Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God

Ds J Bruintjes
Mattheus 5: 8 - 9
Preek Inhoud: 

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why do I start off a sermon like that? Because in Christ we are family. And today we eight young men and women who will be joining us a the family table next week. This is a table for the pure in heart, this is a table of peace.  

The blessedness continues to flow from inward outward.

  1. The Pure in heart

  2. The peacemaker

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. This is what it is about the heart. That is what we as leaders tried to get at in coverstaions leading up to this day with these young people. Where is your heart?  Is there no double mindedness?  Did they desire to do this simply because the other people did it? Did there life match their faith? Was there sin that needed confessing?  

Psalm 24 says, “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his Holy Place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who do not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false… such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face O God of Jacob.”

It is the ones with clean hands and a pure heart, they are the ones that seek God – and find him in his Holy temple. It is with them that he reveals himself to be there covenant God. They encounter the living God and have a living relationship with him – for their hearts are open before him – there are no hidden paths or ways in them. No deep dark secret compartments which they are keeping locked up. They cry out with the Psalmist, “Search me and not my heart, see if there is an hidden fault in me.”

The disciple who is pure in heart is wholly dedicated to the Lord. He is not double minded. He does not say one thing or another. OR say one thing and think another. What you see is what you get. When these young men and women say yes today we believe they mean yes. James says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” The purity that God is seeking is a simple and total devotion to following his ways, his paths.

We can all pretend. We can all fake being nice, while on the inside you are boiling and thinking this or that person drives me crazy, and I cant really stand them.

 I would rather have an honest struggling sinner that confesses even gross sin as so many sinners in Jesus day did, then a lying “saint” who refuses to confess sin. Like the pharisees who were whitewashed tombs. They made the outward look perfectly clean, while the inside was a rotting. Only in Jesus can we be pure in heart. Only in Jesus can we confess freely, and not be in fear of opening up every corner of our life and heart up to him.

Blessed are the Pure in heart for they will see God. Those walking the life of the disciples knows what it is to experience a relationship with God. 1 John 1 says, “But we know that when Christ appears, then we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” We shall be like him (Jesus) and see Him (God) as he is – everyone who has this hope purifies himself. Your see how purity and seeing God go together. My prayer is that your journey young men and women is a journey of seeing God, more and more and more. This means being open, vulnerable, repenting, confessing, and receiving Christ.

Listen to what John says, “No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” If you are living in sin, or under the lordship of sin then you will not see God!

But if you confess you sin! O dear ones there is forgiveness for you. There is real life, new life, eternal life. So feed on Christ every Lord’s supper again. And keep getting up. being honest. And one day you will see him – the one in whom you put all your hope – the one who even now knows you and see you. Yes, you will see him – the Lord Jesus Christ – in Glory is purity, in holiness.

You see pure in heart does not mean perfect. It means dealing with sin immediately, consistently, honestly, and openly – and repenting of it completely. So that you are in the constant state of purifying yourself in the Power of the Spirit and in the constant state of seeing God.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.

Purity in heart paves the way to true peace..

All of them also build on each other. There is a reason the first beatitudes are first and these are last. Not because we are done with the first ones at some point, but because in order to truly be a peacemaker you need have peace with God, and that only comes by recognizing your poverty and going to the cross. Peacemakers make peace because they are meek – humble people that walk alongside as ones that enter the struggle of the person to bring them into relationship with God and with each other.

Where does peace come from? God. Where does conflict come from? My heart. As James 2 so clearly states, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that you passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”  As one author say, “We want our way in the way we have chosen in the time we have deemed best. And if you get in my way you will pay.” In other words, it comes from the inside – the passions at war within us.

Christians are peacemakers, because they have peace with God In Christ by the Holy Spirit. You young men and women are peace filled people. And you make it with those who are all around.  

How do you make peace?

Well there are four ways you could make peace, but only one of them is a real path to peace.

First, you can withdraw. Deny there is a problem. Flight. Run.  Pretend nothing is wrong.  that is not the way of biblical peace making.

Second, you can yield. A people pleaser. Just give in. Stop the conflict with a quick fix as soon as possible. Smooth it over. But this just fixes the outside and builds long term resentment inside. Jesus did not do that, he boldly spoke the truth in love, even when it hurt, even when it was his closest disciples like Peter.

Or, third, win. Attack. No ground. No concessions. This is when someone pushes and offers no concession. More worried about winning then about relationship. This is not what Jesus did. Crush all sin, and sinners. No, he came to reconcile sinners to himself.

The first two ways: Withdraw and yield are forms of peace-faking. The third way to win is peace breaking.

And then the fourth style – reconcile. This is the Biblical way. This is what Christ did for us. And in him we are called to it.  In Christ – in his presence - they can be honest without worries about other reaction. Facts, feelings are all on the table. There is not fear of condemnation. All the options are put on the table.. This is a way to love them to Christ. Because that is the point, isn’t it? To show them Christ even more then it is to be right? And the best place is the church. Just in Christ is this total peace possible – a peace experienced at the family table next week.

Which style are you? In some relationships you act different in different situations. You might be the win style at home with your parents or maybe future wife or husband where tis all about wining, while at work you can be more of yield or withdraw. But hopefully you are working on being aa reconciler in every place you go.

For this to happen, you need to think of every conflict first as way to glorify God. Your relationships are not something that own. They are Gods tools to refine us. They change us. They show us our sins and weaknesses. it reminds me of a book called “Sacred Marriage. What if God Designed Marriage to Make us Holy rather then to make us Happy.”  Now I am not saying marriage does not bring happiness, in fact there is tremendous joy through the pursuit of holiness.  But when we see our relationships first to glorify God rather than be about us, we begin to see conflict not as something to be avoided, or a nuisance, but as something through which we can give glory God.

And so we focus less on going through conflict but growing though conflict. If you focus on Gods glory you can be less dependent on the results. The world wants to know what results you have achieved. God wants to know “were you faithful to me - living in obedience?”

Dear Church, only Jesus can give this power, only the man speaking is the ultimate peacemaker and only in him can we make peace. Let me illustrate the power of the Gospel here, and how you will be like Jesus, the Son of God, in being a peacemaker.

First the gospel compels us to forgiveothers. Think about how graciously God has treated you in Jesus. Start here. Colossians 3:13 says we must “, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.” Because God bears with me, I can bear with others. Because he forgives me, I can forgive others.

Second the gospel compels us to love others. Jesus example shows us that we can love others - even our enemies. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus died for us when we were his enemies. So, we can imitate him doing the same thing. He commands this. He will empower us. Luke 6:27-28 says, “Love your enemies, do Good to those who hate you.”

Third, the gospel compels us to take initiative. Christ took initiative. He came to reconcile us. We didn’t want it even. You might say in your mind if he does not want it I am not even going to try. If God did this then we would still be lost in sin and misery.  We can take initiative. We don’t need to wait till they come to us.

Fourth the gospel compels us to freely confess and admit wrong. The fatal flaw of human wisdom is you can change your relationship without changing yourself. It’s the idea of the log and speck. We think we need to be taking specks out while there is a log in our own eye that is hurting people wherever we turn.  Jesus sees all your sin in clear graphic detail. And he loves us. He forgives you, cleanses you, and gives you new life so we can have the freedom to bring them. Fresh mercy and cleansing.

Finally, there are times when we will also overlook offences. This is a conscious choice to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. This is not avoiding but letting something go. The point is if my wife told me everything, I did that was wrong all the time, I would be in a lot of trouble. Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Or 17:14, ‘The beginning for strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” Or 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

 Will you show Jesus to the world, and follow him, by walking with other people the road to reconciliation. I will tell you in terms of short term benefits it might seem better to go the way of the world and keep a hallow peace, where this is no conflict. But rather are we healing, are we on a path of ever deeper involvement with each other.

The peace of Christ is a deep and flourishing peace a wholeness that is not just the absence of something, but the presence of real relationship – the presence of abundant love and peace. Relationships with people you never imagined was possible. Christ brings peace to his enemies, so that they might forge new paths of peacemaking.

As in every church, God has allowed this church experienced turbulent times.  Where relationships were broken and hurt. Not just recent but also in the distant paths. I still have the elderly shake their heads sadly when they remember those days. Trust and hope were lost. Peace was not found in the community or in the heart.

 How do we go forward. How do we as a church community go forward and not let it happen again – we walk the road of these beatitude individually and in community. Memorize these, and pray that the Spirit would allow them to shape every aspect of your life. And then lets commit to it together. Together – we are the body of Christ. Together we acknowledge poverty, we mourn, we humble ourselves before each other. Together we cry out for righteous. Together we show mercy to each other, we speak truth and love from our heart – with no ulterior motive but that we want to please our lord Jesus Christ, and together we rest in the peace of Christ which transcends understanding – a peace that flows over into the lives around us.  Welcome to this togetherness dear brothers and sisters.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. We are family. Is there a more peaceful picture then a family that is at perfect peace with each other. We all long for that don’t we? Who is my family asks our Lord, “he who does the will of my Father – he is my family!” Do you want to be part of this family, then be united to Jesus in one Spirit and walk in his ways.

He is the prince of peace – and his kingdom is a kingdom of peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of god.