• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Becoming Pure in Heart

Jonathan EdwardsA man must not excuse himself by saying that it is God’s work to purify the heart and that he cannot purify his own heart. Yes, it is God’s work in one sense; however, it is equally our work in another. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8 ESV) We must engage in this work with the Holy Spirit and purify our own hearts. According to Jonathan Edwards:

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

[H]ow great a thing it is to be an upright and sincere Christian. For all such are pure in heart, and stand entitled to the blessedness of seeing the most high God. The time is coming when they shall assuredly see him. They shall see him who is infinitely greater than all the kings of the earth. They shall see him face to face, shall see as much of his glory and beauty as the eyes of their souls are capable of beholding. They shall not only see him for a few moments, or an hour, but they shall dwell in his presence, and shall sit down forever to drink in the rays of his glory. They shall see him invested in all this majesty, with smiles and love in his countenance. They shall see him, and converse with him, as their nearest and best friend.

Thus shall they see him soon. The intervening moments fly swiftly, the time is even at the door, when they shall be admitted to this blessedness.

Let the consideration of this subject put us all upon inquiring, whether we ourselves are pure in heart. Is our religion of that kind which has its seat chiefly in the heart, or doth it chiefly consist in what is outward in morality and formality? Have we ever experienced a change of heart? Have we a right spirit renewed within us? Have we ever seen the odiousness and filthiness that there is in sin? Is it what we hate, wherever we see it? And do we especially hate it in ourselves, and loathe ourselves for it? Is it the object of our hatred as sin, and as it is against God?

And are there any that now hear me, who think themselves to be Christians, who do yet, either in their imaginations and thoughts, or in any secret practice, allow and indulge the lust of uncleanness, and live in such a way? If it be so, they had great need to bethink themselves whether or no they are not of that generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet are not cleansed from their filthiness. If they imagine that they are pure in heart, and live in such wickedness, their confidence is vain presumption. Inquire whether holy exercises and holy employments are the delight of your soul, and what you take pleasure in above all other things in which you can be engaged. Are the enjoyments that you choose, and take the greatest delight in, spiritual and heavenly enjoyments? Is the seeing of God, and conversing with him, and dwelling in his presence forever, what you should of your own accord choose above all other things? (“The Pure in Heart Blessed”)

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