“YES, I CAN! YES, YOU CAN! YES, WE CAN!
Can we do it by ourselves?
Can we be good members of the church?
Can we live the Christian life by ourselves?
Can we help ourselves?
Can we receive the favor of God by our good deeds?
Can we save ourselves?
Yes, I can! Yes, you can! Yes, we can!”
We live in a time when the human capabilities are pushed to the extreme. People are taught that their possibilities are unlimited. Our generation is receiving the information that we can do everything and anything, even our own salvation.
We have people today trying to save themselves. They believe that if they work hard, pray hard, attend the services regularly, and perform good deeds, they will be saved, and God will look at them with favor.
As we saw in our last message of our Lord and Savior in this Sermon is totally countercultural, it proposes something totally different of what we have in our society.
The first Beatitude is this one,
Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
There are four terms that are important in this text: Blessed, Poor, and Spirit, kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed – The word means “blessed (receiving God’s favor), fortunate, good (in a position of favor), happy (feelings associated with receiving God’s favor).” That is the word used for beatitudes. Blessed is the word that expresses the favor from God to those who He loves. This blessing is internal and spiritual.
- Poor – There are two words in the New Testament for poor. This one means: “poor; (n.) poor, beggar, a person of few resources, culturally considered oppressed, despised, and miserable, totally bankrupt.” It expresses the human situation of being impotent, deprived of anything or power.
- Spirit – The word for spirit is a reference to the human spirit, the one that was regenerated and transformed by the Spirit of God.
- Kingdom of Heaven – The Kingdom of God is the place where God lives, rules and has control. It is where the abundant life and richness of God are.
Those words help us to understand the deep meaning of this Beatitude.
1 – THE POOR IN SPIRIT IS SOMEONE WHO RECOGNIZES HIS/HER LIMITATIONS
- It Does Not Depend on his or her Financial Situation – The poor in spirit, the term already tells us, is in the Spirit. It is the recognition from that person that he or she cannot do anything to save him or herself. It is not something that comes from outside or from a financial abundance. It is the deep spiritual recognition that they are limited and cannot do anything good to please God. Of course, the person who is really poor has some advantages, because it is easier for them to recognize and accept their limitations. They can see them. People that have a better life, are blinded by those things and have more difficulties to accept their limitations.
- It is the recognition of our total depravation – The poor in spirit recognizes that he or she cannot do anything to save him or herself. They are totally depraved spiritually. Paul in Ephesians calls them “dead in transgressions”, which means, there is nothing that we could do in our end to attract the grace and salvation of God.
- Every attempt from our part failed – this is the conclusion that the poor in spirit arrived. Their attempts to please God and save themselves failed, and they found themselves lost and in a uncomfortable position of being enemy of God.
As you can see, the poor in spirit is someone that looks inside themselves and realize that they are not strong enough or good enough to please God with their own abilities.
Have a blessed week,