In the beatitudes recorded in Matthew 5:3-12 Jesus describes the qualities of those who would be citizens of the kingdom of heaven. In verse 3 Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In other words, if we wish to be “blessed” or very happy and to be citizens of the kingdom of heaven, then one of the qualities we must possess is that of being “poor in spirit”.
To be poor in spirit means to be humble, not prideful. In Mark 10:15 Jesus said, “assuredly, I say to you whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it”. We must realize that the opportunity to enter God’s kingdom, the church, is offered to us by God’s grace. It is not something we deserve or have earned. Also, we must realize that the entrance requirements to the kingdom are set by God as well. It is not our place to decide what we must do to be saved.
We must also humbly submit to God as to the duties and responsibilities of those who are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Both the entrance requirements to the kingdom and duties of those who are citizens are found in the New Testament. Those who are “poor in spirit” will go there to find God’s will for them and submit humbly to it.