RCCG Sunday School Student Manual 10th October 2021 – Lesson 5.
TOPIC: BEATITUDES: THE POOR AND THE MOURNER
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 5:1-4
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto 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 they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
MEMORY VERSE: Psalms 51:17
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despite”.
If you are extraordinarily happy, you might describe what you are feeling as beatitude. The noun, beatitude, refers to a state of great joy. Being Blessed, or at least feeling blessed, is often linked to beatitude. Beatitude is from the latin word ‘beatus’ meaning ‘rich’, ‘happy’ and ‘blessedness’. The corresponding word in the original Greek is ‘makarioi’ with the same meaning.
In the Bible, the beatitudes are a series of eight blessings spoken by Jesus in Matthew 5. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus used the word to more than a superficial happiness. In this context, ‘blessed’ refer to a state of spiritual wellbeing and prosperity. The beatitudes describe the ideal disciple and his rewards, both present and future.
1. BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
2. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). The ‘poor in spirit’ are those who feel a deep sense of spiritual need and understand their emptiness before God (Isaiah 66:2). They are humble and lowly in their own eyes. They see their want, bewail their guilt, and thirst after a Redeemer (Psalms 51:17). There must be emptiness before there can be fullness, and so poverty of spirit precedes riches and Grace in the kingdom of God (John 12:24).
We are to be emptied of our selfish pride, self-reliance, sinful thoughts and actions. We are to die daily to ourselves and be emptied moment by moment. The emptying is not the end but rather, the beginning. We are emptied in order to be filled. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” He is declaring that, before we can enter God’s kingdom, we must recognise our worthlessness and the inability of our own works to save us.
The kingdom of heaven is theirs, because they seek it, and, therefore, fine and abide in it. To this virtue is opposed the pride of the Pharisee. This caused a certain Pharisee to thank God that he was not as other men, and to despise and reject the kingdom of heaven (Luke 18:10-14).
The “Kingdom of heaven” essentially refers to salvation. The kingdom of heaven is both eternity in heaven with God after death (Romans 6:23) and the eternal quality of life with God before death (John 10:10). God offers us salvation as a gift, though the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, the full payment for sin’s penalty. Before we can receive this gift, we must understand that we cannot make ourselves worthy of it. Salvation is by grace through faith, not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We must admit our spiritual poverty before we can receive the spiritual riches God offers (Ephesians 1:3). We must, in short, be “poor in spirit”
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
‘Blessed are they that mourn:for they shall be comforted’ (Matthew 5:4). This is capable of two meanings: either that blessed are those afflicted with the loss of friends or possessions or that they who mourn over sin and blessed. As Christ came to preach repentance, to induce men to mourn over their sins, and to forsake them, it is probable that he had the latter particularly in view (2Corinthians 7:10). At the same time, it is true that the gospel only can give true comfort to those in affliction (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18).
The term ‘mourn’ means “to experience deep grief.” In keeping with His theme of spiritual blessedness, Jesus seems to indicate that this mourning is due to grief over sin. The people who agree with God about the evil of their own hearts can attain an ‘enviable state of blessedness,’ due to the comfort they receive from communion with the Holy Spirit. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the comforter (John 14:16,26; 15:26; 2Corinthians 1:4). The spirit comforts those who are honest about their own sin or try to justify it before God can never know the comfort that comes from a pure heart, as Jesus talks about in Matthew 5:8 (Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 57:15).
The blessing is not upon all that mourn but upon those who mourn in reference to sin. They shall be comforted by the discovery and appropriation of God’s pardon. We may take it, therefore, that in its widest sense the beatitude covers all those who are led by mourning to a discerning of sin, and who so deplore it’s effects and consequences in the world as to yearn for and seek the deliverance which is in Christ Jesus.
CONCLUSION: God has chosen the poor in spirit and those that mourn for their sins to be rich in faith, comforted and become the heirs of His kingdom.
1. Who are the poor in spirit?
2. Give a description of they that mourn
Pray and work on yourself to seek God daily.