) ""To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. {15} I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! {16} So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. {17} You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. {18} I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. {19} Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. {20} Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. {21} To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. {22} He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.""

This existing church was full of people, but they were not Christ followers. They were prosperous and they thought that all was good and that God was blessing them. Yet, according to Jesus, they were blind and naked beggars. They were poor in spirit, but would not admit it. They looked like a blessed church, but they were not Christ followers. They were not practicing humility. They were not citizens of God’s Kingdom.

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