Pure in Heart

Friday, October 2, 2015, 7:01 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Songs in the Night.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 42:1-9 (NASB).

The Lord’s Servant (vv. 1-4)

“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
“He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
“A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
“He will not be disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”

Jesus Christ, God the Son, is our Lord, Savior and Messiah. He is the servant of God the Father. He was/is filled with the Spirit of God and he is God. When Jesus walked the face of this earth he was fully God yet fully man. He suffered like we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. He healed the sick, raised the dead, comforted the sorrowful, delivered from demons, performed many miracles, and he preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God both now and forevermore. He rebuked religious hypocrisy, yet showed compassion toward the lost and the hurting. He condemned pride and arrogance, yet he commended child-like faith.

He confronted sin in sinful human beings, and he called them to repent and to turn to faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. He said that if we want to come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die to sin), we will gain eternal life (Lu. 9:23-25). He said that unless we participate with him in death to sin, we don’t have eternal life (Jn. 6:35-66).

The apostles reiterated the same message. Paul wrote in Romans that faith in Christ means death to sin and living to righteousness. He said that if, after we make a profession of faith in Christ, we persist in conducting our lives after the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (See: Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14; cf. Eph. 4:17-24). Peter and John taught the same message (See: 1 Pet. 2:24-25; & 1 Jn. 1:5-9). Paul taught that Jesus died that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who walk not after the flesh, but who conduct our lives according to the Spirit. He taught that Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ who gave himself up for us. Peter taught that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

Jesus Christ was absolutely perfect in heart, mind, attitude, and in behavior. Thus, his motives in doing what he did were also absolutely pure and righteous. He was not in it for the fame and fortune. He was not a circus performer who went around just trying to draw attention to himself. What he did, he did because he loves us, and for no other reason. He was completely humble and selfless, thinking only of our salvation from sin. He was and is patient, loving, merciful and gracious to those who are seeking him in truth, and he taught them gently concerning the kinds of things they must put off, and the kinds of things they must put on, i.e. he taught them how to live the Christian life, holy and pleasing to God.

Called in Righteousness (vv. 5-7)

Thus says God the Lord,

Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it
And spirit to those who walk in it,
“I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.

Jesus’ mission on this earth was to live and to preach the gospel of our salvation to the people, and then to become our perfect Lamb sacrifice for our sins, dying on a cross so that we might be set free from the curse, punishment (eternal damnation) and slavery to sin. By God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of God, via death to sin and being reborn of the Spirit to live to righteousness, our sins are forgiven, the righteousness of Christ is credited to our accounts, we are filled with the Spirit of God, and we are given eternal life with God beginning now and lasting throughout all eternity.

Jesus Christ, in other words, did not die a painful death, taking upon himself the sins of the entire world, just so that we could go to heaven when we die; when we leave this earth. He died that our spiritual eyes, which were blind, might be open, and that we might be delivered out of bondage to sin, and be set free to now walk daily in his righteousness and holiness (cf. Isaiah 61). He called us to be holy, which means to be set apart (unlike; different) from the world because we are becoming like Jesus. He called us to live righteously, and to walk after the Spirit, and to not live to fulfill the desires of our flesh. This is true grace which teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and desires, and to live godly, upright and self-controlled lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). True grace delivers us out of slavery to sin. It does not leave us bound in sin.

Honor the Lord (vv. 8-9)

“I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
Now I declare new things;
Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”

It is the will of God that we should forsake the idols of mankind, that we should turn from our sins, and that we should turn to walk humbly before our God in the fear of the Lord the rest of our days. We were saved from our sin that we might live for God, and for God alone. Jesus is jealous when we turn to the things of this life to satisfy the deep longings of our souls, instead of turning to him. Through faith in Jesus Christ we enter into a marriage covenant with Christ. We are his bride, and he is our husband. And, we are to be faithful to him, and to no longer go after other lovers. We are to honor, revere, worship, and submit to him as our only God, and our heart’s desire should be for him, and for him alone. We should be so thankful that Jesus set us free, that we should never want to return to a life of sin.

Songs in the Night / An Original Work / December 18, 2013

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,
And the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.

I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!

Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.

I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!

Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!