Tim Keller | February 4, 1990
When Jesus talks about the kingdom of God, He means a deep change that happens when He becomes the ruler of our lives. The Beatitudes, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, show the unique traits of people who accept this kingdom and demonstrate the different ways to live as a Christian. The first four Beatitudes teach us how to enter the kingdom, while the last four show how to live inside it. Let’s focus on three of them that discuss how believers tackle their problems.
1. You know your problems are too big for you
Admitting you’re spiritually poor means recognizing that your problems are too big to solve alone. But realizing this is not the end, it’s just the beginning. You still have actions to take.
2. You also understand your problem is sin
Realizing our spiritual poverty helps us see our own limits. This often leads to sadness as we face the reality of sin in our lives.
3. You go even further to meekness
Christians are unique in knowing that their problems are not only too big and caused by sin, but also that they contribute to the problem. This idea, summed up by G.K. Chesterton’s quote, “The problem with the universe is me,” shows a kingdom person’s humility and self-awareness. This is demonstrated in the three Beatitudes: being poor in spirit, mourning, and being meek.
1. Poor in spirit
Being poor in spirit means admitting that our problems are too big for us to solve alone. It opposes the culture of self-reliance, recognizing our limits and the spiritual nature of our problems. Understanding that our deepest needs can’t be met by worldly means and that our problems are too big for even philosophers or therapists is the first step to receive God’s grace and power.
Understanding our inherent sinfulness is key to grasping the human condition and the state of the world. Sin, our refusal to rely on God, is the root of our flaws and the world’s brokenness. Admitting and grieving our sin is not depressing but the first step towards true freedom and experiencing the kingdom of heaven fully.
Realizing our problems are out of control lets us choose between self-pity and anger or humility and meekness. Knowing the difference between repentance and self-pity is crucial, as repentance involves acknowledging our sin and its effect on God, while meekness is a strength that comes from accepting our sin and depending on God’s forgiveness. Jesus, the divine doctor, leads us towards repentance for real healing and through this, we can experience the fullness of the kingdom of heaven.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer