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August 23, 2013

TISCIONE: The Beatitudes, part 2 of 2

(Continued)

To be pure in heart is to be totally free from any selfish desires. One who is pure in heart is fully motivated toward God in love and obedience. Jesus said that He only did what He saw the Father doing, John 5.

Philippians 2: 5-11 reveals both the humiliation of Christ and His exaltation. Jesus’ love for the Father was demonstrated by His perfect obedience. Jesus said that no one has seen the Father, except the one who was sent by the Father, namely Himself, John 6. The pure in heart are those who pursue holiness in the power of the Spirit of Christ, 1 Thes. 4:3. Sanctification is necessarily connected to God’s plan of salvation as revealed in the Bible. The pure in heart affirm God’s work of grace in making them more and more like Christ.

Biblical peace is a pure relationship with God. The one who was the supreme peacemaker was Jesus. He reconciled the world to God, 2 Corinthians 5. He is the one through whom men are at peace with God, Romans 5. Je

sus was not describing those who manage to establish treaties between warring factions. He was describing ultimate peace. He alone is ultimate peace. He is the reality of peace and rest, Colossians 2. Children of God are at peace with Him. There are only two kinds of people in the world. Either one is a child of God or a child of Satan, 1 John 3:10. One either belongs to God or to the devil. The person and work of Jesus Christ is the only means by which God has extended inheritance of His promise of sonship and heaven, Galatians 3. Believers have been given the ministry of proclaiming God’s reconciliation through Jesus Christ.

Immediately, when we think of persecution for the sake of righteousness, Jesus’ life and death comes into view. He was truly the only perfect and innocent man executed. Not only was Jesus innocent of the crimes for which He was crucified, but He never sinned in any way. He was the one who was made sin for His people so that they might become the righteousness of God in Him, 2 Corinthians 5:21. The Christian life is shaped by perseverance. May we not be surprised by persecution for the sake of the gospel. Jesus said that the world hated Him first, therefore, disciples should not be surprised that it will hate them, too (John 15).

As you read, study and apply the Beatitudes may you see the beauty, majesty and perfection of Jesus Christ.

Lou Tiscione is pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).

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