December 2021 Student Newsletter

Why Are The Poor in Spirit Blessed?
Russell Haffner

In Matthew 5:3 Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." In the original language the Greek word translated as "poor" carries the idea of one who is reduced to begging, destitute of wealth, influence, position and honor. In the days of the New Testament beggars were common. They were unable to support themselves and had no other option but to beg for their daily needs. They were totally dependent on the kindness and generosity of others. In much the same way we must realize that we are totally dependent on God.

In His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus preached the principles of His spiritual kingdom. We should notice that as He began the lesson He emphasized man's dependency upon God. Our journey to becoming a child of God begins with having an honest and good heart (Luke 8:15) that realizes without God we can do nothing. We have no ability to save ourselves. We must look to God and be willing to obey what He has commanded us to do. If we do not accept our complete dependency on God, we will never obey Him or serve Him. We must accept our own lost spiritual condition and our need for guidance. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). It is not possible to live faithful to God if we are not willing to submit to His guidance.

Notice again in Matthew 5:3 Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The word "blessed" means that the "poor in spirit" will be eternally happy. How is this possible? Because they will be the ones who recognize their dependence upon God for salvation and will both seek and obey His commands. In this way "theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Those who submit themselves in obedience to God will be added to the kingdom. The "kingdom of heaven" is defined as that spiritual body composed of those who are saved. On earth, that kingdom is the church and when the end of the world comes Christ shall, deliver "up the kingdom to God" (1 Corinthians 15:24). Those who are in the kingdom, shall then be blessed to be in the presence of God throughout eternity. Those who refuse to recognize or accept their spiritual poverty will never seek and submit in obedience to God's commands. They will be eternally lost.

The "Mark Complete" Button

If you have already watched several lessons you may have noticed the “Mark Complete” button located below each video. This feature helps you to track your progress as you view the videos. We encourage you to always click this button when you finish viewing a lesson. The marking of lessons serves as a guide for your own information to mark your place in the study. Even if the lesson is marked complete you can return to watch it again as many times as you want.

For additional information please see the Help Center at the school website. In the Help Center you will find an article which will walk you through the necessary steps to track your progress by marking each lesson complete. It is titled: How-to: "Mark Complete" Lessons.