Not many Christians realize how serious God is with what He permits His people to do and what He bans us from doing. Have you ever wondered why God gave us a Bible? Yes … it was to reveal His Rescue Plan in Jesus Christ. He did this over thousands of years. But why the Rescue Plan? Because of sin … our sin! It was not for fun or entertainment or attention that God:
(1) Chose Israel as His people giving them the Ten Commandments (with all the subsidiary ones) to obey and the Levitical Priesthood to offer sacrifices whilst being His witnesses to the pagan world … or
(2) Sent His Son into this world to be brutalize in the most horrific death possible, as a substitutional offering.
God was serious and God is still serious about sin. In our going through the Beatitudes we have seen that God is pleasured with our awareness and acknowledgement that true believers detest sin because it is so offensive towards God. Ongoing sin in the believer’s life is saying to God that there is a serious spiritual problem in that believer. We have already seen how the progression of the Beatitudes points to an ever increasing maturity in Jesus, proving intentionality in relationship from our side. As we come to the sixth Beatitude, we find the true depth of maturity God requires of His people.
Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
You are right! The Beatitude requires absolute seriousness on our part!
1) The Purity of God. If I said God has stupendous holiness, righteousness, blamelessness and perfection, I would not get close to the purity of God. God knows no sin and has never sinned. He is totally pure in morality and ethics. Perhaps the closest I could get to explain the purity of God is to refer to what Paul says to Timothy
1Ti 6:15 the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.
God is shrouded in perfect holiness, glory and majesty. An example of this is revealed in Isaiah 6 with reference to the sinless seraphs
Isa 6:2 With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy , holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
2) The Meaning of Purity in the Bible. Purity is ethical … it means freedom from all corrupt desires, which covers all sin and guilt.
(1) Before we deal with believers, consider
Tit 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
Note that impurity covers a wide range of issues, from the mind to the conscience to the actions. Those performing such sin are seen by God as detestable, disobedient and unfit to do any good.
(2) Purity would mean being spiritually, morally and ethically clean. For context read from John 13 verse 1 to 17 … in verse 10 Jesus says something amazing to Peter … “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” He says … “you are clean”. Jesus is using the body metaphor referring to the soul. Salvation presents you positionally clean … pure.
3) The Meaning of Purity for you as a Believer whilst in the flesh. The heart was seen in Biblical times (and still today) as the center and seat of spiritual life. With reference to the soul … the heart of man, it is the fountain of thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes and endeavors. The heart is the “inner man”. Right here you see morals and ethics coming to the fore! In Biblical times purity requires not eating certain animals, touching the dead or having a skin disease, desecrating the altar or temple, having or following idols and images and abusing God’s holy name in any way … and today it includes being sexually pure (not having sex with the neighbors wife (adultery in general including fornication), no rape, prostitution, bestiality, homosexuality or incest) or whom you marry. In a hundred meter sprint each runner must remain in his or her lane on the track. Should they move into the lane on the left or right they will be disqualified. To remain in the lane they need to watch the track all the time. They can’t look at the crowds, their watch or the birds in the sky. They need a one track mind! That’s what is required here. Being one track minded … the God track! The concept of purity in most societies is reflected in virginity. A girl or woman is called pure when still having her virginity. In some cultures Virginity Testing is performed on a regular basis. Should a women in Bible times and today, irrespective of age be raped or coerced sexually, she would be classed as “defiled” or impure. In our Church age this applies to any woman or man who has premarital sex. They are seen as impure … and this includes by God. When we think of hungering and thirsting for righteousness … the same applies to seeking purity. We need to be diligent because God is omniscient. He sees everything! Salvation makes us pure but we need to pursue purity in practice or else we are proving we have not been saved in the first place.
4) This brings us to the promise of this beatitude.
Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Those who are pure in heart will see God! “Will see” means two things.
(a) God will allow Himself to be seen and
(b) His people will behold (have vision of) Him. God’s somber words to Moses were:
Ex 33:20 “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
Yet, Luke tells us that something profound about Jesus:
Ac 1:3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
God will show Himself to those who are pure in heart. How?
(i) On the pages of the Bible.
(ii) Through the Lord Jesus Christ.
(iii) Finally in glory we will see our Lord and God forever as we enjoy being in His midst!
Our glorious, majestic, holy God, thank you for the New Birth in Jesus Christ’s death in our place. Help us Lord to pursue moral and ethical purity as we progress towards seeing You in heaven! Amen.