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Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Jonathan Edwards“Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3-4 ESV) It would be inappropriate for those who are defiled by sin, to be admitted to the court of the King of heaven and earth. Jonathan Edwards writes:

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

[H]e who is pure in heart will never suffer himself to live in any sin. If he be overtaken in a fault, he will return and cleanse himself again by repentance, and reformation, and a more earnest care that he may avoid that sin for the future.

The remaining corruption that is in his heart will be his great and continual burden, and he will be endeavoring to cleanse himself more and more. He will not rest in any supposed degree of purity, so long as he sees any degree of impurity remaining, but he will be striving after progress in the mortification of sin and in the increase of holiness. . . .

Pureness in Scripture is sometimes used only in this restrained sense, with respect to freedom from fleshly impurities. So it seems to be, Phil. 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”. . . .

He is pure in heart, who delights in holy exercises. Those exercises that are holy are natural and pleasant to him, he sees the beauty there is in holiness, and that beauty has such strong influence upon his heart that he is captivated thereby. He delights in the pure and holy exercise of love to God, in the fear of God, in praising and glorifying God, and in pure and holy love to men. He delights in holy thoughts and meditations. Those exercises of the understanding that are holy are most agreeable to him, and those exercises of the will. Such inclinations, desires, and affections, are most delightful, which are spiritual and holy.

He is pure in heart, who chooses and takes the greatest delight in spiritual enjoyment. A spiritual appetite is that which governs in his soul, and carries him above the mean lust and defiled enjoyments of this world, towards spiritual and heavenly objects. The enjoyments which he chooses and chiefly desires, such as seeing God and enjoying communion with him, are enjoyments of the most refined and pure nature. He hungers and thirsts after the pure light of the New Jerusalem. . . .

God is the giver of the pure heart, and he gives it for this very end, that it may be prepared for the blessedness of seeing him. Thus, we are taught in the Scriptures. The people of God are sanctified, and their hearts are made pure, that they may be prepared for glory, as vessels are prepared by the potter for the use he designs. They are elected from all eternity to eternal life, and have purity of heart given them, on purpose to fit them for that to which they are chose. Rom 9:23, “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared to glory”. . . .

Therefore, if God gives the pure heart to fit and prepare us for the vision of himself, he will obtain his own end. For who can prevent him from doing what he purposes? (“The Pure in Heart Blessed”)

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2 Responses

  1. Clean Hands and a Pure Heart underlie these quotes from Spurgeon: http://spurgeonwarquotes.wordpress.com/

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  2. Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

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