John Lloyd - Beatitudes - The Sermon On The Mount

Seeking God First:  A Study on the Sermon of the Mount

Blessed are the poor in spirit Matthew 5:3

April 15, 2018

Pastor John Lloyd


In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world.  This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be amazed and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.


Big Idea:  The blessed person is the one who recognizes his spiritual poverty and reaches out to the King of Kings.


I.               Jesus has a word for all ___________________.


Matthew 5:1-2 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.


The beatitudes are pure gospel.  Lenski


Introduction to the Beatitudes:  Who was it addressed to?  

1.    All followers of Jesus are to be like this description.

2.    Followers of Jesus are meant to manifest all of these characteristics.

3.    These characteristics go beyond our natural temperaments.

4.    You will see the essential difference between followers and non-

      followers of Jesus.

a.   What they admire

b.   What they seek after

c.    What they do

d.   They live in an entirely different kingdom.


“Happiness is the great question confronting mankind.  The whole world is longing for happiness.  It is tragic to see the ways in which people are seeking it.  The vast majority seek happiness in a way that is bound to produce misery.  The Sermon on the Mount says, if you want to be happy here is the way.  This and this alone is the type of person who is really blessed.”  E Stanley Jones

Character before conduct.


II.             Seeking God first redefines ___________________.


Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Matthew is a training manual for Christian discipleship for believers of all ages. A balanced understanding of the Sermon on the Mount will mature our discipleship to Jesus.  Michael Wilkins


Blessed- A judgment pronounced, extremely fortunate.  It is a rich promise for the present but a promise of even greater riches in the future.  It is a positive judgment by God that means “to be approved” or “to find approval.”


It is a state of existence in relationship to God and from His perspective even when he or she doesn’t feel happy or isn’t presently experiencing good fortune


Psalm 2:12b Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 


Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.


John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.


Real happiness/blessedness begins when we seek God first!


III.             Seeking God first recognizes our ___________________ poverty.


Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Poor in spirit- cringingly, beggarly poor with respect to spirit.


Isaiah 66:2 But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (Examples of Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5, Peter in Luke 5:8, Paul in Romans 7:24, Philippians 3:8)


Psalm 40:17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but he Lord takes thought for me.  You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! 


There is no one in the kingdom of God who is not poor in spirit.  It is the fundamental characteristic of the Christian, and of the citizen of the kingdom of heaven, and all the other characteristics are in a sense the result of this one.   As we go on to expound it, we shall see that it really means an emptying, while the others are a manifestation of a fullness.

You cannot be filled until we are first empty.  There are always these two sides of the gospel; there is a pulling down and a raising up.  It is an essential part of the gospel that conviction must always precede conversion; the gospel of Christ condemns before it releases.  Lloyd Jones


The greatest filling comes when we realize we are empty!


IV.          The ________________ belongs to those who submit to the King.


Matt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Matt. 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Eph 1:3, John 18:36, Rom.14:17)


The more we look at Him, the more hopeless shall we feel by ourselves, and in of ourselves, and the more we become ‘poor in spirit’.

You cannot look at Him without feeling your absolute poverty, and emptiness.  Then you say to Him, “Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling.” Yeah, all I need, in Thee to find,

O Lamb of God, I come.  D. Martyn Lloyd Jones


Reflective questions:  Am I like that, am I poor in spirit?  How do I really feel about myself as I think of myself in terms of God and in the presence of God?  How does this happen? 


Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.


The kingdom of heaven belongs to those who respond to Jesus. 

The way to become poor in spirit is to look at God.  Look at Jesus!


Growth Questions for April 15, 2018


Icebreaker:  Who has been like a Bible for you?  What did that person say or do that showed God in their life to you?


1.   Read Matthew 5:3-12.  As you read make note of what Jesus says is blessed versus what you know the world says makes people happy.  Share the differences.

2.   Read Matthew 5:3, Psalm 1:1-2.  Focus on the word “blessed.” This is more than a state or condition but it is an attitude that grows out of our utter helplessness and need for pure grace and mercy. Discuss what brings on this blessedness.

3.   Read Matthew 5:3.  Read the following passages and discuss what being poor meant to Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5, Paul in Romans 7:24, Phil.3:8, Peter in Luke 5:8 and Jesus in John 14:10.  What does being poor in spirit look like to you? Why is this so critical to spiritual growth and power? 

4.   Read Matthew 5:3-12. Note and discuss the differences between followers and non-followers of Jesus. Compare and contrast what they admire, seek after and do.

5.   Read Matt. 5:3. Focus on the word “kingdom.”  Read Luke 17:21. John 18:36, Romans 14:17.  What does kingdom mean to a follower of Jesus?   What is the worldly definition of the kingdom?  What promises does the king make about the future world?  See Revelation 1:5-7.

6.   How does coming face to face with Jesus help you navigate through the difficulties of this life?  How have you experienced a blessedness despite unfortunate circumstances?

7.   What circumstances/attitudes do you need to bring to Jesus for His help this week?  How can we pray for you?


Blessedness is not a description of a present condition, neither a wish regarding a coming condition, but a judgment pronounced upon the persons indicated, stating that they must be considered fortunate. And it is Jesus who renders this judgment, which is therefore absolutely true although all the world may disagree.  All this blessedness is spiritual, each part of it coming from the great Messianic kingdom, true soul-blessedness, a rich possession now but with a glorious promise of still greater riches-the very opposite of the world’s happiness.  Michael Wilkins