Today, let’s talk about purity. Now that’s not a word you hear every day, at least not in these times. But what is it? Why is it important? And why is it we seem to want to know “how pure do I have to be to qualify?” Here to explain all this to us is teacher and author of the book Broken Yet Blessed is Kathi McCarty.
Table Talk Notes
Matt 5:8 | Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
What is purity?
“Pure”: clean, without blemish, without admixture, without alloy, sterling in quality, purged of undesirable elements, language which is void of all colloquialisms, unsullied, untarnished
Old Testament meanings
- Ceremonial purity, ceremonial washings, observance of rules & regulations (i.e. ritual conduct)
- Spiritual purity, blamelessness in face of a charge of misconduct, sense of innocence, upright, clear in God’s sight
A few examples from Leviticus
- Eating of certain animals
- Ritual washings before meals
- 7 days uncleanness for touching a dead body
Ceremonial rituals before day of atonement
- Life & conduct vs mind & heart
- Jesus totally contradicted the official & orthodox concept of purity with two words…pure in heart
Jews believed in the outward rituals for purity
Matt 15:1-11, 17-20 | Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites!
Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person… 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled. But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.””
“Not so!” if the heart was not right…
Joel 2:12-14 | “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him…
The purity Jesus speaks of
- Blessed are those whose thoughts & motives are absolutely untainted, without mixture, genuine & sincere.
- We must let the Holy Spirit be honest with us in His examination of our heart
Who could achieve that kind of purity?
Jesus was stating that no matter how “perfect” the outside looked, there was no way to the purity that this Beatitude demands other than death of self and life unto God thru Christ.
Matt 23: 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
>>> When Christ rules a person’s heart, his actions become less polluted.When Christ rules a person’s heart, his actions become less polluted. Click To Tweet
The promise to “see”
John 9:39-41 | Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.
II Kings 25:19 | “men of the King’s presence”
>>> Men have always desired to see God.
Exodus 33:18 | “Show me thy glory”
Psalm 17, 41, 63, 140 | “to see thy face, to dwell in thy presence, to stand in thy presence.”
1 Cor 13:12 | “Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am known.”