Mat 5:3; To Be Rich in Christ Is to Be Poor in Spirit.

Class Outline:

Sunday March 24, 2024

1) Introduction: Economic poor.


There should have not been poor in Israel (DEU 8:7-10; 15:4-5). 


A land flowing with milk and honey - plenty of resources, good soil, and water. Everyone given land. Sabbath Year and Jubilee erased debts, released slaves, returned all lost land to original families.


Failure in Israel to create this kind of society. Why? 

Selfish. Lust of the flesh, eyes, boastful pride of life. 


Conditions in Israel at the time: Economic life is Palestine was predominantly agricultural. Most peasants worked the soil, some were laborers in trades (like Jesus). Many fell into debt and lost their holdings, some tenant farmers, some landless who waited daily to be hired. Below the hired laborers were the many slaves.


2) The poor and the rich respond to the gospel. 


The first century poor lack any opportunity to better their situation - for generations. 


The Lord advocates for the afflicted (PSA 18:27).


The Lord is not a romantic. The wisdom literature tells us that poverty could also be a product of laziness, pleasure seeking, frivolity, and even envy.


Christ comes to the world - He offers citizenship in the kingdom of heaven to all. The rich see the offer differently than the poor. 


Poor: MAT 11:4-6; ISA 61:1; LUK 16:22, 31


A Tale of Two Rich Men: young prince (MAT 19:16-26) and Zaccheus (LUK 19:1-10). 


3) Rich in Christ is poor in spirit. 


Poor in spirit means being a slave of God, 2CO 6:1-10


Poor in spirit is rich in things that do not belong to us, JAM 2:1-7


Rich in Christ is still poverty, but in a much different way. Paul often identifies himself as a bondslave of Christ. It is being the faithful steward to a good and wealthy master (something like Joseph in Egypt). 


Faithful stewards (MAT 24:45; rewards in heaven, just like the prince in MAT 19:21). Paul in 1CO 9:16-19 (read and ponder over this passage).


The poor in spirit apprentices of Christ are the richest people on earth, but their riches are of heaven and they own not a one of them. 


Are you willing to attempt it? To be Christ’s steward on earth, poor in spirit and rich in Him?