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Purity of the Heart

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
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The failure of the Pharisees was that they focused their moral efforts on cleaning the “outside of the cup” and neglected the purity of the heart. As with all battles, the question of triumph looms. Will we win this battle? Therefore, at the end we will turn our attention to the ground of our assurance in God’s forgiveness, acceptance, love, and life.

When Jesus says in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure [kaqaroi;] in heart, for they shall see God,” he is describing the righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees. He uses the same word “pure” (kaqaro~v ) in describing what the Pharisees need: “You blind Pharisee! First clean [kaqavrison] the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean [kaqarovn]” (Matt. 23:26). The impurity that Jesus cares about most is our failure to trust and love God. The heart is made for God—to trust him and love him. The meaning of impure is anything that takes God’s place or lessens the degree of our faith in and our love for God.

Extract From Book: What Jesus Demands from the World – By John Piper

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