So that we may become
Heirs of the Kingdom of God
"And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."
Most of us say we are joint heirs with Christ to the Kingdom of God, but, in reality, we work hard to avoid this process because it can be difficult, painful and bewildering.
But, actually, it is the amazing, supernatural work of God transforming us into His Own, children of Light.
Jesus teaches us - His disciples - what it takes to enter and become an heir of the Kingdom of God and it is recorded in the Book of Matthew, chapters five through eleven, specifically.
Ironically, this teaching has been widely mis-characterized as a 'sermon'. When in actuality, it is profoundly, The Portal into the Realm of God's Kingdom. It is the only entry way - and Jesus is our door and our guide.
I have always heard about 'the plan of salvation' in the Bible. Most cannot actually find 'a plan' Well, here it is:
This is THE PLAN OF SALVATION and the PROCESS OF SANCTIFICATION.
Matthew 5:1 ¶ When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3 ¶ "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12 "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 ¶ "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Here is the interpretation of these verses and their meanings:
verse 3 ¶ "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This “Sermon on the Mount” starts by telling us that we are Blessed, when we are poor in spirit. We all have heard that this means we are “spiritually bankrupt” or something as tepid.
But, I suppose this can be one very basic and rudimentary meaning.
Being “Poor in Spirit” however, means so much more:
Verse 3: “Poor in spirit” (Greek: ptochos) literally means
1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms
2) destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor
2a) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches
2b) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end
2c) poor, needy
3) lacking in anything
3a) as respects their spirit
3a1) destitute of wealth of learning and intellectual culture which the schools afford (men of this class most readily give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and proved themselves fitted to lay hold of the heavenly treasure)
This comes from a root and alternate meaning “to be terrified”, “as a decaying corpse”.
It should cause us to wonder how could we possibly be considered “Blessed” if we are “poor in spirit”.
These verses go on to tell us we are “Blessed” if we are “mourning” loss, “hungering and thirsting”, or being “persecuted for the sake of righteousness”. How can this be?
“Poor in spirit” is, more literally, to be crushed in your spirit; to be pinched by the toil of hopelessness and extreme poverty; A beggar with no hope of rescue on the verge of death and perishing.
It is when life deals you crushing blows, which seem to be your end, with no way of escape, that this marvelous work of salvation, redemption and sanctification can begin; and not before.
We hear it said “you must come to the end of yourself to enter the Kingdom of God” which is true enough, but none of us have the will power to bring ourselves to such a desperate state.
It is God, alone, who will allow or bring crushing circumstances to bear on our lives which will cause us to turn to God for help. And only God can save us from such desperate circumstances, redeem us to a state of wholeness, health and safety which is His Sanctification (holiness) of our lives.
Please read the following verses and take note of the process. Here, the Bible explain to us, ahead of time, what we must endure (yes, endure) in order to “inherit the Kingdom of God”.
verse 4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Mourning”. An understandable response upon finding yourself severely pinched by poverty, reduced to begging; destitute with no influence, no position; lowly, afflicted and helpless; powerless to change your circumstances for the better; lacking in anything and terrified.
An example of this in the Bible is found in Matthew 19:21 regarding 'the rich young ruler'. Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.
"But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property."
Even the thought of enduring such material loss, caused this young man to mourn.
Think with me. Have you ever endured an especially difficult time? Perhaps, as a child, you were punished for bad behavior? Besides receiving a scolding you may have been spanked or had privileges taken from you? Or perhaps you endured a time of suffering and loss? “Mourning” was the natural response. What did you experience next?
verse 5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Do you remember after enduring a time of suffering or loss and “mourning” your loss, having a good cry, you how your emotions or spirit was quieted for a time? You may have now had time to reflect on what has happened and you lapse into a time of quiet, gentle appearing reflection.
verse 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Do you remember coming through a difficult time, having a good cry, either mentally or actually shedding tears and then the ‘calm the followed the storm’ in your soul? Do you also remember that, for some reason, with the storm of your life behind you, you were actually hungry?
It is the same in our spirit. It is usually at this point that we begin to make life-decisions. We either getting angry and defiant or we decide to do better and to “be better”.
For those being redeemed by the mercies of God, the process is to ‘hunger and thirst for right thinking and right living’: which is the very definition of Righteousness.
It is through this process that we gain new insights and understanding. How apt are scriptures to remind us in the next verse that
Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."