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The Struggle for a Pure Heart

Jonathan EdwardsThe struggle for a pure heart is not easy and is certainly impossible without God. However, God calls His people to be a holy people. Even with God’s intervention, Christians will struggle to achieve this. Jonathan Edwards writes:

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

I would earnestly exhort those who hear me, to make to themselves a pure heart. Though it be God’s work to give it, yet it is as truly your work to obtain it. Though it be God’s work to purify the heart, yet the actual, or rather the active, procuring of it is your act. All pure and holy exercises are man’s acts, and they are his duty. Therefore we are commanded to make us a new heart, and a right spirit. Eze. 18:31, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die?”

The unclean soul hates to be purified. It is opposite to its nature. There is a great deal of self-denial in it. But be content to contradict the nature and bent of your own heart, that it may be purified. However grating it may be to you at first, yet consider how blessed the issue will be. Though the road be a little rough in the beginning, yet it will grow pleasanter and pleasanter, till at last it will infallibly lead to that lightsome and glorious country, the inhabitants of which do see and converse with God. Pro. 4:18, “But the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

If you would be in the way to have a pure heart: Cleanse yourself from every external impurity of speech and behavior. Take heed that you never defile your hands in known wickedness. Break off all your sins by righteousness. And take heed that you do not give way to impure lusts that would entice to sinful actions. If you set about the work of cleansing yourself, but when a temptation comes then plunge yourself into the mire again, you never will be likely to become pure. But you must be steady in your reformation and the amendment of your ways and doings.

Second, take heed you do not rest in external purity, but seek purity of heart in the ways of God’s appointment. Seek it in a constant and diligent attendance on all God’s ordinances.

Third, be often searching your own heart, and seek and pray that you may see the filthiness of it. If ever you are made pure you must be brought to see that you are filthy. You must see the plague and pollution of your own heart.

Fourth, beg of God that he would give you his Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that purifies the soul. Therefore the Spirit of God is often compared to fire, and is said to baptize with fire. He cleanses the heart, as fire cleanses the metals; and burns up the filth and pollution of the mind, and is therefore called the Spirit of burning. Isa. 4:4, “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” (“The Pure in Heart Blessed”)

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One Response

  1. Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

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