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The kingdom of God belongs to the poor in spirit

We saw above that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven one must have no sin in his or her account. We will now see that another requirement is that one must also understand that one has sin in his account and therefore cannot enter the kingdom of heaven without help from God.

Lk 6:20 And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

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

The poor referred to here are those who are poor in spirit – that is, those who recognize that they are spiritually poor. Spiritually poor people are people who cannot solve their spiritual problems (just like financially poor people are people who cannot solve their financial problems). Spiritually poor people humbly recognize that they need God’s help to solve their spiritual problems – the problem being their sin. They understand that they have sinned and cannot pay the price for their sins (without suffering an eternity in Hell and thus being spiritually ruined), and that they therefore need God to pay for their sin.

What is the sign that you are spiritually poor? A spiritually poor person is so conscious of his own sin that he is almost blind to the sins of others. On the other hand, a spiritually rich person has a high opinion of his own spirituality, and tends to look down on others. We all have a tendency to be spiritually rich because it makes us feel more secure. But consider what Jesus said in Lk 18:9-14.

Lk 18:9-14 9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

You want to be justified? Learn to pray like the tax collector.

The difference between a saint and a sinner is this: a saint understands that he is a great sinner, whereas a sinner thinks that he is a great saint.

So then, do you see yourself a saint or a sinner?

It is easy to think of yourself as a sinner after reading this, but the real test of how you see yourself is when someone crosses you and messes up things for you, or for those you love. The one who sees himself as a sinner is merciful to other sinners.

Paul considered himself as the chief of sinners (1 Tm 1:15).

Daniel prayed as if he were among the great sinners whose sin resulted in the judgment of Israel (Dan 9:4-11).

These men are good examples to follow.

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