It’s so easy to do what’s right when people are looking, isn’t it? Less easy to do what’s right when NOBODY is looking…but even tougher still is doing what’s right from the right mindset. Not to get attention, not to get points with God, but doing the right thing because you love Him, because you know He wants you to do it, and because He’s your loving Father, you want to please Him… NOT for the “points” it’ll get you, but just because you love Him. Because remember, He alone knows the human heart, and He knows not only every thought you ever had, but every thought you are going to have, so no fooling Him! Thankfully, we have someone here today who can help us test our motives, and get us in line with how and why the Lord wants us to be His representative in the world. Today is the 7th episode in our series on The Beatitudes. Joining us today to explore the 6th Beatitude in our series is teacher and author of the book “Broken Yet Blessed”, Kathi McCarty, with…
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Table Talk Notes
Review: Reviewing the first 4 to understand the next 3
First three beatitudes describe the emptiness of the blessed person, how we are within ourselves and with God.
Poverty stricken in spirit
Grieving over sin: both our own & the world’s
Accepting life’s challenges and accusations with meekness
The 4th Beatitude declares the necessity of a hunger and craving for righteous to be filled, but with what? Mercy, purity & peacemaking (the next 3 beatitudes).
Pure: Gr Katharos > 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: Clean meat is defined as the meat of every animal that has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, including the ox (cattle), buffalo, sheep, goat, deer, gazelle, antelope and mountain sheep
- Ritual washings before meals: Pharisees questioned Jesus as to why his disciples didn’t wash their hands before eating (bread especially)
- Number 19:11 – 7 days uncleanness for touching a dead body
- Ceremonial rituals before Day of Atonement (the list is exhaustive!)
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.
Jesus said, “Not so!” if the heart was not right.
Matt 23:25-26 | Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. You blind Pharisee! First cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean
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.
- The aim of Jesus is not to reform the manners of society, but to change the hearts of sinners like you and me.
Matt 5:27-30 | “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
James 4:7-8 | Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Matt 22:35-40 | You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Purity is born of a heart that is after God’s own heart; a heart that desires to walk righteously because of love of God, not fear of reprisal or being cast away from Him. Click To Tweet
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
When Christ rules a person’s heart, his actions become less polluted. Sanctification!
Matt 12:33-37 | “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The promise to “see”
First: To see God means to be admitted into His presence.
2 Kings 25:19 “men of the King’s presence”
Men have always desired to see God
- Ex 33:18 – “Show me thy glory”
- Ps 17, 41, 63, 140 – “to see thy face, to dwell in thy presence, to stand in thy presence.”
Second: seeing God means being awestruck by His glory, by an experience of His Holiness.
After God confronted Job in the whirlwind, Job said, “I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:2-6 | “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Isaiah in the temple, “Woe is me, I am like a dead man (having beheld His glory)
Isaiah 6:1-5 | In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Virtually all of our spiritual sight is mediated to us through the Word of God or the work of God in providence with the work of the HS.
Third: Seeing God means being comforted by His great and amazing grace.
Ps 27:7 | Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! Hide not thy face from me.
Sin keeps us from seeing God as He truly is – holy! Click To Tweet
It is God’s grace that allows us to come boldly to the throne of God and into His presence.
John 1:14 | And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
2 Thess 2:16-17 | Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
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.”
“God is the one who purifies the heart, and the instrument with which he cleans it is faith.” – John Piper
Matt 19:26 | “With men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” In other words, God creates a purity for us and in us so that we can pursue purity.
Ps 51:10 | By his grace we must seek that gift by praying with David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Titus 2:11-14 | We must look to Christ “who gave himself for us . . . to purify for himself a people”
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.