First, there is a "washing of regeneration." This is characterized by the evidence of new life, renewed mind, new heart, and a new name.
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Secondly, from this new life-cleansed life we understand there is a “moral cleansing of the affections”, which are now prioritized by those things set-above, and not those things set-below.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Thirdly, this process is not merely a heart-centric or one of emotive affections - it is clearly intended as to be spiritually holistic - heart, mind and spirit as the “cleaning of the conscience” is prioritized as well. I fully believe that this is connected to the renewing of the mind - the mind that is made new.
But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
This promise refers to the removal of the tormenting and the relentless replay of conscious guilt and shame. I believe this “pure heart” cleaning process also includes the healing of mind and spirit - giving the resiliency and resolution needed for re-establishing the hope needed for navigating the trauma-related events and circumstances of life.
Finally, we are moved to the inward realization that, "being justified by faith", we are finding the kind of peace with God that allows for hope and promise. Difficulty and suffering have now finally found meaning and purpose for something good - something other than simply pain, anxiety, and depression.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
The purity of heart that Jesus blessed that day went deep - maybe deeper than most wanted to go. How deep?
- A clear walk-away from defilement and divided affections.
- A sincerity, genuineness, and singleness of heart.
- Reaching for and settling only for quality in our character and godly simplicity.
- The opposite of subtlety and duplicity.
- Setting aside hate, hostility, and hypocrisy.
- A reset of desires, motives, and intentions
Here, then, is a most important test for every professing Christian to apply to himself. Are my affections set upon things above? Are my motives pure? Why do I assemble with the Lord’s people? Is it to be seen of men, or is it to meet with the Lord and to enjoy sweet communion with Him and His people?”
...For They Will See God
It is important to once again point out that the promises linked to these Beatitude Blessings have a two-fold fulfillment. A promise of fulfillment for both present and future.
Present - The pure in heart have a spiritual discernment, and with the eyes of their understanding a clarity and precise focus on who God is and of His righteous character. When the eye is single the whole body is full of light.
Significant to know that there is a single-minded clarity within God's truth, and a focused faith which purifies the human heart here and now - in the moment. With that kind of focus and clarity God can be seen for who He is to us and not merely for what He does for us and then the heart becomes truly pure. What is that truth, and where is that faith? It is a manifestation of the glory of God revealed and fulfilled in the person of Yeshua, the Christ.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
In Christ the character of God is revealed, so the clarity and focus is on Christ alone. In Yeshua, we find love, strength, and a first-person communion with God, and we are brought very near to Him - we are in His presence. We see and are seen by Him. His mind becomes our mind; His will becomes our will; and our heart becomes His heart. That is the path to a pure heart - that is the place to "see God" in the present day - here and now.
Future - His promises of seeing and knowing God magnified beyond our present understanding. Our knowledge and understanding of God will become far more extensive and our relationship with Him connecting at deeper levels of both power and privilege. But I encourage you, don't just take my word for it.
1 John 3:1-3
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
2 Corinthians 3:10-18
Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
1 Corinthians 13:9-12
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Then, and only then, will the full meaning of these words be understood, that the pure in heart forever see God. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they will see God.
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