Being poor in spirit will be proven to be a life of character through these blogs. When I embarked on this study my thoughts were to just study the Sermon on the Mount as a spring-board to developing and teaching Christian character. So why should we study the Sermon on the Mount, and in particular the Beatitudes of Matthew Chapter Five – why does it matter today? I will justify such a study with the following observation: I see that the Church is lacking character and that character can only be developed one Christian at a time. Character is rarely taught today (and what is taught is watered down comparatively speaking)from the pulpits of the Western Church, and as such, the Church suffers. The Church has not beendisplayinggood character in and by its members; the message of the love of God is being thus rendered powerless. Character as exemplified in the Sermon needs to be studied because this is where Christ began teaching character to His disciples. From this discourse and the example of the life Jesus portrayed for His disciples, and subsequently to us, the correct Biblical character was always presented to be seen by us in His Word: this is what we are to mirror.
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened his mouth and taught them, saying… (Matthew 5:1-2, NKJV)
Jesus started with the basics and it is time we return to them. If this Sermon is how Jesustaught His disciples what could be better for the modern disciple to be taught? The Church needs to wake up from her superficiality and go after character as if it matters, because it matters to God. The past movements of the Church (i.e. of the Apostles, Wycliffe, Huss, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, the Wesley’s, Whitefield, The Great Awakening, The Oxford Movement, The Jesus People, etc.,) are gone. Let’s move toward developing good Christian character. For those who take the Bible seriously it is time to take on the seriousness of character. It has been said of the Bible that “it says what it means and it means what it says,” and rightly so. The Bible is our authority, given for our benefit, for it states
Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose and action), so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, will fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Amplified).
As we can see through the Scripture, character matters. As the Holy Spirit inspires us as we read, study, and meditate, we are instructed to,
Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, Amplified)
When studying a passage of Scripture you need a game plan, an approach to application. This approach should involve diligence and accuracy. Rightly dividing the Word of truth is our goal so that we are thoroughly equipped for every good work. This is the approach we will pursue.
Character – it matters.
Pray for the desire today to learn and apply God’s Word to your life day by day in all areas of life. This study on becoming poor in spirit is not meant to be your only exposure to the Scriptures.
Commit to reading and learning from the Bible for the rest of your earthly life.