posted Jun 9, 2012, 8:54 AM by David Gerhart   [ updated Jul 9, 2012, 11:50 AM ]
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God" Mat. 5:8

"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."  Mat 6:12

Raw material is contaminated by many kinds of impurity. Sometimes very little of a precious thing is trapped in great quantities of worthless slag.  A whole load of ore, many tons, is processed to glean a few ounces of gold.  Purity requires refinement.

See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Is 48:10

Nearing the end of three years following Jesus, Thomas on hearing that Jesus is leaving asks his famous question "Lord we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way." John 14:5   Jesus answers "I am the way the truth and the life" and continues about the Father finishing "From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” John 14:7 
But none of them understood.  It would take the death of Christ on the Cross to destroy the Apostles sense of knowing.

After the resurrection, Thomas, still full of doubt touched Jesus's pierced side and saw the holes in his hands...

"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

The fires testing their faith were lit.  The affliction of doubt burned until, in those hours 50 days later at Penticost, the Spirit would come upon them.  They would all then, once and finally for all, know that they had seen God.

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”  Blaise Pascal

We have believed on the evidence of creation around us and the calling of the Holy Spirit, because we can sense our need for forgiveness.  And we are more blessed for it.  The law of righteousness convicts us and we cry out for Jesus in our affliction.  He cleanses us, and we are purified.  Now, with a pure heart and our forgiveness, would we be like the unforgiving servant in Mat 18?  He'd become vastly indebted to his master, and was forgiven that debt (as we are with Christ) but when he encountered a lesser who owed him, he demanded payment. The Master finds out ...

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’  In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed."  Mat. 18:32-34

The impurity of unforgiveness can not exist in a truly purified heart.  When we love our enemy (Mat.5:44) we will pray for their salvation.  When we are attacked, there will be no reflex to retaliate -- in turning the other cheek we are expressing love, not some steely determination to perform an act!  A pure heart can only issue pure words, and the pure word comes only from the Lord Himself through the Holy Spirit.  

A pure heart will always forgive, because a pure heart knows the love and price that was paid for our own restoration.