THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE
SERMONS FOR EDIFICATION
THE BABY JESUS
TEXT: Matthew 5:3
In our text, Jesus talks about "poor in spirit." What does Jesus mean when He says "poor?"
I know what poor meant when I was a child. I was from a relatively "poor" family. We usually got one pair of shoes each years and only two pair of blue jeans. After the soles of the shoes wore down, we put cardboard in them to make them last. After the knees of the jeans were worn, Mom would "patch" them from last year's jeans.
But we weren't really "poor." We had each other, we had food, we had a house, and most of all, we had JESUS! You can be "poor," and have things. And you can actually have MANY things and be POOR!
There's another word in our text: "Blessed." What does Jesus mean when He says "blessed?" Let me explain it this way. You would be "blessed" if you fell in a very deep hole, then found out that there was a LADDER in the hole! It might have brought pain falling, but you would have JOY because the ladder provided a means of ESCAPE!
"Blessed" actually can be translated "blissfully happy," or, "wonderfully happy." One can be "blissfully happy," even though he/she may be sad for a moment.
Now, Jesus BEGINS this very important "Sermon on the Mount" with this FIRST statement: "BLESSED are the POOR in SPIRIT, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
So, let's look at what Jesus said, and to WHOM he was speaking. Jesus was speaking to the multitude gathered at the mountain. He was ALSO speaking to the disciples who were sitting at His feet.
The message, then, is for BOTH sets of people. The disciples, were committed to following Jesus. And the multitude was just there for the "show." They had heard that Jesus worked miracles, and they wanted to SEE one.
I. TO WHOM JESUS SPOKE
- THIS message was given to the DISCIPLES:
It was a "peep-hole" vision into the lofty spiritual land of eternal joy; but it was also a "practical ethical plane" on which these disciples were to LIVE. This showed that the disciple must not consider his duty as "child's play."
- THIS message was given to the MULTITUDE:
It was an unveiling of what it MEANS to be a DISCIPLE. Religion to most of those people was just superstition and show. They never lived as though there was a REAL CONNECTION between religion and everyday life! There are MILLIONS of people who live that way today!
- Now these particular people, to whom Jesus spoke, were mostly from the Jewish nation of that day.
They had been conquered by the Romans, paid taxes, were dejected, scorned and treated deceitfully.
They were WITHOUT hope of advancement in the world.
- Then, Jesus comes saying, "HAPPY is he that is POOR in spirit."
Well, they were definately poor in spirit!
So how could they be HAPPY?
Just what kind of POORNESS or POVERTY did Jesus mean?
And what kind of HAPPINESS can one get out of THAT?
NOTE: at the end of the verse there is a PROMISE! It is a promise from Jesus, therefore it is a promise from Almighty God! The promise is that in order to have eternal heaven one must have TWO THINGS.
II. AWARENESS OF SPIRITUAL POVERTY
SECOND, in order to find true happiness --
- Some people are physically rich but have poverty and don't know it.
Samson, in the Old Testament, had money, power, fame and influence. But the Bible says that when he told Delilah his secret, that "...he knew not that God LEFT him!!" (Judges 16:20)
You see, Samson's SIN caused the loss of his hair!
But it cost far more than that!! It cost him the loss of God's power IN him!
- THAT'S what sin DOES! It costs! It removes us from God, and costs us the loss of spiritual peace. Spiritual peace only comes when we are in a right relationship with God.
- Some people have cancer and don't know it.
Some people have heart disease and don't know it.
BOTH will cause DEATH!
- But to be without Christ is to be SPIRITUALLY SICK, and that spiritual sickness will bring ETERNAL death!
- Jesus told a story about a man who was RICH and physically well.
The story, in Luke 12, tells us that the man really felt good about his life. He said, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry."
But that very night, God TOOK HIS LIFE!
- To all the people of every age who feel that this world is all, and there is no eternity, God says, "...we shall ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ." (Romans 14:10)
The NUMBER ONE thing for men to receive HAPPINESS is that they must FIRST realize their SPIRITUAL POVERTY!!
- You have a body -- natural cravings and desires.
You have a mind -- with natural activities.
You have a spirit -- and it is NATURAL to want or desire PEACE.
But your WHOLE SOUL desires the fulfillment that only JESUS can give!
We are created in the image and likeness of Almighty God. And we cannot know happiness until we come to KNOW JESUS.
- SO -- the FIRST thing that people need to realize in order to find happiness is that we are spiritually POVERTY STRICKEN, and it leads to ETERNAL DEATH.
III. WE MUST LIVE A LIFE OF TOTAL DEPENDENCY UPON JESUS CHRIST
To HAVE a real relationship with God through Jesus, we must FIRST realize our spiritual poverty, then begin to live a life that is totally dependent upon God, and THEN --
- You and I come out of NOTHING, and if we are ANYTHING it is because God is EVERYTHING!
- Jesus said we must become like little children before we can come to His heaven.
Children are dependents of their parents.
They may be "poor" because of their parents poorness.
But they would certainly be poor WITHOUT parents!
- Dependent children don't spend time worrying about house, bed, food, clothes, etc.
They ASSUME those are provided because of their RELATIONSHIP to the parents!
- With God it is the SAME! ((MAtthew 6:31-33))
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
IV. WE WILL REALIZE HIS RICHES BY GRACE
SIN has its ROOT in REBELLION! And all sin stems from that!
- PRAISE GOD!! There is a SOLUTION to spiritual bankruptcy!
PRAISE GOD!! There is a CURE for my spiritual disease of SIN!
But God had provided by grace a CURE!
The CURE for REBELLION is SURRENDER to JESUS CHRIST!
Instead of REBELLING, we need to RETURN!!
Christ paid the debt for our sin at CALVARY. There, He SURRENDERED Who He was in order to become what we NEED.
Jesus made the atoning sacrifice for our sakes with His own blood.
And He was raised from the dead to PROVE that God has accepted that sacrifice for all mankind.
BUT -- in order for Jesus' sacrifice to APPLY to you and me, we must come to the cross also. We must SURRENDER who we are in order to become what God WANTS!
YES! God DOES require something for that sacrifice to be applied to you and me. THREE things -- as simple as "A, B, C."
A -- ADMIT you are a sinner and morally bankrupt, spiritually poverty stricken.
B -- BELIEVE that Jesus died for YOUR sin and WANTS to save you and give you eternal life.
C -- COMMIT your life to Jesus and begin to learn what He wants from you by studying your Bible.
THAT'S ALL!! It's as easy as "A, B, C!!"
God will make you NEW today (2Corinthians 5:17).
God will give you PEACE in your heart today (Philippians 4:7).
You can be CURED of the disease of spiritual bankruptcy!
You can be FORGIVEN of the rebellion of sin and spiritual poverty!
SURRENDER to Jesus today!