“The first of the eight Beatitudes is one of the strongest statements in the Bible of the great doctrine of justification by faith in Jesus Christ alone, for it is a statement of a person’s complete inability to please God by any human effort. – James Montgomery Boice, The Sermon on the Mount, p. 23

This past Sunday, I began a series on the Sermon on the Mount. I began with the first beatitude. Here is the sermon skeleton from Sunday’s message.

Title: “The Poor in Spirit”

Text: Matthew 5:3

Series: The Beatitudes: The Life God Blesses

Theme: The blessed paradox of spiritual inability.

Point: God blesses the poor in spirit.

Outline:

I. What does it mean to be blessed?

    A. True blessedness is not mere happiness.

    B. True blessedness is more than material prosperity.

    C. True blessed is divine approval.

II. What does it mean to be poor in spirit?

    A. Poverty of spirit is not about one’s economic status.

    B. Poverty of spirit is not about one’s natural temperament.

    C. Poverty of spirit is about your sense of spiritual neediness.

       1. Poverty of spirit is necessary for salvation.

       2. Poverty of spirit is necessary for spiritual growth.

III. What does it mean to have the kingdom of heaven?

    A. The kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit exclusively.

    B. The kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit presently.