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Pure

The Beatitudes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction
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Transition
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Illumination
Matthew 5:8 NKJV
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

We Will See God in Potential

The Condition

There is a condition to us being able to see God. We must be “pure in heart”. This sounds like either a platitude or a real problem, depending on your perspective.
platitude because it sounds nice but doesn’t practical
problem because it sounds like something I know I can’t attain
The truth is that the phrase is neither a platitude nor a problem, once we understand it.

The Distinction

Similar to what we saw last week, there is a distinction that we need to make between Positional and Experiential.
Positional is our standing before God
Experiential is our understanding in life
Regarding our standing before God, He makes our heart pure when we place our faith in God.
Acts 15:6–9 NKJV
6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. 7 And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Regarding our understanding in life, we make our heart pure when we prioritize our faith in God.
James 4:7–8 NKJV
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
The relationship between our standing and our understanding (or positional and experiential if you prefer those terms) was demonstrated by Jesus at the Last Supper.
John 13:1–10 NKJV
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
When we place our faith in Jesus, God makes us clean. But we still pick up dirt in the normal course of life. We need to get rid of the dirt we pick up, but it doesn not make us dirty.
Assuming we have placed our faith in Jesus, being cleansed by God, and have prioritized our faith in Jesus, cleansing ourselves, we should expect to blessed, enlarged, completed, by the ability to see God.

We Will See God in Person

Job 19:23–27 NKJV
23 “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! 24 That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Revelation 21:1–4 NKJV
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

We Will See God in Process

As wonderful as it is that we will see God in person, it may not be the most relevant fact to you and I today. Have you ever found yourself saying that I will worry about the future if I survive the present? (or some related sentiment). It is common in our world to focus on the struggle that are immediately before us. It is even correct to do so. Matthew 6:34 “34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Hebrews 4:14–16 NKJV
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

See God in the process of our pain

See God in the process of our pleasure

See God in the process of our present

Regardless of what our present state is, we have the capacity to see our Heavenly Father.
Conclusion
Like so many of Jesus’ statements, a simple phrase expresses a fuller, more powerful truth. Fuller and more powerful do not equate to complexity though. Jesus’ statement stands full and powerful in its simplicity.
So, if seeing God is simple, why don’t more Christians, us included, see God more regularly? The answer lies in the conditional nature of the simple statement.
We cannot see God when we’re trying to be God.
Psalm 66:18 NKJV
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
1 John 5:21 NKJV
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Unconfessed sin in our lives and unbroken idols in our lives both impair our ability to see God.
The more we try to be like God, the more we will see God.
It turns out that our ability to see God comes down to answering the question “How badly do I want to see God?”. If I want to see God badly enough to be pure, both positionally and experientially, then I will see God. If I am more concerned with being god, or in other gods, then I will struggle to see God.
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