We are well aware that there is wrath to come. God is a holy God, completely righteous, and can not pass over the sins of people. The only way to escape that wrath is to believe in the Lord Jesus who is both Just and Justifier. Because He went to the cross and bore our penalty as our substitute we have access into the grace of God. Yet, how is it that we enter that grace? By faith!
You have come to faith in Christ by all sorts of means. God has called you out through your parents, a friend, a stranger, preaching, reading your Bible…all sorts of ways. Now it is my responsibility to keep you in that faith…to keep you established and firm, and not moving away from the Gospel which you heard. If you move away from the Gospel – if you forsake Christ – you will extinguish your faith and in essence forfeit your salvation. So, I am working hard to keep you strong in your faith. I want you to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Great God and Savior!
This is not an easy task for any of us. Sin rises up in us and pulls us from the Lord. Sin forces us to trust in ourselves and not Jesus Christ. Sin convinces us that we “aren’t that bad, and are mostly good.” That is exactly what the rabbis of Jesus’ day were convinced of- personal righteousness. They had formulated a system of “Cleannesses.”
Point 1: What Comes Out – Matt 15:10-19
Point 2: Cleanse the Inside – Matt 23:23-27
Jesus continually reinforces the idea that cleanliness comes from the inside. God couldn’t care less about the outward appearance of a person because He knows what is in us. He pierces to the depths of us and knows our hearts. As a matter of fact, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things!
From the lips of God comes the beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Point 3: Pure in Heart
A. Inner Attitude – The Heart is the Mind (Thoughts)
B. Pure – Primarily means Cleanliness and Sincerity (but of the heart)
--Moral Uprightness, Utterly Sincere, Single-Minded Devotion to God (contra idolatry)
C. It means that your “whole life, public and private, is transparent before God and men.”
Point 4: They Shall See God
A. Holiness is a prerequisite for entering God’s presence – Ps 24:3-6
B. David knew this and said elsewhere, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps 51:6, 10).
C. Only the pure in heart will see God “now with the eye of faith and see his glory in the hereafter.” Truly Seeing God – 1 Cor 13:12
Isaiah said that he saw God – Isa 6:1 ” I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up,
and the train of His robe filled the temple.”
Job believed he would see God – Job 19:26 “And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
that in my flesh I shall see God.”
David believed the same thing – Ps 17:15 “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”
Yet, in Ex 33:20 Moses was told by God, “You cannot see My face;
for no man shall see Me, and live.”
So, we have a great promise in this beatitude. We can not see God here – in our sin, in our fallenness, in our rebellion – BUT when this age comes to an end the pure in heart shall see God!
We will dwell in that unapproachable light! Isn’t that amazing?
If I was to boil down the main part of my responsibility, it is to help you see God!
Isn’t that what we all want? We want to be in heaven surrounded by those who have gone before us, the angels who proclaim “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come,” and best of all we will stand before the Lamb in our white robes.
Only the pure in heart will see God. Are we perfect? Certainly not, but perfection is our standard. We will one day be perfect and I figure that we might as well work on it now. I can’t help but realize how sinful I am when I read this beatitude. It is not about the outward deeds or restraints – it is about the heart. You can’t see my heart, but God can. I can hide my sins from you, but I can’t hide them from God! He knows my heart. I only pray that it gets purer day by day. I can’t do it alone and neither can you. We need a mighty work of God. We need His hand to touch us and make us whole. The inside of our cups need to be cleaned, not the outside.
Do you want to see God this morning? You can see Him with the eye of faith now and face to face in the age to come. The Lord Jesus invites you to come to Him. He can purify your heart.