Summary: It is only when we are poor in spirit that we can be rich in Him and His Righteousness.
“When It’s Good to be Poor” Matthew 5:3 Beatitudes - #1
Intro: Today we will begin a series on the Teachings of Jesus known as “The Beatitudes.”
One would have a difficult in history, finding so few words spoken with so much meaning.
The word “Beatitude” defined means “Supreme blessedness or happiness.” These
Beatitudes of Christ tell us about the HOPE and the REWARDS that the Christian believer can expect both now and forever in eternity.
They also give to us a model of what a Christian Disciple should look like. They’re
sort of like Scientific Spiritual Equations: A=B. If you possess “A,” then “B” will follow.
Each Beatitude begins by saying the word, “Blessed.” This word means having a “spiritual joy
and satisfaction that remains regardless of conditions.” It doesn’t mean you won’t ever become unhappy or disappointed. It means that within your unhappiness or frustration, you can retain
the joy of knowing who’s in control and will trust even more in your Creator.
The first Beatitude is found in Matthew 5:3 and says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs
is the kingdom in heaven.” *What does it mean to be “poor in spirit?” (Very simply, it means to acknowledge your own SPIRITUAL POVERTY.)
1. It does not mean that you must be poverty-stricken and financially poor.
2. It is a realization of your helplessness without God in your life. It’s to acknowledge your
spiritual need of Him. To say, “God, I am fully relying on you alone to meet my every need.”
3. It is coming to the realization that you are unable to face the things of this life and of eternity
apart from God. It is EMPTYING yourself of yourself. It is to say, “God, the only thing
worth living for is a right relationship with You.”
4. It means to acknowledge that you are no better, no richer and no more superior than anyone
else – no matter what you’ve achieved in this temporary life. It is fully understanding that
everyone is a special and unique creation of God.
5. To be “poor in spirit” means to approach life with humility and a sincere appreciation – not
as though LIFE OWES YOU, but as though YOU OWE LIFE.
The opposite of being “Poor in Spirit” is being “FULL OF SELF.” (Illus. – Told wealthy
homeowner his would be last job of the day. He was offended and upset.)
There is a world of difference between these two mentalities:
1. There is the difference of thinking We are righteous versus realizing we need the
Righteousness of Christ. In other words, there is the difference of being SELF-
RIGHTEOUS versus being clothed with HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
2. This is an important distinction because SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS goes no farther than
yourself – it goes no farther than your physical death. On the other hand, the
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST is eternal and lives on forever and never dies.
3. In acknowledging our SPIRITUAL POVERTY AND NEED, we must first of all:
*Turn our attention away from the things of this world, remembering that they die when
we die and that nothing this world has to offer can make you “Rich in Spirit.”
*We must instead focus our attention on God and His Kingdom which will last forever.
In Eph. 1:3 Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
Conclusion: This mentality “Flies in the Face” of the “Dog Eat Dog” society and culture that
we live in. But, let’s keep in mind what Jesus Himself said, “…for theirs is the Kingdom of
This morning, be reminded that as far as you’ll be concerned, the “Riches” that you manage to
accumulate here in this life WILL DIE WHEN YOU DIE.
Also, remember that it is the selfless, “Poor in Spirit” who will receive the gift of life that lives
on forever. It is the POOR IN SPIRIT who will receive as their inheritance, full acceptance
into THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!
Scripture says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has
eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
So, when and why is it Good to be Poor? It is only when we are POOR IN SPIRIT that we can
truly be RICH IN HIM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. It is only when we EMPTY OURSELVES
that we can provide the room needed to be FILLED WITH HIM!