Sunday, June 9, 2013 am                        Pure in Heart Index 

Qualities of a Pure Heart – 6

     We are in the midst of examining qualities associated with a pure heart.  Thus far we have examined qualities of determination – undivided, prioritized and resolved; and qualities involved in developing a pure heart – integrity, patience, humility, contentment.  We now turn to qualities that will naturally develop if we have been working on those we have previously discussed.  Today we continue our study noting 3 more qualities.   Our final category will be qualities of motive (love, forgiveness).

 I.                     A pure heart is kind

a.        Kindness – Vine’s defines the word as, “serviceable, good, pleasant.”   “To provide something beneficial as an act of kindness.” (L&N, 88.67)
The idea of being kind is one who acts in a pleasant or helpful manner toward others.  His conduct and words are helpful and NOT hateful.  He deals with all with gentleness and is not harsh.

b.       Kindness is woefully lacking in many places in our society.  In our fast paced society, people have a tendency to be rude and thoughtless.  It is also prevalent everywhere in our media – from sitcoms which treat as comical rude behavior, to the comments of athletes and celebrities, to the continual attacks of opponents in politics, and it is especially prevalent in our social media (Facebook, etc.).  It has become the norm, but that does NOT make it the conduct of the Christian. 
How much more pleasant would society be if we demonstrated kindness in our lives?  Think of our driving habits, our conversations when something is wrong (instead of yelling, we would reasonably discuss something), our demeanor around others when we are out and about, the look on our face (do we smile or frown?), etc.  It has been said that kindness is a universal language.

c.        God manifested this quality toward us – Titus 3:4, Eph. 2:7, Rom. 11:22, etc.  When we discuss the grace and goodness of God toward us, we are speaking of His kindness.  He cares about us and has acted toward us with kindness, even though we don’t deserve it.  Luke 6:35,

d.       In the Bible we find that kindness is expected of us.

                                                   i.      Love is kind – 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love suffers long and is kind;…”

                                                  ii.      Eph. 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,…”

                                                iii.      Col. 3:12 – put on tender mercies (compassion), kindness, …”

                                                iv.      Gal. 5:22 – it is another fruit of the Spirit, many of which we have discussed in this study.

                                                  v.      Proverbs 19:22, “What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar.”

                                                vi.      2 Peter 1:7 – brotherly kindness – from the Greek word, Philadelphia.  It means affection for your brother in Christ.

e.       The pure heart is not going to be hateful toward others.  Even when facing less than ideal circumstances, the effort to be kind will still prevail.  The Christian needs to show kindness to others both in his words and his deeds.  This will be further developed in our next point.   

 II.                    A pure heart is dignified  

a.        Our kindness is demonstrated by the way we live with dignity in society.  Along with a lack of kindness, our society is suffering from a lack of manners.    The “social skills” of many are either rough or non-existent.   Etiquette is all but ignored. 

b.       Etiquette is defined as, “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.”[1] 

c.        While the word “etiquette” is not found in scripture, we find references to living our lives in a proper fashion and with dignity.  The pure heart will conduct itself WITH dignity and graciousness. 

d.       As you study the Bible you find that as Christians we are live with good manners.   

                                                   i.      1 Corinthians 13:5, “Love…does not behave rudely.”  This demonstrates a life with manners.

                                                  ii.      Ephesians 5:3, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints.” The NASU uses the word “proper” while the KJV says, “as becometh saints.” This text indicates that as Christians there IS a certain way we are to live our lives in society.    See also Philippians 1:27 which says, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ…”

                                                iii.      Colossians 4:5-6, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

                                                iv.      1 Tim. 2:1-2 – our prayers to God are to be so that we can, “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”  The word “reverence” is a word that means “behavior that is befitting, implying a measure of dignity leading to respect.” (L&N 88.46) 
This word is also found in 1 Timothy 3:4 where elders are to have children who are in submission with all reverence.  In other words, their children need to be respectful and not rebellious.  They cannot live so as to detract from the work of their father.

                                                  v.      1 Timothy 3:2, continuing to discuss the qualities of elders notes they are to be “of good behavior” (respectable – NASU) a word defined as, “pertaining to being modest in the sense of moderate and well-ordered.” (L&N 88.48)  This is the same word used of women in 1 Tim. 2:9-10 which speaks of them adorning themselves “in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”  When we discuss modesty in clothing, it is about that which draws undue attention to yourself.    That same idea applies to our manner of life, even within society.

                                                vi.      Phil. 2:15, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.  This is one of many passages that speaks of our example.  We live so as to not detract from giving God the glory. 
1 Pet. 2:12 says, “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”   Again, the idea is that you live a life with dignity and honor so that there is no legitimate attack on your character (integrity).

                                               vii.      IN this society it is hard enough to be a Christian and do the right thing WITH integrity and proper behavior.  There is no need to make matters worse by misbehaving and drawing undue attention to yourself. 
What are some examples of undue attention?  Clothing, hairstyles and jewelry that are associated with rebellion, obnoxious language and attitude just because you can, a slovenly appearance that indicates indifference, treating others rudely, and a failure to reject the customs of others (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-23).  IF SOMETHING causes the majority to look upon you suspect (other than standing up for what is right), chances are you shouldn’t do it.  Consider 1 Thess. 4:11-12
that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing

                                             viii.       1 Pet. 3:8, says, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;”

                                                ix.      This dignity will also be reflected in our worship and service to God.  1 Corinthians 14:40 says of our worship, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

e.       Surely we can see in this the need to live within proper social boundaries.  A pure heart in its humility will NOT seek to draw undue attention to itself.


 III.                A pure heart is Confident –

a.        The word confidence implies belief in the certainty of something.  It addresses one’s assurance that he is right.

b.       While we need to develop and manifest humility in our lives, at the same time we also need confidence.  These do NOT contradict each other (though they are often confused with one another).  Humility has to do with one’s attitude in the presence of others.  Confidence has to do with one’s assurance of his own standing.

c.        Yet we need to be confident – we need to be sure of our salvation and confident as we develop the qualities we have been studying.  WE can’t live our lives in continual doubt.

d.       The scriptures call for confidence:

                                                   i.      Phil. 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

                                                  ii.      2 Tim. 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

                                                iii.      1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

                                                iv.      2 Cor.  3:5, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God

                                                  v.      Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

                                                vi.      James 1:6-7,But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”

e.       Why is a pure heart confident?  Because it has integrity, self-control, patience, humility and all the other qualities we have discussed WITH knowledge!   

f.         Note also 1 John 3:20-21 – if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.  God is to be the source of our confidence.

 And thus we can qualities that will result from developing a pure hear.  It is my sincere hope that we have godly confidence and our dealings with other is kind and dignified.  If these are demonstrated in our lives, we are on the right path (provided they are based upon truth).  We have one more lesson on qualities that we will deal with next week – our love.

[1] Search, “What is etiquette”