For Reading and Meditation:     Psalm 51:1-15

As we continue discussing what it means to be pure in heart, we ask: How do we ensure that our hearts are made pure? Great controversy has raged over this issue in every century of the Church. Those who see sin as having made deep inroads into human nature say that the only thing God can do with sin is to forgive it. Others see the soul as a battleground on which long-drawn-out hostilities take place between the flesh and the Spirit. And there are those who claim, as did John Wesley, that inner purity can be imparted by a sudden influx of divine grace. Adherents of these views fall into three main groups: (1) those who believe that purity is imputed; (2) those who believe that purity is imparted; and (3) those who believe that purity is developed. Those who believe that purity is imputed say that Christ flings His robe of righteousness around a sinner and then God for ever sees him in the spotless garments of His Son. Those who believe purity is imparted claim that there is an experience awaiting all believers, usually subsequent to conversion, whereby, through a crisis experience, God imparts the gift of purity. This belief received great prominence under John Wesley. Those who believe purity is developed see the work of God in the soul proceeding along the lines of a slow but steady improvement. Which of these is right? I believe that each view has something to contribute; it is when the emphasis is disproportionately placed that problems arise. God both imputes and imparts purity, and then helps us apply and develop these truths in our daily life and experience.

O God my gracious Father, I am so thankful that You have provided for my deepest needs - and especially my need for inner cleansing. Wash me so clean on the inside that I will be whiter than the whitest snow. Amen.

Questions to Consider
  • To what else does Peter relate purity?
  • What was Paul's exhortation to Timothy?