Study to Grow
By Doug Bell
“1¶Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2¶And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3¶“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4¶“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5¶“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6¶“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Robert Schuller said these are the “Be Happy Attitudes.” Nothing could be further from the truth, as you’ll see in a moment. Neither is this a practical guide for living a moral life for NonChristians (As Randy and I have talked about in our videos). In fact, these are nothing less than God’s prescribed way to become a Christian!
3¶“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“
The words ‘poor in Spirit‘ is not a reference to being physically poor. No, the first requirement to becoming a Christian is to see your utter ‘need!’ You must realize that you are indeed, “Spiritually Bankrupt” before the God of the universe. You know what a bankruptcy is. You go before a judge, tell him your debts are greater that your assets. (Jesus gives us an illustration in the parable on the Ungrateful Servant in Matthew 18:23-35). In other words, you must first see your need for forgiveness from a God you have rebelled against, utterly hated, and positively ignored. Your debt is great, the gulf between God and you is large, so much so, you are unable to reach Him! “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24)
4¶“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.“
Your awful situation makes you ‘mourn’ and cry out in grief. What can be done? You can’t be good enough, in fact: ”We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6). Only Hell awaits you and you are unable to do anything about it.
***** 5¶“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.“
Aware of your situation, you are finally, completely, and utterly “Humbled” before God. (“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” Proverbs 16:18). To be meek is not weakness but power under control. Like a bit in a horses mouth, you are willing to be trained. Or if you will, your pride has been “broken!”
6¶“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.“
Here, after coming to the “end” of yourself, you are able to look up and see Jesus! You see His nail-pierced hands and feet knowing, He died in your place and all that place their faith in Him! He reaches His hand out to you, and says;
”14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man (Jesus) be lifted up,(Crucified) 15 that whoever believes (trusts, commits) in him may have eternal life (Go to Heaven when they die) 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
If you “Repent” (turn from your sin, and turn around back toward God) and “Believe” (I.e., Trust, Commit) that Jesus is whom He claims to be: ie., God who left heaven and became a man, lived a perfect life, allowed Himself to be taken and crucified (Not for His sin, but for yours, and all who believe in Him!) Then He died in your place, and mine. But, the Father approved of Jesus’s Sacrifice and raised Him from the dead! The Bible says that now: ”Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding (praying) for us“ (Romans 8:34).
What will you do with this information? It is between God and you and no one else. You will one day have to stand before God Almighty and give an account of your life! You can no longer say, ‘I didn’t know!’ (I just explained it to you). Admit you are bankrupt before God, mourn and feel the weight of your sin. Humble yourself before God and cry out to Him right now! Repent of your sin and trust in Jesus, committing the rest of your life to Him! Jesus promises that if you do:
John 6:37 ”...whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
God says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Don’t put it off; repent, believe, and be saved!