In His sermon on the mount, Jesus says, “The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8 HCSB).”
The problem is who are the pure in heart? The Bible teaches in multiple places that our hearts are wicked. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is more deceitful than anything else and that it’s incurable. Jesus says that it’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles it but what comes out of the mouth because what comes out of the mouth comes from a wicked heart where evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, and blasphemies are (Matthew 15:18-19 HCSB).
While not expressly mentioning our hearts, Paul says that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God in Romans 3:23.
So if there is no one who is pure in heart, how will we ever see God?
We need help.
And this is the good news of the gospel. There’s a great exchange that occurs through the finished work of Jesus. Paul says ii clearly in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (HCSB): He (the Father) made the One (Jesus) who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God (the Father) in Him (Jesus).
We have no righteousness of our own, no pure hearts. But Jesus does. He is perfect in His righteousness. And God the Father graciously credits us with Jesus’s righteousness so that we are counted pure in heart. When we die and stand before the Father, we will stand in the righteousness of Jesus. Even when we receive resurrections bodies, they will be raised in incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:42 HCSB) because they will bear the image of the heavenly man, our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49).
And what does all this mean? It means we will see the face of God because of Jesus. This is what Revelation 22:4 promises, that we will see His face. But seeing His face will be to the glory of Christ because only Jesus makes this possible. Jesus is the firstborn among many brothers and sisters who bear His image of righteous perfection. He purchased us with His blood, justified us with His righteousness, and sealed us with His Spirit until the day of redemption.
The grace of Jesus is poured out on sinners so that we are credited with His pure heart. And because of this marvelous grace, we will see the face of God. He is our Helper, indeed. Our call is to repentance (turning from our sin) and faith (trusting in the finished work of Jesus). Those who do will receive His help for He welcomes repentant sinners and promises them eternal life.