Mat 5:3; What Is Poor in Spirit? (part 2)

Class Outline:

Thursday March 28, 2024


Beatitudes are nothing that we can do ourselves. They are divinely made within our hearts comprising our character.


Maybe the most striking blessing that became immediate to the poor were others, now newly in Christ, behaving as they never had before.


ACT 2:43-45


Christ made it a point to tell the oppressed, as He walked among them, that He had come to make them rich, but not in a worldly sense. In the same way, the rich would become poor, but also not in a worldly sense.


Poor in spirit is a self-evaluation in light of the position of slave or steward that each of us has become.


When we see ourselves as a steward of those things and not an owner, we are thinking in the right way (DEU 6:10). 


The kingdom of heaven vs. the kingdom of the world. The world does not elevate poverty of spirit, but despises it.


We grow face to face with God, not people.


When you face God, how rich do you feel? If you came suddenly into the presence of God, face to face, would you feel a desire to show Him your things, your savings and checking account, your accomplishments?


Not only is this Beatitude not popular in the world, it is not very popular in the church. 


Recognition of the poverty of the spirit is the source of genuine humility. 


Humility is not asceticism, but a recognition of the supremacy of Christ and His way, truth, and life - so high above our own that none of us can claim supremacy to another person.


Paul’s poor spirit is revealed by his ministry:


The poor in spirit does not preach himself but Christ and themselves as slaves of Christ. 2CO 4:5-6


How does the church today, indeed throughout its history, view its favorite speakers - good impression, great personality, stimulating presentation …1CO 2:3-5


Would you rather walk away with the impression of the speaker or with the following impression? 1CO 2:9-10


Paul was obviously concerned with impressing Christ upon them and did not waste any effort on dressing up his speaking abilities to the liking of his audience. 2CO 10:10


Php 2:3-7

“Do not look out for your own personal interests…” (vs. 4)

“Merely” is not in the original.


The Beatitudes are not natural.

They are the character of Christ formed by the Word and Holy Spirit.


ISA 57:11

"I dwell on a high and holy place,

And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit

In order to revive the spirit of the lowly

And to revive the heart of the contrite. 


The context is repentant Israel.


1CH 17:16

Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord and said, "Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?


1CH 29:14

“But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.”


Look at the change in Peter, who was naturally aggressive, self-assertive, and self-confident.


Look at the apostle Paul, a man of great strengths and talents and who persecuted the church, the worst sinner in history.


Look at the Son of God, deity who took humanity to Himself so that He could glorify the Father through seeking and saving the lost. “He who was rich, for our sakes became poor.” 


JOH 5:19; 6:38; 8:28

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, … not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me … I do nothing on My own initiative …”


Poor in spirit means a complete absence of pride, a complete absence of self-assurance and of self-reliance.

It means a consciousness that we are nothing in the presence of God.


It is nothing that we can produce; it is nothing that we can do in ourselves. It is a tremendous awareness of our utter nothingness as we come face to face with God. 


Paul counted it all as dung (Php 3:8).


Let us ask ourselves, “Am I like that; am I poor in spirit?” How do I think of myself usually? Do I stand (sit) long enough in the presence of God in order to get true perspective on who and what I am?” Do I boast about myself? Do I rely on natural things? Does my soul seek assurance and comfort in natural things? 


Lloyd-Jones: “How does one therefore become poor in spirit? The answer is that you do not look at yourself or begin by trying to do things yourself. That was the whole error of monasticism. Those poor men in their desire to do this said, “I must go out of society, I must scarify my flesh and suffer hardship, I must mutilate my body.” No, no, the more you do that the more conscious will you be of yourself, and the less ‘poor in spirit.” The way to become poor in spirit is to look at God.” 


2CO 3:18


Look at the Lord and keep looking at Him. Look at Him in the Gospels, in the whole of the Bible. Look at Him in contemplation, in solitude, and in prayer. Keep looking at Him and then you will discover that you have nothing in yourself. No one can look at Him and not feel their absolute poverty, and emptiness. And then, you will know that He and His Spirit are going to fill you for a life which never entered that proud little mind.