Sermon on the Mount | Purity: Part 4

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

There is a sense in which the believer sees God now, in this world. The Christian can see God in nature, whereas the unbeliever cannot. The Christian sees God in the events of history. There is a vision possible to the eye of faith that no one else has. There is also a sense that to see God is to know Him … feeling that He is near and with us.  Imperfect as we are, we can claim that even now … ALREADY … we see God in these and other ways.

Seeing God Forever

But of course, this is (as Paul puts it) “seeing through a glass darkly.”  The ways in which we see God “already” are only a tease for the real thing.  Listen to these words of John in 1 John 3:2.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.

How amazing! You and I … pressed as we are with all of the economic and moral and social problems of our lives … WILL SEE HIM FACE TO FACE. We are meant to live in the audience chamber of God. We are being prepared to enter into the presence of the King of Kings. It is an inconceivable blessedness.

BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, FOR THEY WILL SEE GOD.

Our Efforts

Of course, the only question that remains is this: how can our hearts become pure? Given what purity is … given the sick state of our hearts … given the blessed promise of a pure heart … how can our hearts become pure to see God?

Do we become monks/nuns? Segregate ourselves from society? If we’re going to have a pure heart, seems to me it would at least be a full time job! Our chant can’t be “SOLA BOOT STRAPA” … 

We can give our lives to working on purifying our own hearts, but at the end of even a very long life it will be as impure as it was when it started.  

In addition to the Father’s acceptance, the Parable of the Good Samaritan also teaches us is that we can have outward purity and inward impurity. We can project purity on the outside without possessing purity on the inside. They did not have a pure heart.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, there is another lost “one” … one who never left. He equated morality with external obedience, but lacked inward conviction. There was duty, but no delight. There was outward conformity, but not inward transformation. The grace of the father and the repentance of his younger brother exposed the judgmentalism and pridefulness in the older brother. He did not have a pure heart.

God’s Gift

Only God can give us a pure heart, and THANK GOD he has promised to do it.  The only way in which we can have a clean heart is for the Holy Spirit to enter into us and to cleanse it for us. Only His indwelling and working within us can purify our heart.

Those of you who are believers in Jesus … He is STILL your only hope and you are in His hands.  The process is an ongoing one.  “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” God has set his hand to the task, and because of that, you can rest assured that a day is coming when, indeed, I will have a pure heart because of His doing, and not at all because of mine.

Those who are not believers … Only He can give you a pure heart. Let him give you the assurance of that today, and begin the process today. Let him give you the assurance of that day that you will have a pure heart because of His doing. 

 

Rob Tims

Rob is Teaching Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.