Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Pure Heart - Part 2

It really makes me wonder when people tell me that it's not possible, even for Christians, to have a pure heart. I'm thankful that Scripture disagrees with that notion. A pure heart is not only possible; it is expected.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:3-5)

It seems that without a pure heart, we have no access to God at all. This fact makes me so overwhelmingly thankful that God has provided the means to have purity of mind and heart. Without His saving grace and regenerating power, I would be lost forever!

4 comments:

sally apokedak said...

Bryan, nobody has a pure heart and no one can approach God. That fact is supposed to drive us to Jesus, not to faith in our own purity. Jesus alone could ascend the holy hill. Jesus alone obeyed perfectly. The rest of us have to hang onto his coattails. Or be robed in his righteousness. If we are relying upon our own righteousness we will be lost.

What's your take on Galatians?

Don't think I'm going to get into a big debate--my Internet access is over with tonight at midnight. But I just couldn't let this pass without comment.

Clefspeare said...

Actually, all Christians have pure hearts.

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

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Considering the Psalm I quoted and all the references to purity of heart, it is obviously possible to have a pure heart. To say otherwise flies in the face of all these Scriptures. We have the righteousness of Christ in us (Philippians 3:9). He makes us into righteous people (1 John 3:7-9). He has perfected us in holiness (Hebrews 10:14).

It is true that our failure to live perfect lives has driven us to Christ, but when we surrender to Him, He makes us pure and holy.

Where does it say in the Bible that we, as Christians, can't have a pure heart?

What's my take on Galatians? I'm not sure how to answer that. It's too open ended.

Becky said...

Bryan, when we become Christians, we don't automatically receive our heavenly bodies. We stay here on earth and wait for that transformation. Why wouldn't the cleaning of our souls work the same way?

You can proof-text verses about being perfect, but that's not taking the whole counsel of Scripture into account.

Paul wrote about disciplining a brother and forgiving him in II Corinthians. He said in Philippians that he himself was not perfect. He confronted Peter about his hypocrisy in the way he treated Gentile believers. To the Galatians he asks, "Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" He says of himself that he does not do what he would like, but does do the thing he hates--and that is because sin dwells in him.

James says we all stumble. Peter says that after we have suffered, Christ will perfect us. John says if we say we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves. The writter of Hebrews says that we strive against sin and that God disciplines as a Father. ("For what son is there whom the father does not discipline?" None. Why discipline if not for sin?)

I could go on and on and on, into the prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels. That there is none righteous, no not one ... that our righteousness is but a filthy rag ... that no man living is righteous.

Clearly the verses that you quote and the ones Sally has quoted need to be resolved. Otherwise only part of the Bible is speaking with authority.

I agree with what you said last time. This blog is not the place for a debate. I realize you have your opinion and anything I can say in such a short time is not about to persuade you.

But I do think it is important for you to be aware that people with opposing views are not making this up. Scripture speaks to the point, and it is because of Scripture that I believe what I do.

Becky

Clefspeare said...

Becky, I am taking the whole counsel of Scripture into account. The disciplined man in the Corinthian church was clearly unsaved (he was a so-called brother).

In Philippians, Paul said he was not perfect in knowledge, not in obededience. The passage about Peter in Galatians is quite debatable, but even if Peter did sin, how does that make it impossible for me to be pure?

Paul's question about being perfected by the flesh is rhetorical. We are not perfected byt he flesh, we are perfected by the Spirit. I don't see how that helps your argument.

The writer of Hebrews talks about being discipline and goes on to say that without sanctification no one will see the Lord.

Actually, Peter says that those who have suffered have ceased from sin, not that the will cease from sin.

Paul says there is none righteous in Romans, but he says (in the same context) that the statement applies to those under the Law.

I know that many people disagree, but their "proof texts" are sorely lacking. The Bible says that no one who is born of God sins (1 John 3:9, 5:18). That is unambiguous.