CHRIST’S SERMON ON THE MOUNT (PART 1): BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
Bible Text: Matthew 5:1-3 | Preacher: PST. A. C. OHANEBO, PST. PROTASE OPARA | Series: CHRIST’S SERMON ON THE MOUNT
WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY (14/06/2018, 21/06/2018)
Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement
Last week in our Bible study, we saw The Man Christ Jesus as Our Model In Ministry. In the said study, it was considered how that Jesus went about all Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, healing the sick and casting out devils. We found how Jesus went about His major thrust, of preaching and teaching the gospel of the kingdom; how He began by preaching the message of repentance and salvation, and went ahead to teach details of the life style that guarantees eventual entry into the kingdom. It is these details on the kingdom life style, popularly referred to as Christ=s Sermon On The Mount, that form the theme of the series we are beginning today to study and learn from. In this part one, we are considering ABLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT@. We bring it in these bits: (1). The Poor In Question, (2). Characteristics Of The Poor In Spirit and (3). Their Blessedness.
The Poor In Question (Matt. 5:3). The word >Poor= is rendered from the Greek word >Ptochos= meaning, abject poverty or helplessness. The poor pictured here is a person who is so destitute of all means of livelihood that he goes cap in hand begging, for survival (cons. Lk. 16:20-21). There are those who are poor and at the same time haughty. There are others who are poor, and grumble, murmur and get agitated in their condition. But the ptochos are the contentedly poor and destitute, who accommodate themselves to their state, and go depending on others for survival (cp. Matt. 26:9-11).
Characteristics Of The Poor In Spirit (Matt. 5:3). The poor in spirit are those who are conscious of their spiritual helplessness and so realise that they cannot do without God; these are those that appreciate their spiritual wretchedness and are willing to be helped. It is this class of people that readily receive the gospel (Isa. 61:1; Matt. 11:5; Lk. 4:18).
The good news of the kingdom is usually preached to the humble and lowly and not the proud and haughty, who are blinded to feel that all is well with them when they actually have serious problems (cp. Matt. 9:9-13; Jn. 9:40-41). Many of such people are bound by religious spirits and so blinded by religious practices that they don=t see their personal spiritual wretchedness (cp. Jn. 8:32-44). Some others pretend to be so full of what they think they are or have in this world that they are totally blind to their deplorable spiritual condition. And the unfortunate consequence of this is that they rebuff the gospel, arguing and quarrelling with those that make an attempt to help them (Act. 17:17-21; 24:24-27).
Their counter-parts are there in the Church also. These are those who can hardly see their faults. They often readily pick others= faults and short-comings, but are blind to theirs (cp. Matt. 7:3-5). And even when any attempt is made to point them to such lacks and pitfalls, rather than fall abashed and blush, they are full of untenable excuses, porous arguments, grudges and quarrels (cp. 1Tim. 6:4-5). Such people who lack this virtue of a humble spirit, find it difficult to apologise to anybody. They cannot, as they can hardly see their faults/mistakes. And even when they are made to see them, ASelf@ would not allow them to humble themselves and say AI am sorry@ (cp. Mk. 10:15).
The poor in spirit are humble-minded and have low estimation of themselves (Rom. 12:3). Such people, although might be physically/materially rich, intellectually / socially high, do not place their minds on such uncertain riches and as a result, they can easily condescend to the poor and lowly (Mk. 10:24; Rom. 12:3, 16). The poor in spirit can readily recognize what others do better than themselves and get challenged, instead of being envious. They can readily see their faults and short-comings and bemoan themselves. Therefore the poor in spirit is always hanging on in God=s house asking for more. (cp. Matt. 7:7-8).
Their Blessedness (Matt. 5:3). For one, such people have been pronounced blessed by the Lord and so are indeed blessed even in this world, as God graciously looks upon them. They are His children and have His angels going with them (Ps. 34:6-7, 15-19; 91:1, 9-14). To them He gives more grace (Jams. 4:6-10). At the end of this life, theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3; Jn. 14:1-3; 1Thess. 4:17). Are you poor in spirit or proud and haughty in spirit?
Rise and let us pray. Fellowship Songs (HSCF) 168 & 177