The Poor in Spirit

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

In this way, the Sermon on the Mount opens. Far from being a sermon devoid of grace, it begins with a blessing upon all who see their utter and complete spiritual poverty and therefore their total and universal need for God's saving grace. The kingdom of heaven does not belong to those who are "rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing," but to those who understand that apart from Christ we are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17).

From whence then comes this blessing? For the spiritually impoverished are destitute of the ability to raise themselves out of their poverty. The answer is that it comes through Christ who alone can give us "gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich: and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear: and . . . eyesalve, that thou mayest see" (Rev. 3:18). For Christ became poor that we through his poverty might be rich (2 Cor. 8:9). By keeping the law that we broke and bearing its punishment in our stead, Christ became our Savior, so that those who trust in him can find in him the poverty of condemnation replaced with the treasure of justification and the riches of the forgiveness of sins.

Indeed, "blessed are the poor in spirit" who find in Jesus Christ riches untold and joys unmeasured.

By: Jeremiah Bass