Would we know what kind of people Christians ought to be?  Would we know the character at which Christians ought to aim?  Would we know the outward walk and inward habit of mind which are fitting for a follower of Jesus?  Then let us often study the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  Let us ponder each sentence and prove ourselves by it.

The Lord Jesus calls those blessed who are poor in spirit (Matthew 5.3).  He means the humble, lowly-minded, and self-abased.  He means those who are deeply convinced of their own sinfulness in the sight of God, those who are not wise in their own eyes and holy in their own sight.  They do not fancy they need nothing.  They regard themselves as wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.  Blessed are all such!  Humility is the very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity.  We must begin low if we would build high. – J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), from a meditation on Matthew 5.1-12.


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