Matthew R. Perry

Happy Are The Holy, For God Is In Sight

In Sermons on April 28, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Jesus urges us not to look to external piety and good works or even to our intellect, but toward the purity of heart he requires if we desire to fellowship with him. Psalm 24:3-4 says, “Who shall ascend to 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).

If you desire to fellowship with God, then you must desire holiness before God. Christ here is calling us to unadulterated, unblemished purity. We all must be careful in allowing anything in our hearts, souls, and minds that distorts or takes away from the holiness of God. Carson again asks, “What do you think about when your mind slips into neutral?” Purity should not be present only in certain situations, but privately and publicly.

Staying pure is not easy at first. Since we are products of the Fall and are tinged by sin. I will say this: oftentimes, those who have not surrendered to Christ understand Christ’s desire for holiness better than some Christians. They understand it’s a total surrender. For many Christians, it’s just about getting to heaven. All too few concern themselves about growing in the faith. But Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”

J. Vernon McGee told one time while at a chapel service in Dallas that a beautiful song was sung, “Take Time To Be Holy” which starts off, “Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord.” Yet, Lewis Sperry Chafer who preached at that service requested that one word be changed. He said, “Let’s sing, ‘Take time to behold him, speak oft with thy Lord.” The connection is clear: If we wish to behold him, we must strive to be holy. And if we strive to live holy lives because we love him and wish to behold him as he is.

Do you long for purity in your heart? Do you find yourself allowing unholy things into your mind?

  1. I don’t know…
    1. If we want fellowship with God I think we ought to trust Christ alone.

    2. No one is pure (even as we grow in real purity we cry even more “unclean, unclean” not “Lord I thank you that I am not like the sinner…”)

    3. Is it possible for someone to be saved and not desire purity–if so, what have they been saved from? It sounds like that kind of person is just still a servant of their lusts.

    Just some thoughts

  2. Shane:

    Good hearing from you. Here’s the thing: the entire part of the striving for purity is all about trusting in Christ alone and not putting anything in our minds that would deter this — thus blocking his influence and fellowship with us.

    No, no one is pure, but read this blog again: we are to at least strive for it (see Hebrews 12:14) out of love for the One who purchased us.

    Part and parcel of the Christian life is this: do we desire Christ to be our all in all? Then we desire to be a pure and spotless bride before Him.

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