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Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

David Shin

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Join us as Pastor David begins a new 8 part series from the greatest sermon ever preached - the sermon on the mount. 

 

Matthew 5:1-3

Presenter

David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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Recorded

  • August 13, 2016
    11:30 AM
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Father in heaven we think you for the Sabbath for blessing us. With your presence we pray that you would inspire us with a new vision of Jesus and of the Gospel we pray that the Holy Spirit would come in and lighten our minds speak to our hearts me Jesus be lifted in Christ be seen yes he sings in Jesus' name amen. Today we begin a 8 part series of messages on the Beatitudes. And I want to invite you to open your Bibles to Matthew Chapter 5 The beatitudes are 9 blasted at the beginning of the greatest sermon ever preached in history by Jesus I wish I was there don't you the people are following Jesus up to a mountain Dr Richard Davidson professor of Old Testament at the seminary says that he believes that he has found the place of the Sermon on the Mount and he says it's an acoustic only natural where the voice projects is just an amazing thing that if anything indeed has found that spot Jesus is at the beginning of his ministry people believe that he's the Messiah to come to deliver them from the Romans and he comes to this place and sits down the disciples are in the inner circle next to him beyond them are the multitude and you can just picture this scene as Jesus opens his mouth. And starts this all too familiar passage we know as the Beatitudes I want to read through the Beatitudes make a few observation ins and hone in on today's topic the 1st blasted verses one through 11 and seeing the multitude he went up on the mountain and when he was seated His disciples came to him then he opened his mouth and taught them saying blessid are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Bless it are those who mourn for they shall be comforted bless it are the meek for they shall inherit the earth Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled blessid are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy bless it are the pure in heart for they shall see God bless it are the peacemakers for they shall be called the Sons of God bless it are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven bless it are you when they revolve and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you. The Sermon on the Mount continues all the way till chapter 7 after this the multitude are astounded they're stunned because they have never heard a man speak like this before just a few observations when you study the Bible. It's important to just step back and make a few observations one of the observations when you look at this collection of blessedness are there are 9 blasts it's in rapid succession scholars believe that there are actually 8 Beatitudes not 9 because the 8th blessid and the 9th blessid are actually on the same theme it's an expansion of the 8th beatitude Jesus spends the majority of the most time I should say on the 8th beatitude it is a progression describing how we can become a citizen of havin. Blessid are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven the 1st beatitude and the last beatitude number 8 blessid are the persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of heaven they are the same promised you see that blessing of the point spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven blessid are the persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of heaven meaning it doesn't matter where you are on the ladder of the Christian experience where you whether you are beginning the Christian experience or whether you are growing in grace and in the later reaches of the Christian experience the promise is the same Amen you are saved regardless of whether you've been a Christian for years or whether you're just beginning Another interesting observation about these Beatitudes is the tense of the verbs the 1st and the last beatitude Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven is in the present tense. The other Beatitudes in between are in a different tense Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted bless it are the meek for they shall inherit the earth that is a future tense the 1st beatitude is a present tense Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven the other ones are a future reality indicative of the notion that it doesn't matter or I should say that the Christian experience is a present reality of grace in our lives but the future fulfillment is yet to come we are to experience the Kingdom of Grace now but the full future of fulfillment is also a reality Jesus gives these blasts indicating how we are to become a citizen of John's Kingdom our focus this morning is blessid are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven now this beatitude is quite unique because Jesus uses an economic term the description of being poor or to describe a certain condition that is a state of blessedness. When I was in high school I sold books as part of my work study program at the boarding academy I was in. For 2 years of my high school experience 20 hours every week. 5 days a week 4 hours a day I would knock on doors I would go to school in the morning and then pile into a 15 passenger van and we would be dropped off in the middle of nowhere in rural Arkansas anyone here ever been to Arkansas I remember some of those streets the canvassing leader would drop me off and say hey just just walk just walk and I'd be like we are in the middle of nowhere go up these winding driveways out in the middle of nowhere in the summers I would work 10 weeks in a different location many times near a large city and this particular summer I was in New Jersey quite different than the South. And in canvassing terms there's different territories that we call them oh we call them the senior citizen territory it's this neighborhood that's a little bit older and it's a retirement community then we have what we call sweet territory and this is territory where there's a lot of children and a new development that has not yet been in Sreng they have not met a lot of people that are going door to door and I would notice something as I would go to the economically poorer neighborhoods knock on the door and many times the majority of the time the people in the economically poor neighborhoods they would want whatever it is I was selling. I would have these books and I would come to the door in the they would open the door and say oh you don't welcome me and many times have me come into their home they would want to see everything that I had I would get excited especially early on when I was selling books I would bring out all of the material go through my whole impassioned canvassing spiel and say these are the books and you can get them and then I would get to the price and I would see their face drop they wanted the books the problem was they didn't have the money and then my canvassing leader later on in the day would drop me off in another neighborhood that was quite different it was many times a gated community that somehow the canvassing leader would get me in drop me off he say have your radio ready because if the police come call me so I would go up and the lawns would be neatly manicured it looked like a carpet they would have a Bentley parked in the driveway 5 car garage looked. Pillars fountains you get the picture I walk up to this grand Taj Mahal Taj Mahal all of a building and the door is solid oak brass knobs I knock on the door in a distinguished gentleman with spectacles would come with his cashmere lined European say slippers at the door he would come open the door very distinguished and I would say my name is David and halfway through my sentence he would say Son. I'm all set words I would hear a lot in New Jersey on I'm all set and before I can get my name out of my mouth the door is shutting on. Jesus. In this verse is not talking about economic poverty he's talking about spiritual poverty blessid are those who recognize their spiritual poverty Blessed are those who recognize that they are morally and spiritually bankrupt Blessed are those who recognize that they are not spiritually OK that we are broken that we need help and Jesus points to this class of people that recognize and see themselves as they really are this is a quotation from thoughts on the Mount of blessing a sense of one's need is the 1st condition of entrance into the kingdom of God's grace blessing to those who see themselves for who they really are and feel their need for God The people that had it all didn't feel their need as saying you don't sell sand to someone that lives in the Caribbean they don't need it they don't want it they have plenty and here Jesus is pointing to a group of people that sense their own unworthiness this is a theme throughout the Bible of God's people Abraham notice his words Genesis Chapter 18 verse 27 Lord who am I but dust and ashes. Jacob Genesis Chapter 32 verse 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness which thou has shown to the servant Moses when God came to him with a mission to lead his people out of Israel he said who am I that I should go to Pharaoh so all of these people had a compelling sense of their own unworthiness before God and Jesus pointed to this group of people and says Look bless it are those who recognize their spiritual poverty before God when I was going through college I knew that I wanted to be a minister of the gospel I had accepted the Lord and felt the call to ministry as my freshman year and all of the theology majors were required to take a class on public speaking homiletics the class was structured in a way that we would have to get up in front of the whole school and give a 20 minute sermon during the morning chapel time public speaking was and still is. Quite nerve racking people ask me Do you still get nervous and there's still a little edge not a little but it just kind of sometimes more than others but there's an edge and hopefully by the time you get up to speak it goes away so I prepared for this message it was going to be my freshman homiletics presentation it was to be videotaped and then after your presentation sometime during the week myself and the professor one on one with sit down and he would give me homiletic goal tips on how I could improve so I practice for this sermon I prayed I meditated I got up to preach and let me tell you there are certain times. When you just feel like you've been called up to glory when you're preaching and I got up to preach and I want to tell you from my perspective and my perception I thought I sounded like CD Brooks or or Mark Finley or Dwight Nelson I just I just felt like just preaching the Word of God in the people were receiving it I thought it was it was just amazing experience and I sat down I said All Praise the Lord this was this was amaze power later on that week I just kind of smugly set down with the professor and then he said David before we make any comments let's roll the tape put in the V.C.R. He rolled it and I want to tell you I was absolutely stunned at what I saw because it was horrific. It was awful man effect it was so bad I looked at I could not even look at myself on the screen I just looked out I was so embarrassed I said what happened because I thought I was over here I thought I was the epitome of Dwight Nelson and then in reality I was all full terrible I hate what what a disconnect between what I thought I was and who I actually was I mean the distance between these 2 red realities could not be more far and that is precisely our issue when it comes to our own self perception of our spirituality open your Bibles to Revelation chapter 3 in verse 17 last book of the Bible Revelation Chapter 3. And verse 17 this is the diagnosis of Gaunt's people living in the end of time notice the language here Revelation chapter 3 and verse 17 because you say I am what is your bible say I am rich notice to terms all right because you say I am rich have become wealthy and have need of nothing this is not talking about economics this is talking about spirituality it says that the self perception of God's people living the end of time is we think that we are rich that we are wealthy and we have need of not think that is the self perception just like I thought that I was I sounded like white Nelson that is the self perception the self image of God's people as we look at ourselves spiritually spiritually notice the issue here and do not know important words do not know we think we look like this but we do not know that you are wretched miserable poor are born and naked this is the diagnosis of our mental self perception I naturally think that I am good I am rich but I don't know that I'm poor miserable blind and naked there's this television programme it's no longer on the air I've never finished or watched the entire segment but there's these little clips on You Tube that is humorous to watch It's a singing competition. Where they get common people that come to audition and they're seeking some hidden talent among the masses so there's 3 or 4 judges that are sitting there in these clips of the audition and they have individuals that come in to sing acappella before them you've seen these clips there's a panel sitting there and they come in to sing and the most mystifying ones are the people that come in and they begin to sing and it's awful it's it's almost humorous it is so bad you don't even have to have a background in music to to understand and see that this this hurts your ears and you they pan at the judges and they're just cringing and they're just like all that that's just that's just awful I mean how can this person come in here and sing and then the judges ask the person. A self perception question they ask him how do you think you did and the person honestly says I did amazing i was awesome I'm going to be the next star and the judges are just dumbfounded because the reality of who they are and who they think they are are so far apart there's such a disconnection between the 2 and that's exactly what God is saying about our spiritual state we think when we look at ourselves without divine grace we think that we are oh OK I've heard see a statement before a number of years ago a person was just coming and being honest and saying you know what I just don't feel the need to pray because I feel that I'm just a good person why do I need God I'm kind to people. I'm compassion I'm just a nice person and we have this view of ourselves this self perception that we have you say that I'm rich and have acquired wealth and do not need a thing but you do not realize that you are wretched pitiful pore blind and naked we actually think that we're OK when actually we're broken and in need of divine grace reminds me of the story that Jesus told of the publican and the tax collector that come before God and your member these 2 individuals are praying out loud at the temple and listen to the fair seas prayer the fair city is many times used in a pejorative term today but back in Jesus's time the fair city was the most spiritual person that people could think of affairs he stood by myself and prayed this prayer I love it in the New Living Translation I think you've got that I'm not a sinner like everyone else I don't cheat I don't sin I don't commit adultery and then he looks over at the tax collector and says I'm certainly not like this tax collector you see what's happening there is a relative comparison that takes place the the the person comes before God says look I'm a good person and because look look at him look at him and this is a coping mechanism that we undertake it's a relative righteousness and it is very easy to feel spiritual as long as we're looking around and looking at each other isn't that right I mean even in church dare I say it come into hurt that all made those children so. What parents would. You know did you see that Elder hall. I can't believe Did you see that with the person is dressed all and we and we kind of bump ourselves up by this horizontal comparison this peer comparison that we undertake it's awfully easy to look good and you know what when we look in the mirror and brush our teeth I've noticed something my teeth look white but until I put it next to real white paper they look terrible I need to go to the dentist by the way and so is this is the issue as long as we compare ourselves among ourselves it's easy to look good and this is the experience of Isaiah when you read The leading up captors of Isaiah he is saying a lot of woes he says whoa to this person whoa to this group whoa to this other group and I want to invite you to open your Bibles to Isaiah Chapter 6 because Isaiah has a dramatic conversion experience in Isaiah Chapter 6 Open your Bibles there Isaiah Chapter 6 look at the experience of Isaiah in the year that died 1st one I saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up the train of his robe filled the temple above it stood Serafin each one had 6 wings would 2 he covered his face with 2 he covered his feet and with 2 he flew I say is having a vision of God he sees God. A vision of God sitting upon his throne he's seeing the majesty the splendor the glory of the Chicago. God in Heaven the purity of God he sees God and above God's throne are these angels that are covering the very glory of God and what a scene that must have been I believe that even those in vision that ice is just squinting his eyes as he sees the purity and the holiness of God sanctuary Langridge but the smoke of God or the smoke of glory is feeling the temple and look at what the angels say in verse $3.00 and $1.00 cried to another and said Holy holy holy scholars believe that this is an allusion to the Trinity the Father Son and Holy Spirit Holy holy holy is the LORD of hosts the whole earth is full of His glory and the post of the door was shaken by the voice of him who cried out and the house was filled with smoke Isaiah is having a vision of the glory of God He is caught up and sees a vision of God in His eternal majesty and as Isaiah is witnessing this notice his response it is the universal reaction of every person that has seen God Isaiah sees God and noticed the next words that come out of his mouth in verse 5 the universal reaction of every person that has seen the majesty in the glory of God in verse 5 and so I said whoa is me previous chapters looking at everybody else whoa to you and to you and to you then he sees God he says oh well with me. Well he's me and noticed the consciousness that comes over him because I am a man of on clean lives and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lives for my eyes have seen the king the LORD of hosts Isaiah has an incredible self perception it's as though his eye are open for the very 1st time and he sees his own moral depravity and moral fallenness and he says look I'm a man of on clean ups that consciousness comes vividly before him and notice the progression goes on he's experiencing the Gospel in verse 6 then one of the Serafin one of the angels flew down to me having in his hand a coal that he had taken from the tongs from the altar so this angel comes down from Heaven with the coal and he touches the lips of Isaiah with it and notice what he says Behold this says touched your lips your iniquity is taken away and your sin is purged in theological terms Isaiah just has experience as just experience justification he has just experienced the Gospel but notice before he can experience grace he has to see himself for who he really is and it is grace that enables us to see ourselves for who we really are without grace we think that we look like this without grace there is a big gap a chasm between who we think we are and who we actually are and it is not until we behold the grace of God. That we can see our selves for who we really are notice in Revelation chapter 3 verse 18 Jesus says to the church that has this disconnect between perception and reality I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you can become rich and white clothes to wear so that you can convert your shameful nakedness and notice the language here and sav to put on your I so that you can see God wants to give us grace so that we can see ourselves for who we really are this is the theme all the way throughout the Bible Peter said Lord I'm a sinful man the tax collector standing next to the fairest seat said not even looking up to have an ogre God be merciful to me a sinner and until we get to the place where we see ourselves for who we really are God cannot help us because we do not feel our need one author put it this way the Biblical answer to the perilous is of low self-esteem is not high self-esteem it is solver and Grace God does not say to you you're just fine morally and spiritually he says yes you are spiritually unworthy but look to me that is the nature of the Gospel God allows us to see ourselves for who we really are and I believe that our own self deception is really a coping mechanism because it hurts to see ourselves for who we really are. It's ugly and so we like to exist in this alternate reality this alternate universe because we can't cope with our own depravity in our own hearts Clifford Goldstein I believe describes the only safe place it is to look at ourselves the only safe place where we can afford to take off our facades and our masks and he puts it this way the only cure is the cross rather ironic because the cross is what shows us just bad how bad we really are it's our own sick visit that calls causes us to hide behind our self delusion in the 1st place yet the Cross also shows how we are God except this anyway us we can afford to look at ourselves because whatever appears has been covered by the Blood of Jesus it is only when we've been covered that we dare take off our masks we can afford to have a real understanding of our moral state because at the cross it is safe we can be vulnerable we can be open if we can say Lord like Isaiah I'm unclean there is no shame in coming before God because it is so if at the cross friend and I were reflecting on our Christian experience and he was describing to me his own challenges with legalism it had become so ingrained in his own life and he was reflecting to me on how his journey had been windy circuitous. And he said David I'm coming to the realisation that the only place that I find security the only moments throughout my week that I find this grace that permeates through my entire life is when in the morning I focus and meditate upon the beauty of who Jesus is he said everything else just pales into insignificance and he said Ellen lights comment in desire of ages where she says it would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in meditation on the life of Christ especially his clothing scenes he said David I found that that I need to do that. Maybe I might not be able to get an hour but he said just like I say when I come before God and I see who he is that he is everything and that morally I am nothing that is in that context of grace that there's nothing that I can do that can save myself that I need God and he said it is from that paradigm and that perspective when I do that that I can find that I can rest in Him and His beauty and everything else flows from that paradigm and I've come to the conclusion that we need to have the experience of Isaiah every single day as a people I want encourage you to get up in the morning and see God get the book the desire of Ages if you don't have a copy come talk to me it's online there's there's e-books you can download for free the desire of ages read through the Gospels think about Jesus meditate upon Jesus I have this little book devotional book and I have quotations describing the character of Christ that I look through and as you look at his beauty you see who he is. And you recognize who you are but it's safe to be vulnerable it's safe to be real because you come before a God that will never reject you that will never shame you now will never saying you know what you are so despicable out from my presence this is a God that you can just just take off your masks of self perception and say Lord this is who I am thank you for who you are give me your righteousness and its my faith and it is only when we see who we are in relationship to who God is that Angel just like in Isaiah could come and say your cover your for it what would this church be like by the grace of God If every father in the home would make this a part of their daily life every mother every husband every wife every child would make this a part of their daily ritual and routine from that perspective we can go out and see every person with new eyes there is no basis for pride and for thinking ourselves better than anyone because we have just seen a vision of Jesus and we see ourselves for who we really are we can approach every person with humility and grace not looking down on every person recognising that at the cross we are all sinners in need of grace and if it wasn't for the grace of God there go I. It is when we do not have this vision that we go out and we compare ourselves and we think that we are righteous because it is a relative righteousness but God calls us to look and live have a vision of Jesus every single day. But it's pray our Father in heaven we would see Jesus Father help us to not get so caught up in this world and comparing ourselves among ourselves having this false sense of reality living as it were in an alternate universe but Father we pray that you would get us into a mode of seeing Jesus the beauty of your character every single day and it is from that context that we can afford to take off our own masks to come to terms with our own moral and spiritual bankruptcy recognizing that it is safe to take them off and be who we really are we think you for this promise of grace that when we come to you you will never leave a surface take us that you will accept us just the way that we are and follow I just want to make an appeal today is there someone here today that wants to say Lord I want to see Jesus give me a vision of G's. Helped me to see Jesus and to at the same time come to terms with who I really am knowing that it is safe if there is someone here that wants to say that one invite you to raise your hands today I want to say Lord please give me a vision of who you are. Pray that you would seal every hand with your spirit we praise you and thank you for these things in Jesus' name. Amen this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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