Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Poor in Spirit
...true humility is born in the crucible of grace

"This is how one should regard us,
as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover, it is required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy."
-1 Corinthians 4:1-2



The great theme song on the lips of the postmodern contemporary church today is no longer "Holy, Holy, Holy", but "Send in the Clowns."

In an age where pastors have morphed into amateurish stand-up comedians, clever raconteurs, mass-marketers of themselves, spiritual chameleons, scatological sermonizers, and biblical motivational speakers; the true man of God was once poor in spirit, broken, contrite, and found his joy and contentment in ministering the Word of God, serving the people of God, proclaiming the gospel of God, and doing all things to the glory of God.

But that has all changed today.
The tragic results of this spirit are all about us: shallow loves, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit. These and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul. -A.W.T.


Quotes below by:
Thomas Watson
He that is poor in spirit is lowly in heart:

Rich men are commonly proud and scornful, but the poor are submissive. The poor in spirit roll themselves in the dust in the sense of their unworthiness. 'I abhor myself in dust' (Job 42:6). He that is poor in spirit looks at another's excellencies and his own infirmities. He denies not only his sins, but his duties. The more grace he has, the more humble he is, because he now sees himself a greater debtor to God.

If he can do any duty, he acknowledges it is Christ's strength more than his own.

As the ship gets to the haven
more by the benefit of the wind than the sail,
so when a Christian makes swift progress,
it is more by wind of God's Spirit
than the sail of his own endeavour.

The poor in spirit, when he acts most like a saint, confesses himself to be 'the chief of sinners'. He blushes more at the defect of his graces than others do at the excess of their sins. He dares not say he has prayed or wept. He lives, yet not he, but Christ lives in him. He labours, yet not he, but the grace of God.

6 comments:

PDS said...

I thought this was kinda funny...

"The great theme song for the under-shepherd of Christ is no longer "Holy, Holy, Holy", but "Send in the Clowns.""

Immediately followed by...


"In an age where pastors have morphed into amateurish stand-up comedians, clever raconteurs..."

Detoured By Travel said...

"Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy." - Leonard Ravenhill

"The fact that He has risen no longer stirs our souls." - Steve Camp

Brethren, let me ask this question -- In this carnal world, where special effects in movies is king and people want to be "dazzled," does the Church really have to resort to entertainment to "compel them to come in?"

I believe where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. I believe that where JESUS is lifted higher, HE will draw all men unto Him by His Spirit. I believe when the whole counsel of God is presented without compromise in love, His Spirit will convict and compel the hearts of men.

So, the question for all of us to ponder is, where are we personally failing? What can we personally do to advance God's Kingdom here? Remaining broken and contrite before our Savior is the right place to start.

Patrick Eaks said...

Bro Steve thanks for this needful post.

This is a great statement.

As the ship gets to the haven more by the benefit of the wind than the sail, so when a Christian makes swift progress, it is more by wind of God's Spirit than the sail of his own endeavour.

This is what perseverance of the saints is all about. Our position is always followed by our practice. Positional righteousness always is followed by practical righteousness, because of the work of the Holy Sprit in the true believers life. We are always being conformed to the image of his Son by the power of God.

John 15:16 - Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Des said...

I read this post while listening to, "Where Are the Heroes". Very appropriate for the irreverence for a thrice Holy God shown by Mr. Driscoll is very grievous.

I do wonder why John Piper and C.J. Mahaney will be participating in the National Resurgence Conference at Mars Hill Church.

Nathan White said...

Watson is pure gold. He's got to be one of my favorite puritans. Thank you for sharing such an excellent quote.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you my brothers!

SDG,
Campi