The passage we are studying tonight gives us a fresh glimpse into the kingdom mindset. Jews had been brought up in such as way that religious performance was held above all other things. As long as you were righteous looking on the outside by your words, actions, and dress then you were considered religious elite.

It reminds me of Isaiah.

“What are all your sacrifices to me?” asks the Lord.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings and rams and the fat of well-fed cattle;
I have no desire for the blood of bulls, lambs, or male goats. Isaiah 1:11

Jesus comes and gives a renewed vision of what kingdom life is supposed to be like. Not an earthy kingdom but a heavenly one here on earth filled with kingdom minded citizens. He lays out for us the attitudes, actions, and norms of the kingdom in his famous sermon on the mount.

Blessed - We have to start with the first word BLESSED. What does blessed mean? If we are to look at it by today’s standards one would say blessed means happy, lucky, fortunate. One might say that those who are blessed have money and success or no problems. They are the ones you look at on social media and wonder  “why can’t my life look like theirs’s?

They end every post with too blessed to be stressed.

But if we try to apply that here it doesn’t work. Instead, what we need to see is that blessed in the Biblical sense it much different. It moves past the physical and to the spiritual side of things.

Our definition will be Blessed = Secure spiritually, clear conscience before God, and a heavenly perspective.

Poor in spirit – The important thig here is “the spirit”. It doesn’t say blessed are the poor. The poor are not blessed. The homeless are not blessed. You are not blessed if you cannot pay your bills. This is not talking about physical poorness. Instead it is actually a reference to the gospel. The good news that Jesus came to say is that no man can live up to his holy righteous standard instead we have to believe in him.

A person who is poor in spirit is

  1. Acknowledging sinfulness.
  2. Looking to Jesus to fulfill their debt.
  3. Seeking to live as kingdom citizens.

On the contrary a person who is rich in spirit.

  1. Prideful and self-reliant.
  2. Has no need for a savior.
  3. Seeks to live by worldly means and ideals.

The reward is the kingdom of heaven. Not a future kingdom but a now kingdom. Jesus is seeking to bring heaven down to earth with his new followers. As believers live their lives in a such a way to be obedient to God they are truly bringing heaven to earth. A heavenly kingdom filled with godly ideals.

Ill: Recently, my wife, Jenna and I were able to have a weekend getaway to Destin.  We decided we would at least eat. We looked at Ruth’s Chris. We looked at Flemings. Man they looked so good. Imagine we went in and order the most expensive thing on the menu.  We realize when they bring the check that they only take cash, who has cash anymore? We don’t have the $500 cash it would have cost us. They won’t let us leave to go to the ATM in stead they hold us there until we can pay the debt back. But we can’t pay the debt back because we can’t leave. Our sin is like that. It has built up a debt so big that we cannot pay. The only way to get out of it is too acknowledge our sinfulness and turn to God. A very simple explanation of the gospel. That what the first attitude is. Humility.

The attitudes that should come out of Christian citizens builds upon one another. We start at the bottom by acknowledging our poorness and absolute spiritual bankruptcy apart for Christ. Then we realize of our own sin. From brokenness and humility to repentance.