There are two groups of people: the proud in spirit and the poor in spirit. The proud in spirit are destined for hell and the poor in spirit belong to the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” – Matthew 5:4
There are seven basic traits of poor in spirit.
The poor in spirit are humble.
They are submissive to God and his Word. They are yielded to the will of God and will obey him at any cost to themselves at any time for any reason. They know their position before God who is all-powerful, all-knowing and present everywhere. The proud in spirit rule their own kingdoms from their own self-made thrones. They do as they please whenever they would like. They deceive, manipulate and steal from others. These people think they rule above God.
The poor in spirit are contrite and penitent.
They realize they are guilty of sin against God and have offended him deeply. They realize they deserve the eternal, conscious torments of hell. They are very sorrowful over any sin they have committed against him. They know that God is holy, and they are not. The proud in spirit are self-righteous. They do not believe they have sinned against God or anyone else. They do not believe they need to apologize or repent to anyone for anything.
The poor in spirit have true confession of faith.
They make a true confession of faith. That does not mean one day they confess that Jesus is Lord, repent of all their sins and commit themselves to God, and then the next day they give return to living their own sinful lives. Those who do this have not made true confession of faith. The poor in spirit confess they belong to Jesus and commit themselves to God, day in and day out.
The poor in spirit condemn themselves for sin and suffering.
They admit they have sinned. They do not try and blame someone else for their own failings. They do not excuse themselves because they were stressed out, tired or hungry. They simply proclaim their own guilty sentence and accept the consequences of their sins.
The poor in spirit have sincere, honest exposure before God and men.
They voluntary expose themselves before God and men. They do not try and hide their sin. They do not confess their sin only if they are caught or pressure is put on them. Once they realize they have sinned, they confess their sin to God and expose themselves before those who they have sinned against.
The poor in spirit rely on the Lord for salvation alone.
They depend on the grace and mercy of God. They trust in what Jesus has done for them. They trust that Jesus has taken all their sin and given them salvation and righteousness. They do not rely on their own good works or their church checklist. They do not find escapes in sexual escapades, in drug or alcohol abuse or in work. They trust in Christ alone, and run to him for all help, comfort and salvation.
The poor in spirit plead for mercy.
They plead for mercy from Jesus. Psalms 2:12 tells us, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” We must ask Jesus for forgiveness and receive his righteousness