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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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The Sermon On The Mount

Spiritual Beggars

Matthew 5.1-12; cf. vs 3

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[Three Approaches to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7):] 

        [The Liberal Approach – This approach teaches that all a person needs to live the Christian life is the Sermon on the Mount.  These believe that everything we need to know about life and God is contained in the Sermon on the Mount.  This is the common teaching of Churches in our day.  The problem here is that the Sermon on the Mount does not contain the Gospel, nor the divine provision (salvation by faith and the indwelling Holy Spirit) for actually fulfilling the Sermon on the Mount.] 

        [The Hyper-Dispensational Approach – This approach teaches that the Sermon on the Mount was given before Calvary and the Resurrection and therefore precedes the dispensation of Grace.  This view holds that the Sermon on the Mount does not apply to born again Christians at all.  The problem here is that our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching and preparing His Apostles and Disciples to do the work of the Kingdom after His departure.] 

        [The Biblical Approach – The Sermon on the Mount “. . . expresses the mind of Christ which should be the mind of the Christian also.”[1]  It leads us to understand what the mind of Christ is (The Be-Attitudes) and what the mind of Christ will look like in the way a born again Christian lives his life.  People need the whole revelation of God in order to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.  They need the moral and ethical code of God (the law), and the empowerment to live the life God demands (the new life).  When one reads the Sermon on the Mount one must quickly admit that he cannot live this life on his own.  Only the Holy Spirit (empowerment), received through the New Birth (redemption, the gospel), can enable one to live the life our Lord describes through the Sermon on the Mount.  The Sermon on the Mount is the light bulb that requires a power source (the indwelling Holy Spirit) to provide light.  Without the gospel and its supernatural empowerment the Sermon on the Mount leaves people helpless before God.] 

[The Be-Attitudes (Matt 5.1-13) – Our text today has often been referred to as the Be-Attitudes.  In referring to this text as the Be-Attitudes scholars affectionately express what ought to be in the hearts and minds of born again Christians.  But people need to understand that apart from receiving our Lord Jesus Christ mankind will strive in vain to live out what is expressed in these first thirteen verses of the Sermon on the Mount.  As said just moments ago, only the presence of the Holy Spirit of God within a child of God will enable them to realize the mind of Christ within them and the development of these spiritually endowed attitudes.] 

[The focus of the Be-Attitudes  - Notice that Jesus said “BLESSED” nine (9) times in these first thirteen verses.  When our Lord said blessed, he was saying, HAPPY is he, CONTENTED is he, JOYFUL is he.  The focus of the Be-Attitudes is the source of true happiness and contentment.  Hence, we discover The Focus of the Be-Attitudes,] 

  • [In all of these attitudes Jesus is talking about what we are, not what we have.  Who you have within yourself determines what you are and will give you the provision of supernatural blessedness.  Hence, what we are relies wholly upon what you have within you.  If you have the presence of God within you, then you will be blessed by God because he will work the mind of Christ into and out of you.]


  • [Our culture focuses on what we have, blessed are those that have power, wealth, strength, knowledge, prestige, popularity.  A lot of people have a lot of things but lack joy, happiness or contentment.  What you have will never bring you to the blessedness being expressed by our Lord Jesus Christ in this text.]

[Today we will consider the first of these Be-Attitudes.  Jesus Said,] 

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

A.     The Definition Of A Spiritual Beggar [– What is the poor in spirit? - Word Study  - Two Greek words for poor,] 

1.      To Be Deprived - Not our texts usage.  [There are two Greek words that speak of poverty. One of them means to be so poor that you have to work each day just to live through that day. If you missed a day of work and pay, you would be destitute. That Greek word is not the one used here. ] 

a.       [Poor Like the widow with two mites.  Poor, but able to give something.]

2.      To Be Destitute [- Poor - ptochos (gk) -  1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms. 2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour. 3) lacking in anything.  3a) as respects their spirit.] 

a.       [Beggar, having absolutely nothing, poor as Lazarus - completely destitute.  Lazarus was dead, there was absolutely nothing he could do, he was dead.] 

b.      [This word means to be utterly destitute. It means to be without any means of support whatsoever. It means you are hopeless! There is no friend or family member to help you. It means there is no savings, no earthly goods you could sell, absolutely nothing that can help you survive. This word is used in Luke 16:20 to speak of Lazarus the beggar. It means to be a beggar before God. In the sight and presence of God, you and I are spiritual beggars!]

B.     The Details Of The Spiritual Beggar 

1.      The Spiritual Beggar's Bankruptcy (John 10.10; 16.24; Isa 64.6; Job 25.5-6; John 15.5) 

a.       [Not Material Bankruptcy] 

(1)   [Not like the man who said when he was growing up, they were so poor, the mice ate out most of the time.] 

(2)   [Or like the man who told his boss he needed a raise because three companies were after him.  His boss asked which three companies.  He replied, "The gas company, the electric company, and the telephone company."] 

b.      [Not Personal Bankruptcy - Your attitude about yourself.] 

(1)   [This is not speaking of the person who is down on himself or carries a low self-esteem.  Like those who say to themselves, "I'm just no good."] 

(2)   [God intends for us to have an abundant life, full of Joy.] 

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  

John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.  

c.       [This is Spiritual Bankruptcy - Poor in respect to God.] 

(1)   [We have nothing with which we can redeem ourselves from our spiritual bankruptcy. We are helpless before God. A person must see himself as bankrupt before a holy God. ] 

(2)   [A human being has absolutely nothing with which to commend himself to God.] 

[Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. ] 

(3)   [Bildad the Shuhite said]

[Job 25:5-6 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?]  

[John 15:5 . . . for without me ye can do nothing. ] 

(4)   [Apart from God we are:] 

a)      [Bankrupt from hope.]

b)      [Bankrupt from satisfaction.]

c)      [Bankrupt from love]

d)      [Bankrupt from joy.]

e)      [Bankrupt from eternity.] 

2.      The Spiritual Beggar's Brokenness (Matt 15.26-28; Philip 3.8; ) 

a.       [A person must discover and recognize what he is.] 

["Most people are egomaniacs running to hell, thinking that they are too good to be damned." - Adrian Rogers] 

b.      [Brokenness comes when we see ourselves in comparison to God..] 

(1)   [The women of Canaan came seeking the deliverance of her demon possessed daughter.  Jesus said,]  

[Matthew 15:26 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.]

[Matthew 15:27-28 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.]  

c.       [Paul recognized his spiritual bankruptcy when he counted all his gains but dung.] 

[Philip. 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, ] 

d.      [Brokenness come when we realize that without God we are spiritually bankrupt and completely hopeless.] 

(1)   [There is the story of Cesar Milan, a famous minister from Geneva. He met a young woman one day and asked about her spiritual condition. She was annoyed by the question and plainly told him that she did not wish to discuss the matter. He said that he would pray for her salvation. Later, when they saw each other again, she asked how she might come to know the Lord. He told her to come just as she was. She turned her life over to Christ and then wrote the great hymn, which expresses the message of the first Beatitude. A couple verses of the hymn make the point.] 

["Just as I am, without one plea,

But that thy blood was shed for me,

And that thou biddest me come to thee,

O, Lamb of God, I Come.] 

[Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need in thee to find,

O, Lamb of God, I come, I come."] 

3.      The Spiritual Beggar's Backbone (1 John 4.4; Psalm 61.1-4; Rom 8.14; Gal 4.6) [- Once a spiritual beggar realizes his bankruptcy and become truly broken he gains access to incredible strength.] 

a.       [His Dependency shifts from himself, or the world, to his Heavenly Father; who becomes his strong tower.] 

[1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.]  

[Psalm 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. 4I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.]  

b.      [His Devotion. The spiritual beggar learns to truly say, "Abba, Father" (Rom 8.14; Gal 4.6)] 

[Romans 8:14 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.]

[Galatians 4:6 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.]

c.       [His Definition. God's strength then becomes their strength, and their life becomes lost in God.] 

C.     The Delight Of A Spiritual Beggar 

1.      His Happiness [- Happiness or Joy. To be congratulated.  To be self-contained, to have what you need within you.  In the Greek culture, to have the approval of the God's.] 

2.      His Heritage (Luke 12.32; Rom 8.17) [- Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.] 

[Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.]  

[Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.]


[1] J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "Chapter 5".


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