From: Su Min
Agapetos Beloved Children (acronym ABC),
In the Matt 5:8, the 6th beatitude, Jesus says..
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.The Greek word for pure: Strong's concordance 2513 katharos (kath-ar-os); literally or figuratively clean, make clean, clear, pure.
As Jesus made this profound teaching he must have had Psalm 24 in mind.
Ps 24:3 asks the question:
"Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?Then the Psalmist provides the answer:
Who may stand in his holy place?"
"He who has clean hands and a pure heart,The Hebrew word in this Ps 24:4 is bar (bawr) clean, clear, pure.
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear to what is false.
He will receive blessings from the Lord
and vindication from God his saviour.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob."
The sense of intense purity is emphasised when referring to pure silver or gold.
In Psalm 12:6 the Psalmist says: The Word of God is pure: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.The Pharisees had a false sense of purity. They tied cleanliness to rules and regulations. Respect of traditions of ceremonial washing of hands was more important to them, than respect for elders (Matt 15: 1-10, Mark 7:1-23, Luke 11:38-41). Jesus goes on to teach that it is not what goes in to a person's mouth that makes them unclean, but what comes out: and he links what comes out of a person's mouth to what comes out of the heart: Jesus says out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, arrogance, folly. These make a man unclean. Impure heart leads to unclean hands. Wicked thoughts lead to wicked deeds.
Here we understand that in the refining process the molten noble metal is heated to an intense heat that burns all the dross way, the impurities are vaporised, leaving clean clear pure precious metal.
God says to the rebellious nations: I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove your impurities (Isaiah 1:25)
God is more specific when he points out that this is a spiritual process:
See I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10).
How does one end up doing all these wicked things? Very easy. It is the way of fallen man..
The word of God teaches us that sinful actions are a result of sinful thoughts that are allowed to breed.
Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has been conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death (James 1:14-15).How do we avoid these evil thoughts. We can look at nature and nurture.
Jesus teaches that looking at a woman lustfully is already adultery (Matt 5:28)
Jesus exhorts us to avoid evil thoughts about murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, arrogance and folly.
Nature: Our genes, our inheritance spiritually. If we remain children of fallen Adam, we can but sin. If we repent, we become children of God. And with that inheritance comes the mantle of holiness, sacredness, set aside for His glory. He, our Heavenly Father listens to us as we talk to him. He sends his son to save us. He sends his Holy Spirit to dwell in us. He gives us his Word to speak to us. Our heavenly heritage keeps us away from evil thoughts.
Nurture: Certainly the environment we place ourselves influences our thoughts. If you find that the company you keep and the entertainment you enjoy help you keep good clear, clear and pure thoughts, then you are on the right track, you are in Godly company. Keep on at it. Good. But if you find that the company you keep and the entertainment you enjoy do not help you keep good clear, clear and pure thoughts, then you are on the wrong track: evil thoughts about murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, arrogance and folly will abound, and evil thoughts will soon lead to evil deeds. Run. Repent. Turn around. Turn back to God.
So it is for us who would seek a pure heart: we should avoid pollution and subject ourselves to the refining fire, let our impurities burn away. Indeed God has promised that he will purify us, make us spotless and refined.
Many will be purified, made spotless and refined (Dan 12:10).Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
I will refine them like silver and test them like gold (Zech 13:9).
He will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver (Malachi 3:2-3)
And what happens when we do see God?
Adam and Eve had a perfect relationship with God before the Fall. But after temptation and sin, when they heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking about in the garden, they hid from the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden (Gen 3:8). Will you remain fallen. Will you hide from God? Or will you make your self right with God, by confessing your sin, repenting, and allow yourself to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus?In the Old Testament we read how the most sacred place within the temple was the holy of holies (Ex 26:34). The holy of holies was the innermost sanctum within the temple. Within the holy of holies was to be placed the mercy seat, with two cherubim standing guard over it (Ex 25: 17-21) And there, between the two cherubim above the mercy seat, God will meet his people (Ex 25:22, 30:6) God also prescribed for a curtain, a veil to separate the holy of holies from the holy place Ex 26:31, Ex 38:35, 2 Chron 3:14. We understand that only the high priest, once a year after ritual cleansing, could enter the holy of holies. This was the OT situation.
When Moses saw God in the burning bush, he hid his face because he was afraid to look at God (Ex 3:6).
When Isaiah saw God, he cried "Woe to me. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live amongst a people unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 6:5)"
Now these two men, Moses, & Isaiah, are amongst the greatest of God's prophets. See and identify with their true humility as they meet face to face with God.
When Jesus paid the price of our sins by dyeing on the cross, the veil of the temple was torn in two (Matt 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45). The way was now open for each of us to enter into God's presence, to see God. Hebrews 6:19 says that Jesus entered the holy of holies on our behalf, a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. In Hebrews 10:19-22 the Word of God tells us Therefore brothers, since we have confidence to enter The Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having out hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our body washed with pure water.
What will it be like to see God? Isaiah gives us a clue: God seated on a throne, the train of his robe filling the temple, the six winged seraphs calling to one another "Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of His glory (Isa 6:1-4)." In the book of Revelations, Ch 4 & 5, the Word of God gives us a preview of God seated on a throne in heaven, surrounded by 24 elders, and the six winged seraphs calling to one another "Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
Let us pray,
Abba, heavenly Father,
thank you for loving us even though we are unpure.
Thank you for teaching us what purity is.
Thank you for giving us the desire to be clear and clean.
Thank you for sending Jesus to cleanse us.
Give us the obedience Father, to submit to your purifying furnace.
Let us join the chorus in singing
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever.
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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