THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 5-29-05
LESSON TITLE: "THE CHRISTIAN BEATITUDES: BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART"
Hear the words of God in Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." How wonderful it is to know that we can count on God and that He is with us every step of the way in this life.
Thanks for joining us this Lord's day for the study of God's Living Word. How blessed we are today to be able to enjoy such opportunities and freedoms, that allow all to offer such times of sacrifice before His wondrous throne. I hope we all do our part this Lord's day, in participating in this worship toward God and in doing all things in accordance to His Perfect Will!
So, At this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer:
Let me take just a moment this morning to tell you about some every exciting news. Today at 2:00 we will have the first graduation ever, at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We are honored to have 8 fine men graduating today after 2 academic years of study in the Word of God. How exciting it is to have such a work in Springfield, Missouri and to have so many of the brethren in the area involved to see that it continues to be successful for the sake of God. Please keep all of these good men in your prayers as they now get out and do the great work of an evangelist. In all things to God be the glory!
Now let's begin praising our God through song. Won't you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together a hymn that reminds us that we are God's own as His followers. The name of the song, "I Am Thine, O Lord!"
(SONG # 1)
We learned earlier this day that God is always with us: each moment of every day, no matter where we go, our God is with us every step of the way. Isn't that wonderful in this life, to know that we are never alone or by ourselves - because God is always by the side of the faithful.
There is a further promise which God gave that is equally encouraging. This idea is found in Deuteronomy 31:6. There we read, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Sound familiar? It probably does because the Hebrew writer reconfirms the same truth in the New Testament. Read Hebrews 13:5 with me, "...For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Praise God for this wondrous truth! However, notice that He does not stop there. Now let's read verse six together, "So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'" Now there is the real question! If God truly is God and can do what He says, what are we worried about, why do we fear. The fact is man and this world can do nothing to us that really matters as long as God is on or side. Just how much of God have you included in every day life? Won't you cast all your cares on Him today?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of study will again focus on the "Christian Beatitudes." Our specific lesson of the morning is entitled, "Blessed Are The Pure In Heart."
As far as our speaker, we are happy to again have brother Ted Clark with us. As you might remember, brother Clark is one of the instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri, here in Springfield, Missouri. We thank brother Ted for being with us and at the appropriate time he will be leading us in our main study of the day.
But now it's time to join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "My Jesus I Love Thee."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ted Clark
Good morning. It's good to be back with you this morning as we again engage in another study of God's Divine Word. I'm thankful for the Kansas Expressway congregation and the Bible Institute of Missouri where I work as one of the instructors and we invite you to come by and visit with us and see what we're trying to do to glorify God and further the cause for which Jesus died.
Our Beatitude this morning for our consideration is in Matthew chapter 5 and verse 8 where Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." The Beatitudes are called such because they are blessings to our lives.
The word "blessed" itself means that it makes us happy. It provides for us things that make life better and enjoyable. And this Beatitude, "Blessed are the pure in heart" leads us to the conclusion that we shall see God. What a great promise that is.
The word "heart" in this Beatitude involves the part of man which comprehends his intellect, his emotions and his will. That is the inner man. The word "heart" there is used in regards to the inner man.
The word "pure" as it is found here is from the Greek word "Katharos" (spelling?) and it means to be clean, pure, unsoiled, guiltless, innocent, sincere, upright. The idea of moral or religious purity among the Jews was primarily a ceremonial or ritualistic thing. The heart had really very little to do with it. If a man kept the external ceremonies and rituals of the Law of Moses, he basically was considered pure and orthodox even though his heart might be filled with pride and bitterness and hate and such like. It is against this concept of what it means to be pure that Jesus spoke this 6th Beatitude. He affirmed that no matter how much men might be strict in their observance of the externals of religion that they are not truly pure or pure in heart unless their hearts are right before God. For example of one occasion, Jesus said, "Ye hypocrites. Well did Isaiah prophesy you saying, This people honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me." (Matthew chapter 15 verses 7-8) Jesus later on when He was talking about the scribes and the Pharisees, groups of people who often times perverted God's Word, He said, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter but within they are full of extortion and excess...For you are likened to whited sepulchres which outwardly appear beautiful but inwardly they are full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also appear righteous unto men but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matthew 23:25-28)
Before we are too quick to point a finger at the scribes and the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and their lack of true purity, we need to take a look at ourselves and see how we think about things today in religion. Sometimes it's possible for us to be good church-goers. We can engage in Bible reading. We can offer prayers. We can be generous in our giving alike. And yet, fail to see that all of these activities, even though they are dained of God, they are meaningless unless our hearts are truly pure. The definitions that we've talked about already involve the concept of moral cleanness.
Solomon said in Proverbs 4 and verse 23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life." Well, the question might arise, "What do we feed our hearts? What do we do with ourselves that helps us to have a sense of what purity is and how God wants us to behave?"
Jesus said in Matthew chapter 12 verses 34-35, "For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speak it. The good man out of the good treasure bringeth forth good things and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." Then a few chapters later, He says, "The things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and they defile the man for out of the heart comes forth evil thoughts, murders, adultery's, fornication's, theft, false witness, and railings." (Matthew 15 verses 18-19) And so these are matters of great concern to us as we live and as we speak. These are indicators of the condition of our heart and the things that we desire to watch, for example, on television and the movies or what we look at in magazines and how we conduct ourselves out in the community. These are indexes of whether or not our hearts are really pure and if we feed upon vile and vulgar things, if we speak in vile and vulgar ways, if we feed our minds on things like this, then it doesn't make any difference how religious outwardly we appear to be. It doesn't make any difference how many times we attend worship, how much we give, or anything else like that. If the heart, the inward person is not pure and holy, then none of those actions really mean anything to God.
Jesus dealt with the emphasis that we need to put in our lives in Matthew chapter 6 verses 20-24. He said, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust does consume and where thieves cannot break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, the whole body shall be full of darkness. No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." What people truly treasure is also an index of what their hearts are like. What people really love to do gives a good indication of their spiritual qualities in their lives. Christians who impure in heart are double-minded, lacking the singleness of purpose that would exalt Christ in their lives and in James chapter 4 and verse 8, He said, "Purify your hearts, you double-minded."
In order for us to have a pure heart, we must have a converted heart. In Acts chapter 15 and verse 9, Luke wrote that "God was cleansing or purifying the hearts of the gentiles by faith."
The Hebrew writer says, "How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without blemish unto God cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?" (Chapter 9 and verse 14)
And then in chapter 10 and verse 22, he said, "Let us draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience." A heart that is filled with faith is a heart that will be pure. A heart that is filled with faith will enthrone God and put Him in His proper place in our lives. Christians who have pure hearts have enthroned God and God is in control. God is in charge of what we do in our lives through our thoughts and our actions.
E.L. Hill wrote, "There is no true purity of heart apart from the absolute enthronement of God in the affections. It is not merely the absence of unholy affections. It is the presence and the surpassing, earnest love that really makes us pure."
But in the purity of our hearts, Jesus promises us that we shall see God. What a great promise that is. It's true that no one, no physical person has ever seen God. In John chapter 1 and verse 18, Jesus just simply says, "No man has ever seen God." But He also goes on and says, "But the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."
In John chapter 14 and verse 6, Jesus said, or Philip said to Jesus, "Show us the Father." Jesus said, "Philip, have I been with you so long that you do not know that he that has seen Me has seen the Father?"
When we look at the life of Jesus as presented in the scriptures and we see His teaching, we see His manner of life, we hear the things that He required of those who followed Him, we are actually seeing God and the only way that we can see Him in this present body. We can see God in the things of creation. The Psalmist said in Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declared the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork."
We can see God in the many gifts that He gives us in this life. James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of light in whom there is no variableness, nor shadow that is cast by turning."
We can see in every God-given gift whether physical or spiritual God's benevolent hand and His love that provides for us. As we said then, we see God in Christ.
Living in this world as we do and subject to death, our lives our short at best and death beckons for all of us. For some of us, it will come more quickly than for others, but we just simply don't know the time, nor do we know the hour of Christ coming. But we do have the promise that when we pass from this life to the next, that if we have been among those pure in heart and who have loved God and loved His son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us, if we have expressed our faith in Him and repented of our sins, confessed His name as Lord and been buried with Him in baptism, raised with Him to walk in newness of life, exhibiting that purity of heart, we have these great and precious promises.
Listen to John in 1 John chapter 3, verses 2-3. "Beloved, now we are the children of God and it is not yet made known what we shall be. We know that if He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him even as He is and everyone that hath this hope set on Him, purifies himself even as He is pure." We cannot hope to see the Lord Jesus and His love and His purity unless we imitate to imitate that purity in our own lives.
In the book of Revelation chapter 22 and verse 4, it says, "And they shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads." What a joyous thought it is that when this life is through, we'll be ushered in to the gates of heaven and look upon the face of our God.
Happy are the pure in heart because their hearts are illuminated by the love and trust and sincerity and goodness that God requires.
We hope that this lesson has been meaningful for you today and that you will develop in your life that purity in heart that without which no one can see God. Love the Lord. Serve Him. Dedicate your lives to Him. And when this life is through, you shall see Him as He is. Thank you very much.
(SONG # 3 - "Living By Faith!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. No doubt our time spent together has been uplifting to us and acceptable to our God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of offering before God!
But for now, let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
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May we all strive more every day to have a purer heart - before our God and this world. For we all want to be with God and we now know that the pure heart will see God!