The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The first blessing that the Lord taught about is connected to being poor in spirit. In each of the nine there is a condition that must be met to receive the blessings. This seems to be a very much forgotten truth of God’s Word today. Many claim the blessings contained in the New Testament but forget the conditions that must be met to obtain the blessings.
For example, consider Philippians 4:19. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. This promise was given to the believers of Philippi who gave financially to the missionary efforts of Paul and his co-workers. Under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost Paul was led to promise that God would supply all their need because they supplied his need. This promise is in keeping with Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. The condition to receiving is first in the giving. The condition to answered prayer is to first pray. Even being saved is conditional, one must receive the Gospel. A popular promise is Romans is 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. The condition is to love God.
The condition of obtaining the kingdom of heaven is to be poor in spirit. Being poor in spirit is the opposite of being rich in spirit. Meaning the spirit is broken, humbled, contrite, repentant, and submitted to the Lord God through the Gospel as being convicted and led by the Holy Spirit. Every person that will enter the kingdom of heaven is absent of a rich spirit. They may be spirited, may be outgoing, may be lively, may be strong and vibrant, but they also are poor in spirit. Poor to the point of owning their wrongness, admitting their sin and the need for a Savior, broken to the point of repentance toward God.
No doubt: the term kingdom of heaven can and will be debated. Whether it means the eternal place called Heaven, or the willing rule of God in the hearts of His loyal subjects on earth (which seem to be the two possible meanings of the term) it doesn’t matter to this subject. Both necessitate being poor in spirit. A strong spirit can do a lot of things for a person, and is usually overlooked in the overall wellbeing, but it cannot put one into the kingdom of heaven. This is a blessing reserved for those who become poor in spirit.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.