The Poor in Spirit Will Inherit the Kingdom


In my last two articles I explained that the Beattitudes are the image of God, which should become who we are, not just things we do. This is in stark contrast to the sin nature with which we are born. I also showed that while multitudes followed Him in the cities, only disciples followed Him up the mountain to receive His teaching; Sometimes, learning from Christ will be inconvenient – but always will be worth it.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

What does it mean to be poor in spirit? This is a good definition for humility. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.” When we stumble, when we sin, do we go before God in genuine humility for mercy? Do we hate that sin that so easily entangles, so easily catches our attention and draws us away from fellowship with God?

Jesus told a story about two men who were praying in the temple, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector (Luke 18). The prayer of the Pharisee was self-centered, thanking God that he was not like many around him, an extortioner or adulterer or that tax collector. He bragged about his diligence in the tithe and in fasting.

But the tax collector approached God in humility – would not even raise his eyes toward heaven – cried out for God’s mercy on himself because he was a sinner. Jesus said that the tax collector walked away justified in God’s eyes.

Now, humility does not mean humiliation. When we go to God, we acknowledge that we have sinned, we cry out for His mercy. That we need to do. But this does not mean we approach Him like we are a worthless mongrel, like some beaten and abused dog.

If you have put faith in Christ for salvation, or if you are approaching God to receive that salvation, then approach boldly. You are a child of God! Hebrews 4:16 declares, “Let us therefore come BOLDLY to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Humility says, “I messed up Lord. Have mercy.” It says, “I am in need Lord of that which only You can provide – Your grace, your help and strength in my time of need, in my time of weakness and temptation.”

There is a blessing that goes with true humility toward God – inheriting the Kingdom of heaven. In other words, your very salvation depends on it.

It is popular in certain circles of the professing church to downplay their sin. I have seen reports that some say you should not confess your sins to God because it cheapens His grace (this is rank heresy, by the way). Other preachers refuse to address sin from the pulpit. This is worldly, natural reasoning completely devoid of any spiritual truth. The Bible is full of warnings to repent, that those who willfully continue in sin will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of heaven.

On the other hand, those who are becoming poor in spirit, a genuine attitude of humility before God, will inherit the Kingdom. This means not only confessing your sin, but learning how to leave the sin behind in obedience to God. We can go to God for mercy when we mess up, but it is greater still when we go for grace, for His help in our time of need.

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Be Strong and Courageous!


This should be our Christian war cry!

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There’s no such thing as traditional music


Christopher Perdue (thebiblestop):

Amen. While there are styles of music I do not care for even in the Christian genre, that does not necessarily mean the songs do not qualify as being Christian. A great little article.

Originally posted on On Target:

In his book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, author James Emery White addresses to issue of music in the worship service. His perspective might surprise you.

There is no such thing as traditional music. All music was, at one time, newfangled, contemporary, cutting-edge, and probably too loud. The great hymns of Martin Luther are considered traditional and sacred to our ears, but they were anything but traditional and sacred to the people of Luther’s day. Many of the great hymns written during the Protestant Reformation, such as “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” were based on barroom tunes that were popular during that period. Luther simply changed the lyrics and then put the song into the life of the church. The result? People were able to meaningfully express themselves in worship—or at least connect with it stylistically.

Charles Wesley also borrowed from the…

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The Image of God vs. The Image of the Sin Nature


In Genesis 1:26, 27, we are told that God originally created mankind in His image. Adam and Eve were pure and holy, without a sin nature. The serpent was placed in the garden by God to test them, whether they would obey the only Law they were given. Without the serpent to test them, they simply would not have ever eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Eve listened to the serpent and ate, then gave to Adam who was right there, and he ate, too. Their willful sin resulted in the development of a sin nature within them – a tendency to sin. This manifested immediately in their need to cover their nakedness, and passing the blame when God confronted them. This created a separation between them and God, and they lost the holiness aspect of the image of God, and took on the image of Sin, instead.

Since that time, all mankind has been sold under sin. We are all born with a sin nature, which manifests from a very early age.

About 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ came and paid the penalty for our sin, and crucified that sin nature in His body when He was hung on the cross. The price He paid opened the way for every person to be able to approach God through Him. Upon true salvation, we are born again of the Spirit, and become a new creation. Among other things, we become partakers of the Divine Nature, our spirit taking on the very nature of God. What Adam and Eve lost in the Garden, we begin to gain back.

As believers, we need to learn to recognize the Divine Nature in us, and to develop that nature. But that sin nature is not going down without a fight. Just as the serpent deceived Eve into believing she was not already like God – was lacking – so our sin nature will keep us in defeat through temptation, if we let it. It will keep us from seeing that Christ is in us, and that we can grow in spiritual maturity to continue becoming more and more like Him.

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In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us what we call the Be-attitudes, in Matthew 5:2-12. These attributes are what we must develop to grow in spiritual maturity. They are called the BE attitudes because the goal is not to act like them, but for them to become our very nature. The rest of this Sermon are real life applications of the Beattitudes, examples of opportunities we can look for to develop our spirit and put to death our old sin nature.

Now, the Beattitudes are often counter-intuitive; they are typically the opposite of the attitudes the world values. Just consider the stuff the entertainment industry puts out. They often ridicule meekness, making it look weak. They present revenge instead of mercy or being a peacemaker. They glorify sin rather than true righteousness. And, sadly, we Christians all to often eat it up with the rest of the world.

The Lord willing, in the coming lessons we will look at the Beattitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, and learn some of the ways we can develop God’s image in us.

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Jesus Went Up the Mountain. Will You Follow Him?


Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He (Jesus) went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them…

Up to this point in His ministry, Jesus had not done much teaching. Rather, He was in the role of evangelist, calling on people to repent for the Kingdom was at hand. He also healed and delivered many, establishing Himself in His ministry.

Multitudes of people followed Him from all over the region (Matthew 4:25). But many of these “followers” only did so because of the miracles He performed when He was in the cities. They were chasing the signs and wonders, as Jesus accused several times throughout His ministry.

So, Jesus left the city and went up on a mountain, and the real disciples came to Him. He went somewhere inconvenient. Climbing even a gentle-sloped mountain takes some effort and time. There would not be a show to watch out in the middle of nowhere, so many would not bother going after Him up a mountain.

Others, however, wanted to see what He would say, and so followed Him. His disciples came to Him….

Christ does not call us to follow Him only when it is convenient, or when there is something exciting to watch. The path to His Kingdom being revealed to and in us takes some diligence on our part. And this is the only way to establish ourselves in the faith and to begin to grow to maturity.

Jesus went up a mountain. He left the hustle and bustle of the busy city. The disciples put aside their busy lives to follow Him up that mountain, to see what He would teach. And because they followed Him, He taught them – and the people were astonished at His teaching (Matthew 7:28-29).

Matthew 8:1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.

Will you be an easy-believism follower, who only cares about the miracles, about getting your way with God? So many in the church today are like this multitude, who follow after Him when it is convenient, when it doesn’t interfere with their daily lives. It is so easy to fall into this trap, and think that He is happy we are following Him. But the true disciple goes up the mountain after Him.

Do you really want to learn from Jesus? Do you really want to hear from God Himself, to be a disciple, a student, of Christ? I guarantee that it will, at times, be inconvenient. It will also take some diligence and effort on your part to go after Christ. But He promises that it will be worth it!

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