Clear Eyes, Pure Hearts
- Defining our terms: In the sermon, Brad defined having a “pure heart” as not having a divided heart or will. How does the Bible conceptually speak of the “heart”? In other words, what things are included in the definition of what the heart is. Similarly, what is the kind of purity Jesus is talking about? What do you think of when you hear the word purity? (Leaders: the “heart” is more than simply the seat of emotions, it is the core of who we are, the will, and includes our deepest motivations. Purity is what is right,100% unmixed and thoroughly clean or in this case righteous. Purity is the lack of division – think of gold that is not mixed with anything else and free from all impurities).
- We are all seeking some kind of fulfillment, or “awe” as Brad mentioned. What are some indicators or things we do that substitute for that which only God can give? (Leaders: one example from the Sermon is that Often times it is what we put before our eyes that indicates that which we are seeking fulfillment in. TV, pornography, talk radio, etc – follow up question for digestion might be “what do you put before your eyes?”)
- How do we gain a pure heart? What must happen? (Leaders: In an important sense, God must first act in our lives in order for us to “see God.” There is this initial reaching out of God into our hearts to call us to Himself, that begins the relationship, the communion with Himself.)
- Now, once a believer has been born again, what does it look like for a believer to have a “pure heart”? How do we keep a pure heart? (Leaders: in an ultimate sense, we are pure before God because we have the final and finished atonement of Jesus, and God will keep that purity before his eyes because of the finality and perfection of Jesus. Yet in this life in the process of sanctification, We can draw near the Lord in assurance despite our stumbling (Hebrews 4) We are welcomed in as sons and daughters.)
- Read Exodus 34:5-9 and 2 Corinthians 3. What did it mean in Exodus for Moses to want to behold the face of God? What happened as a result to his face? What happens to the believer when He beholds Christ in His Word? What Member of the Godhead is working these things out in our lives day-to-day? (Leaders: Brad mentioned that we become what we behold. We must put the word of God and His gospel before our eyes. This will transform us. It will change our hearts and minds and purify us. That is the promise Paul conveys in 2 Corinthians).
- If beholding God in His word has a transformative effect, what are some of the things in our lives keeping us from being pure in heart? How can we weave into the liturgy of our lives the things that help us walk in purity?
- How can we help encourage each other in the context of the church toward purity in heart? (Leaders: our community groups and fellow believers
- Read 1 John 3. What is the great hope of the future as described and how does it relate back to what we “behold”?
Takeaway: The concept of the “heart”, like so much of Jesus’ teaching reminds us that God sees a part of us – the essential part – that others don’t see. It begs the question: Who are you when no one is looking? If God sees what is unseen, what impurities is He looking at? What do we have to confess? It’s also a great reminder that despite what He sees, He has set His love upon us and saved us – he Has made us pure in Christ and invited us into communion with Him! This week remember the God who sees you for who you are and yet doesn’t let you stay that way, but redeems and rescues you for relationship and mission to reconcile others.