The paradox of the happiness of the afflicted
One of the peculiarities of the beatitudes is the language in which the Lord Jesus teaches about what constitutes the character of the Christian. If the first beatitude speaks of “poor in spirit” , the second speaks of the afflicted: “happy are the afflicted for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5: 4). Such a statement disturbs the audience well and raises a pertinent question: How can a afflicted person be happy? In the case of this bliss, the oxymoron seems even more convincing. These two words: happy and sorrowful, in the field of human experience, do not coexist.
Grief is actually one of the most shared human experiences. There is no human being, whatever his social position, his level of education and his social class, who has not experienced this painful emotional state. In a review of the book “The Experience of Pain” written by
David Le Breton, Katia Markelova made the same point, writing that “no one escapes pain at one time or another in his life. However, the pain experienced by a parturient, perceiving her childbirth as a unique experience in her life as a woman, is of a different nature than the pain of a person suffering from incurable cancer  ”.
We must admit, moreover, even if affliction is part of human daily life, that no one wants to be in this state. In other words, its inevitability does not imply its desirability. Affliction is an experience brought on by an unfortunate event. It is the expression of the suffering of the soul due to unacceptable human conditions, for example death, disease, epidemics, etc. Affliction is a state from which the human being is inhabited by sadness, bitterness and regret. It introduces an imbalance in the individual to the point of making David le Breton say that “pain alters all human activities, even those he loves, it permeates gestures, runs through thoughts. It “no longer gives taste to anything . At this point, the human being is in indignation, and his soul can be neither at peace nor joyful.
Look at it, the world today stores more to produce sorrow than to provide joy. It is enough to read on the state of social and political violence, the reports of international organizations on the precarious situation of the majority of the countries of the globe, so that our conscience questions us on the why of these things, asks us constantly about the common dignity of the human species to find ourselves in a situation of uncomfortability. “Evil”, which in our case must be understood as the cause of our affliction, is so common that sometimes we think it was better not to be born into this world. Faced with this reality, how can we claim to be happy? By experiencing pain and sorrow, some ask for death; others manage to commit suicide. It is a common reality within human communities.
Even Scripture contains examples of men of faith who, in the midst of their affliction, asked for death. For example, Job, a man declared righteous by God, in his excruciating suffering over the death of his children, the loss of his wealth and the abandonment of his wife, asked for death and cursed the day of his birth (Job 3 : 3-6). The prophet Jeremiah, facing death on many occasions because he prophesied God's judgment against the Israelites because of their disobedience, demanded death and cursed the person who announced his coming into the world to his father (Jeremiah 20 : 14-15).
So to speak, no one can be happy when facing excruciating hardships. There is no possibility of being in joy when we see the devastation caused by natural disasters, when we observe the gradual death of a relative or friend due to an incurable disease, or well when we are directly gripped by disease or suffer injustice from others. While it is true that there is a certain level of suffering that we can endure, we must, however, in all reality say that there is a dimension of suffering that is beyond us and sometimes makes us utter words. to indicate his level of insufferability. Moreover, as Le Breton makes it clear: “suffering is inherent to pain, it is in proportion to the amount of violence suffered ”. This is in fact what we have observed, in part, in the cases of Job and Jeremiah; and, this is what we experience directly or indirectly most of the time in our life.
On the other hand, some, basing themselves on what devastates the human community and according to their personal experiences, come to say that there cannot be a holy, just and creative God who observes his creatures who are victims of evils of all kinds. In fact, such an observation becomes classic from the perspective of atheistic philosophy. The human affliction caused by evil is so excruciating that it evokes, for some, a mismatch between its presence and the existence of God. In fact, there is a controversial philosophical debate on this question which is not the subject of our text here. Nevertheless, we have underlined all of this precisely to point out that there is, from the point of view of human experience, a kind of aversion to experiencing sorrow. However, Christ, in the second beatitude, declares the afflicted one happy; then promises the latter consolation as a reward. If the matter of grief conjures up an unbearable situation that a human being does not intend to experience, how can Christ say that we are happy in our grief? Is this an invitation to suffering in order to enjoy happiness? We know for a fact that where there is suffering is sorrow, and that, moreover, suffering is an integral part of the life of one who chooses to follow the Lord; Thus, affliction becomes a characteristic element of the believer's life, by the very fact of his walk of piety with God; which, undoubtedly, because of Christ's message, causes enmity in the world against him. However, in this second beatitude do we speak of what type of affliction? In the following paragraphs, we will try to discover its scope.
The Meaning of Affliction in Christ's Discourse
First of all, it is important to stress that this second beatitude must be read in the light of the general context of the Sermon on the Mount, and more specifically in the logic of the beatitudes. First, it makes sense to study this verse in the particular construction of the beatitudes themselves. Its peculiar structure linked to the well-ordered arrangement of the beatitudes reveals a profound truth that the second is a logical consequence of the first, and so on.
Second, keep in mind that the talk of Jesus Christ is only from a spiritual perspective. “Our Lord did not say happy what grieving in a natural sense, to speak of the pain experienced because someone died ”. On the other hand, of course, it is legitimate to be in grief because of the death of a relative or a close relative, because of the economic and social poverty of the world. But, Christ is not in this material perspective of affliction. From this arises a question, seemingly obvious, which consists in asking: does this mean that Christ was not interested in the material conditions of the human being? Was he not listening to those who were in affliction in the material sense of the word? Far from there ! Obviously, Christ was interested in the material situation of the human being, and all that could possibly afflict him.
Let us observe, through his earthly ministry, he sometimes healed those who were sick, as Matthew told us: “Jesus traveled all over Galilee; he taught in the synagogues, proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, and healed all sickness and infirmity among the people. His reputation spread throughout Syria and he was brought to all those who suffered from diseases and pains of various kinds, demoniacs, epileptics, paralyzed; and he healed them ”(4: 23-24). In addition, he knew how to feed those who were hungry (John 6: 1-13; Matt. 14: 19-20). In addition, those who followed him he taught to do the same (Matt. 5:42, 6: 2). The apostles, following in Christ's wake, taught Christians to help others in need (1 Tim 6:18, James 2: 14-27, 1 John 3:17).
However, Christ's main concern, which concerns the depraved spiritual condition of man, which is why he came to die on the cross, should not be confused with his concern for the latter's material condition. Moreover, this same Jesus who had given food to the 5000 starving people, rebuked them harshly by telling them to be especially concerned about their own spiritual condition. Here is what Jean tells us:
Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten bread and have been satisfied. Work, not for perishable food. , but for that which endures for eternal life, that which the Son of man will give you, for it is he whom the Father, God himself, has marked ”(John 6: 26-27) .
Therefore, you should not equate the essential with the important. The quoted text proves that Christ was not unaware of the human affliction caused by the physical and material conditions of the human being, however it is clear that the epicenter of his approach concerns above all his spiritual state. Thus, the Lord Jesus positioned himself clearly in relation to the desire of the crowd and got straight to the point. Above all, she must seek spiritual food, he exclaimed, that which is eternal. However, it is the spiritual condition of being that concerns Christ more than anything else. This is really the aspect that needs to be understood of Christ's teaching on the happiness of the afflicted. This affliction is not caused by the loss of a parent, nor by the observation of social disparities, nor by injustices, nor by the exploitation of the human being. But the focal point of this bliss is this: The Christian is grieved because of sin.
The magnitude of affliction
Regret for our sin is important; but, the level of regret or the size of our affliction is all the more important. The level of our affliction depends on our conviction of sin and our knowledge of the Holiness of God. One of the problems facing churches today is the fact that we have a vague knowledge of sin; so that in terms of result, it does not produce the appropriate fear among those who participate in church services, or even among those who are Christians. So our view of sin should be that of God himself. The only point of view that matters is that of God's conception of sin, revealed in his word. The way God deals with sin makes it clear; for Scripture asserts that the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23). RC Sproul, in his analysis of the holy righteousness of God, defines it as follows: “Sin is cosmic betrayal. Sin is a betrayal against the pure perfect Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude towards the One to whom we owe everything, the One who gave us life  ”. This ingratitude should not be viewed in the light of our human judgment. Preferably, it should be seen in the light of the holiness of God. A peccadillo is a serious sin before God because he calls into question his holiness and tends to reject his justice. To continue, RC Sproul emphasizes that when we sin: “we say no to the righteousness of God. We say, “God, your law is not good. My judgment is better than yours. Your authority is not applicable over me. I have my right to do what I want, not what you command me to do  ”. So to speak, sin, regardless of our perception of its gravity, is dishonoring God and rejecting his righteousness. In this sense, Sproul goes on to say: “The slightest sin is an act of defiance against cosmic authority. It is a revolutionary act, a rebellious act according to which we put ourselves in opposition to whom we owe everything. It is an insult against his Holiness  ”. And this insult has the gravest consequence of death. God, being holy and righteous, cannot let sin go unpunished. The death of Christ on the cross in our place is the most just, clearest and most perfect expression of God's holy righteousness. When the one who has sinned comes to the knowledge of this reality of God and of his / her own condition, he (she) becomes the man or the woman the most affected, the most agonized ( e) of the world when he (she) is in disobedience. In Greek, it must be said that there is more than one word to express the idea of affliction. According to John Macarthur, there are nine words that are used in the New Testament for this word , such as potōs, thrēreō, etc. But, the word chosen by Christ to express this affliction is pentheō. This word expresses the idea of the most severe affliction. This word is expressed, according to Merrill F. Unger and William White Jr., in several instances: a) in the case of sorrow expressed for the death of a loved one (Mark 16:10); b) in a situation of grief because of sin or for its forgiveness (James 4: 9); c) in the case of a grievance in a local church where members refuse to repent.  If the third case refers to the affliction because of the sins of others, Christ himself refers directly to the one who afflicts the individual over his own sinful situation. And, moreover, it should be emphasized that it is this same word that is used to explain the condition of one who loses a loved one, such as the death of a dear relative or a marital partner. Therefore, a person's grief caused by their sin is as deep as that expressed by the loss of their dear mother or son. It is important to dwell a little on the dimension of the affliction mentioned by Christ. Because, the affliction experienced because of the death of a parent or a beloved son (s) is not the same as that expressed because of: the poverty of the world, the illness of a friend. There are no more terrible afflictions than those caused by the death of a loved one, a parent or a son, for example. One of the illustrations given by the Bible which clearly testifies to this type of affliction is that of Jacob, when he learned of the death of his son Joseph. Thus we read: “Jacob tore his clothes, he put a sack on his waist, and he mourned for his son a long time. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. He said: "It is in mourning will I go down to my son into hell," and he was crying his son "(Genesis 37: 34-35, Second 21) On the one hand, we find that. is not a simple regret, much less a false regret. On the other hand, it should be stressed, at the same time, that we live in a world where people tend to take their responsibility away, to trivialize their sin by stipulating that “we are human beings subject to error”. If the sentence is in itself true, the intention of its stipulation is mischievously assuming, in the sense that it infers that “we have the right to sin because we are human beings”. The truly afflicted, in the sense of Christ's statement, recognizes that sinning is a violation of divine holiness and has no right to justify himself. When he sins, it puts him in such an inconsolable situation that only God can console him. Concretely, the inconsolability, as expressed in the situation of Jacob, is the element of measurement allowing to understand the degree of affliction which Christ speaks. An affliction for the sins of others The affliction here does not necessarily imply the shedding of tears. But it is a deep regret expressed because of our conviction of sin. It is a deep consternation before God. It comes from the deep recognition of our spiritual emptiness. She is an inner grievance that tears our heart apart. Furthermore, it would be important to point out that only those who know how to grieve genuinely over themselves can grieve over the sin of others, and can invite them to grieve over their state of sin. Only those who have a real conviction of the danger that sin causes can mourn the sins of others. This is actually what the apostle James did when he wrote to the Jewish Christians in the church in Jerusalem who were scattered outside of Palestine because of persecution, saying: “draw near to God and he will approach you. Clean your hands, sinners; purify your heart, divided men. Be aware of your misery, be in mourning and in tears, let your laughter turn into mourning and your joy into sorrow ”(James 4: 8-9). In reality, the church of Christ is a sort of congregation of the afflicted, knowing that we are still in the flesh and exposed to the sin that we sometimes succumb to. Therefore, as long as we are in this corrupt body, there is no way we can trumpet final affliction. On the other hand, we grieve not because we practice sin, but because we have become allergic. The slightest error leads us into this state of lamentation, knowing that God is purely holy and cannot tolerate sin. The slightest act that clashes with God's law prompts us to ask for his favor. True affliction always leads to repentance. So the apostle Paul, being under the inspiration of the Spirit, writes to the Christians of Corinth about: I rejoice at this hour, not that you have been saddened, but that your sorrow has brought you to repentance; for ye were grieved according to God, that you may receive no harm from us. Indeed, the sadness according to God produces a repentance to salvation of which one never repents, while the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Cor. 7: 9-10) When the church of Christ meets, it does so to worship God. This is the main goal of Christian worship. Worshiping God for who he is invites us to assert our incapacity, our incompetence, and our sinful nature. In reality, in real worship all our faults are displayed before us. Nothing is forgotten. In the presence of God, the unconscious no longer exists. All of our mistakes surface on the screen of our consciousness. This is in a way what David confessed, saying: “for evils without number are all around me; The chastisements of my iniquities come upon me, and I cannot bear the sight of them; They are more than the hairs of my head […] ”(Ps 40:12). And, moreover, he testifies: “my sin is always before me” (Ps.51: 3). It is in the presence of God that we truly appreciate the seriousness of our faults, even those that we have considered insignificant. This is the reason why all those who are regenerated, longing for God, are not only concerned with their own spiritual situation but also with that of their brothers and sisters. Here then are some characteristic features of the Church of Christ. It is made up of the afflicted who intercede not only for themselves, but also for one another. We sincerely believe that one of the responsibilities of church leaders is not only to teach Christians to examine their lives in light of the holy word of God, to mourn before Him for their sin, but also to lament for them. When we read from the Old Testament we find that the leaders still grieved because of the sin of the people of Israel. The prophet Isaiah prayed, saying, “for our transgressions are many before you, and our sins testify against us; Our transgressions are with us, And we know our crimes ”(Isaiah 59:12). And the prophet Daniel, for his part, confessed: “we have sinned, we have acted like perverted men, we have been wicked and rebellious, we have turned aside from your commandments and your rules” (Daniel 9: 5). It was a common practice during the Old Testament period that spiritual leaders grieved and implored God's favor because of the disobedience of the people (Ezra 9: 6; Jer. 3:25). This same model remained relevant during the New Testament period. Even the Lord Jesus grieved because of the sin of the people of Israel (Matt. 23: 37-39). It should be emphasized that Christ did not grieve over his own sin because he had never committed it (2 Cor. 5:20), but had a deep conviction of the sin of others (Heb. 2:18; 4:15). The apostle Paul, in the wake of the Lord Jesus, mourned the sins of the Christians in Corinth. So we read Paul's grievance: “I am afraid that when I arrive my God will humiliate me again about you and that I will not have to weep over many of those who have sinned previously and who do not. have not turned away from the impurity, sexual immorality and debauchery to which they have indulged ”(2 Cort.12: 21). Indeed, the spiritual affliction that the Lord Jesus teaches us in the beatitudes is an emotional state which puts the Christian in a dimension of deep consternation, a feeling of incomparable regret because he disobeyed God, by questioning his Holiness. . He condemns himself totally in the holy presence of God; which prompts John MacArthur to say that “the true affliction because of sin does not focus on ourselves, nor on our sin. It focuses on God, who only He can forgive and wash away sin  ”. It should be noted above all that the affliction in question in the context of Christ's discourse is not a simple act, but an attitude that defines the Christian life. However, it is not limited to the beginning of the Christian life, in the sense that it is this act of regret that leads us only to God. Rather, it is what defines us as Christians, knowing that we are at war with sin all the time, until we are yet clothed with the incorruptible body that Christ promises us at the resurrection. In this regard, to be a grievor for MacArthur: “it is an attitude which begins from the day we enter the kingdom of God, and which will last as long as we are on earth ”.
An affliction because of his own sin
Spiritual poverty is the recognition of one's total bankruptcy before God. Christ defines the poor as a “Ptochos”, that is, as someone who has absolutely nothing. But it is important to point out that the poor in spirit does not just see bankruptcy. This is very important for understanding the excellent organization of the beatitudes. The recognition of his bankruptcy and total dispossession leads him to a devastating emotional state, in the sense that it produces deep regret in his heart. The repentant sinner is grieved because of his state of sin in the presence of holy God. All true spiritual poverty inevitably leads to deep lamentation. This is actually what Martin Llyod Jones tells us, when he could write:
Grief is something that follows the need to be poor in spirit. It is inevitable. As I confront God and his holiness, and contemplate the life I should live, I see myself in my deep distress and despair. I discover the quality of my mind and immediately it puts me in a situation of grief. I must grieve because I am in this state. But, clearly it does not end there. A person who truly faces himself, examines his life, he is a person who must also grieve because of his sin and what he is doing .
The afflicted is one who experiences excruciating pain because he violates the law of God. Christ tells us, it is only they who are happy and, therefore, they will be comforted. The afflicted is one who is aware of his sin, who understands his own condition in the light of the Holiness of God. Psalmist David, in Psalm 51 gives a pattern of prayer that perfectly describes one who is in affliction. This psalm, being the expression of a heart in full lamentation, expresses its dismay, its deep regret after having committed adultery. We are not going to reproduce this entire chapter, but we kind of want to quote a few key verses from this passage that we want to submit for analysis to better understand the attitude of the afflicted.
Have mercy on me, O God, you who are so good! Erase my transgressions, you are so compassionate! Wash me from my sin! Cleanse me from my fault! Because I recognize my faults: the thought of my sin pursues me without ceasing. Against you, against you alone, I have sinned, I have committed what is wrong in your eyes. This is why you are righteous when you pass judgment, and you are blameless when you pass judgment. I have been marked with sin since my birth; since my mother was conceived, sin has been attached to me (Psalm 51: 3-7, Second 21).
This portion of Scripture clearly sets out the attitude of the afflicted. At first glance, there is something very important to emphasize in this text: all true spiritual affliction comes from knowing God. When we come to a level of knowing God, it is clear that we finally come to understand the true reality of our human condition and the true nature of God. It will lead us to examine ourselves, to expose our reality in the presence of God and will lead us to shout “I am lost”, “I am wicked”, “I am disobedient”, “I am aware that I deserve to suffer the anger of God because I am guilty ”. In other words, knowing that there is no way to justify ourselves before this righteous and holy God, sadness invades our heart, soul and spirit. And all we can do is plead for his favor. This is the reality expressed in Psalm 51.
If in verses 3 and 4 the Psalmist appeals to the compassion of God, asking him to erase his transgression, in verse 5 he confesses that his sin takes his spirit captive. He is tormented continually. To continue, in verse 6, he gives the reason for his torment: he sinned against God and against Him alone, doing what was wrong in his eyes. In fact, David sees himself in the mirror of God's holiness and describes his own condition in terms of God's righteousness. He judges and condemns himself in the light of the law of God. In fact, the yardstick is not the likes of David, but the holiness of God. Likewise, the Christian always finds himself in a situation of sorrow when he contemplates the holiness of God which inevitably mirrors his own imperfect human condition. The following reflection by Jean Calvin is important in this regard:
As long as we don't look beyond the earth, we are simply enjoying our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue. We talk about ourselves in flattering terms and seem to be less than demigods. But once we begin to lift our thoughts to God, and think of his nature, the absolute perfection of his righteousness, wisdom and virtue as the standard by which we should conform, we will come to recognize how our false righteousness is. polluted with our iniquities. What we impose on ourselves as wisdom will be seen as folly, and what is presented as the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable helplessness .
From such a perspective, we come to understand that repentance is an ongoing process in the Christian life. It is an act from which we implore God's forgiveness because we regret having violated the holy laws, hoping for his mercy in return. Mercy is a really important concept that must be emphasized in David's prayer. In verse 6, David points out something profound about God's righteousness. He recognizes that God's sentence against his sin is just and that his judgment is blameless. In fact, David admits that exercising God's judgment is what it deserves. But, he also recognizes that God can, also, as it sees fit, manifest his mercy on his behalf. He begs for her. God's mercy is that God does not give us the punishment we deserve. When God does not punish us for our sins, he does not mortgage his righteousness, he does not cease to be a righteous God. Far from there ! But, he simply decides to exercise his grace on our behalf.
Then we have to see that the Psalmist has the right perspective with regard to sin. In verse 7 he exposed his sinful nature which is also that of all mankind. The Psalmist admits that sin is all he has. He was born in sin. This verse shows that he has a conviction of sin. This is the transgression of the holy law of God. This is actually what the apostle John says: “All who practice sin violate the law, since sin is the violation of the law” (1 John 3: 4, second 21).
Note, in this prayer, David grieves over his own reality of sin. And, it is this truth that is taught by the Lord Jesus in beatitude. If it is true that the Christian can grieve over the sin of his brothers and sisters, as we see moreover throughout all Scripture, Christ, for his part, here, speaks above all of him who is grieves over his own sin. We have to grieve over our own sinful situation, and when we are in that state it testifies that God is working in us; it proves that we are truly regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
Consolation: the reward of the afflicted
The Lord Jesus promises comfort to the afflicted. Christ is able to comfort us by forgiving our sin because he died on the cross for us. What an extraordinary peace of mind to hear the one who paid the ransom for our sin say that he will console us. The apostle John wrote unambiguously that Christ is our defender before the Father when we sin, and only He can forgive us. “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you do not sin. But if anyone has sinned, we have a defender with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He himself is the atoning victim for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world ”(1 John 1: 1-2, second 21). It should be noted in this passage that John forbids us to sin. This prohibition reflects the idea that no Christian has the right to sin. He does not practice sin. If the world sins and justifies itself, the Christian for his part condemns himself.
The Christian sometimes succeeds in succumbing because he has a sinful nature, knowing that the ideal is that he does not sin; this is what afflicts him, moreover. But, Christ promises to comfort him. This comfort is in the fact that he will benefit from the forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ, not only in the present time but in the time to come. We especially like the way in which the author of the letter to the Hebrews beseech us to approach before the throne of the grace of God when he could write “Let us therefore approach with confidence the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy. and to find grace, to be helped in our needs ”(Hebrews 4:16). We can approach humbly, but with the assurance that God will comfort us.
What Jesus promises in this beatitude is repeated over and over again in the Old Testament, in that God always bends down to those who grieve because of their sin to forgive them (2 Kings 22:19; Ps. 51). : 17; Ps. 147: 3). We read in Psalm 34: “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and he saves those who have a spirit of depression” (v.18). And, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, we read the following statement from the Lord Himself: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. What house can you build for me and what place can be my resting place? All this my hand made, and everything then came into being, declares the Lord. This is where I will look: on him who is humble and of a downcast spirit, on him who respects my word ”(66: 1-2).
So therefore, God's comfort is for those who want to be delivered from the power of sin, for those who are weary of sinning and sincerely confess them. Christ himself claimed that he had come to deliver us from the condemnation of sin (Luke 4: 16-20). This deliverance, according to James M. Boice, is on three levels. First, a deliverance from the penalty of sin. Second, a deliverance from sin in the present and from its power. Third, deliverance in the future where Jesus Christ will wash away sin eternally.
We can say, to put it mildly, that the happiness of the afflicted lies in the fact that he has a clear conviction of sin being defined from the divine perspective. And, when he sins he realizes that he has violated God's holy law and recognizes that he deserves God's judgment. The afflicted are happy because they hate sin, even though they sometimes succumb to it. The afflicted are happy because they have the assurance that their sin will be forgiven in the present time and their affliction will end forever (Rev. 21: 4).
Blessed are the meek, for they shall be comforted ! (Matthew 5: 4).
Vice-President of Standing 4 Christ Ministry
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[ 1] In the first beatitude, the teacher par excellence emphasized the attitude of humility of the Christian who must confess his total bankruptcy before God, recognizing, as a sinner that he can do nothing to earn God's favor. Christ calls him “poor in spirit”. Before the Holiness of God, he sees himself lost, insignificant, he looks at his own condition of corruption. In reality, he is in a spiritual poverty which puts him in a state of shame before God. The recognition of his spiritual poverty brings him face to face with an essential truth in his relationship with God. If he is accepted by God, it is absolutely not up to him, but that he is a simple recipient of Divine favor. It is this ultimate truth that we read from the pen of the apostle Paul, when he could say, in Ephesian 2: 8-9, “For it is by grace that ye are saved, by means of faith. . And it doesn't come from you, it's the gift of God. It is not by works, so that no one can boast ”.
 Revue Sciences Humaines, https://www.scienceshumaines.com/experience-de-la-douleur_fr_25388.html
 David Le Breton, “Pain as a self-experience”, in Tribune de la Liberation.fr. Consulted online at http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2010/04/01/la-douleur-comme-experience-de-soi_618445
 Martyn Llyod-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 2nd ed, Grand Rapids / Cambrigde: William B. Eerdman publishing Company, 1976, p.43.
 Llyod-Jones, Op.Cit., P.47
 Institutes of the Christian religion (translated by Henry Beveridge), Peabody: Hendrickson publishers, 2015, p.5.
 The Holinesse of God, Chosen by God, Pleasing God, Three in one Volume, Massachussetts: Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, P.85
 The MacArthur New Testament commentary, Matthew 1-7, Chicago: Moody Publishers: 1985, p.157
 Vine Complete expository dictionary, Nasheville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, P.418
 Macarthur, Op.Cit. p160.