Sunday, March 22, 2009

It ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

My sermon this morning at Providence Church was on Matthew 5:8.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

Click to listen to “Pursuing Purity.”

The following are some related quotes (some not in sermon) as well as my threefold application to HOW we are to be pursuing purity.

“Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love.”
- John Bunyan

“There are only two kinds of religion in the world. One is the religion of human achievement, which comes under every name imaginable. It teaches that you can earn your way to heaven. The other is the religion of divine accomplishment, which affirms that God brings salvation through faith in Christ alone and that people can't make it to heaven on their own. The many forms of the religion of human achievement all serve to propagate Satan's lies.”
– John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“…the Christian faith is ultimately not only a matter of doctrine or understanding or of intellect, it is a condition of the heart.”
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“The heart is what you are, in the secrecy of your thought and feeling, when nobody knows but God. And what you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what your are at the visible branch.”
- John Piper

“How many today rest satisfied with a head religion, supposing that all is well if their creed be sound; and how many more have nothing better than a hand religion—busily engaged in what they term ‘Christian service.’ ‘But the Lord looketh on the heart’ (1 Sam 16:7), which includes the mind, conscience, affections and will.”
- Arthur W. Pink

“Christian people can see God in a sense that nobody else can. The Christian can see God in nature, whereas the non-Christian cannot. The Christian sees God in the events of history. There is a vision possible to the eye of faith that no-one else has. But there is a seeing also in the sense of knowing Him, a sense of feeling He is near, and enjoying His presence. … Another way we see Him is in our own experience, in His gracious dealings with us. Do we not say we see the hand of our Lord upon us in this and that? That is part of the seeing of God.”
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“… one of the most conclusive evidences that we do possess a pure heart is to be conscious of and burdened with the impurity which still indwells us.”
- Arthur W. Pink

How are we to pursue purity?
  1. Pursue purity by reading your Bible, to facilitate the renewing of our minds. (cf. John 17:17; Rom 12:2)
  2. Pursue purity despite discouraging setbacks. (cf. James 3:2; 4:6-10; Phil 1:6; 2:13)
  3. Pursue purity for God’s glory (i.e., not your own).
“So often when we sin we are more vexed at the lowering of our self-esteem than we are grieved at God's dishonor. We are irritated at our lack of self- control in subjecting ourselves to some unworthy habit. ... God does not honor these self-centered desires. This is one reason we do not experience more of his enabling power in our day-to-day struggles with so-called besetting sins. God does not give us power so that we can feel good about ourselves; he gives us his power so that we can obey him for his sake, for his glory.”
- Jerry Bridges, Pursuit of Godliness

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