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Feb 10, 2019

Purity of heart is to will one thing

Purity of heart is to will one thing

Passage: Matthew 5:8

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: The Highest Good

Jesus affirming the “pure in heart” may make us inwardly think, “ha--who can he be talking about?” But when He says the pure in heart will see God we may inwardly sigh, “hmmm...really? How can it be?” Notwithstanding our inclination to lose heart in thinking of ever knowing a pure heart, perhaps it is worth pressing further into what he means, and offers, if there is with it a promise of seeing God?

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: 1 Corinthians 13:11-12
Call To Worship: Zephaniah 3:14-17
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 24:3-6
Congregational Prayer (see below)
Sermon Title: “Purity of heart is to will one thing.”
Central Text: Matthew 5:8
Benediction: Romans 16:25-27
Post-Service Text: 1 John 3:2-3

02.10.19 sermon notes

artwork by Stacey Chacon

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: 1 Corinthians 13:11-12
11 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. 12 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.

Call To Worship: Zephaniah 3:14-17
LEADER: 14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!

ALL: 15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.

LEADER: 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.

ALL: 17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 24:3-6
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 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.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Congregational Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, we have come to worship you, the Lord our Maker, for you are our God, and we are the people of your pasture, the sheep of your hand.
We come to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world; He is our advocate with the Father; He is the only Mediator between God and Man. Through him we come boldly to your throne of grace.
And we acknowledge, Father, that our hearts are exposed to you, our desires known by you, and no secrets are hidden from you. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts we pray, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Benediction: Romans 16:25-27
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Post-Service Text: 1 John 3:2-3
2 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. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Related Scriptures:

*Exodus 33:18-20
*Psalm 24:3-6
Psalm 119:2
Proverbs 4:23
Proverbs 20:9
Job 42:5-6
Luke 5:1-10
*1 Corinthians 13:11-12
2 Timothy 2:20-22
1 Peter 1:22-23
Hebrews 12:12-14
*1 John 3:2,3

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. What if anything have you done the longest, whether in the past or present, that your heart wasn’t in? Why did/do you continue in it?
  2. Why do motives matter in the things that we do? How do we identify our motives? How do we evaluate our motives?
  3. Why might Jesus have (as he does later in the Sermon on the Mount) special warning for doing what appears to be devoted to God yet having a heart that is devoted to something less?
  4. What might Jesus mean by seeing God, and why might that be something of great value?
  5. Can our hearts become more pure over time? If so, how can they? What motive is there for a purified heart if Jesus has covered our sin and adopted as sons (and daughters) already?
  6. How does seeing God in Jesus and what Jesus did on account of His pure heart help us think about any hope we might have of knowing what it is to have a heart that is pure?


  • Our real sense of what’s really sacred is regularly on display. - David Dark
  • We all have clutter in our hearts and that’s what needs tidying. - Marie Kondo
  • Purity of heart is to will one thing. Soren Kierkegaard
    If God is life, he who sees him cannot fail to see life itself. - Gregory of Nyssa.
  • Each man in the presence of God has the task of paying attention to himself. - Soren Kierkegaard
  • In my experience, Matthew 5:8—”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”—has been the most helpful verse in the Bible in battling the temptation to lust. The key is that Jesus fights pleasure with pleasure. - Kevin DeYoung
  • Purity of heart must never be confused with outward conformity to rules. Because it is the heart which must be pure, this beatitude interrogates us with awkward questions like these: 'What do you think about when your mind slips into neutral? How much sympathy do you have for deception, no matter how skillful? For shady humor, no matter how funny? To what do you pay consistent allegiance? What do you want more than anything else? What and whom do you love? To what extent are your actions and words accurate reflections of what is in your heart? To what extent do your actions and words constitute a cover-up for what is in your heart? - D.A. Carson
  • Seek God in the miserable, erring, and laboring ones, [for] that is where one sees God, there the heart becomes pure, and all arrogance lies down. - Martin Luther
  • To love another person is to see the face of God. - Victor Hugo