Blessed are the Pure in Heart

 The Pure in Heart

Last week we looked at the “merciful” in the Beatitudes.  Now Jesus takes us to the “heart.”  As we go through each of the Beatitudes remember Jesus is describing the character of the life that has been transformed by God – not of the natural man.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
Blessed are the pure in heart: Those who have been impacted by the grace of God –  those who have received abundantly from God – are those whose hearts have been transformed.
The heart speaks about the center of man.  When we talk about the heart we aren’t speaking about the heart organ but about the “core” of who we are at the center of our identity.  God wants to speak into this “heart” of mankind.  Jesus always goes to the heart of the issue.  For the believer, it is the spirit that has been brought to life by God.
God is more concerned about the heart than the intellect.  It begins with the heart.  Jesus always emphasizes the heart and not the head.  The sign of your spirituality is not your ability to reason but the ability to hear and respond to the voice of God – which is a function of the heart.  Jesus doesn’t commend the intellectual but the pure in heart.  True Christianity is far more than doctrine, it is a condition of the heart.  Some people have a doctrine that is good but a hard heart.
Pharisees focus on the intellect.  I think Jesus approached this subject because of the error of the Pharisees.  For the Pharisees it was about reasoning out the Law.  They were interested in appearances but didn’t care about the internal.  They were only concerned with not doing the bad things and doing the good things as they defined good.  They focused on the outside cleanliness of pots and platters but ignored the condition of their hearts.  That’s why Jesus called them white washed tombs.  They looked great on the outside but were full of dead men’s bones.  Blessed are the pure in heart.  Blessed are those who are pure, not merely on the surface, but in the center of their being and at the source of their every activity.  
The heart of the natural man is sinful.  If you’re without Jesus, you might think of yourself as a pretty good person.  However, you’re not pretty good by God’s standard.  You’re a sinner in need of a Savior.  Sin corrupted mankind from Adam all the way to you and me. 
The heart of the natural man can’t be trusted.  Have you ever heard someone say, “just trust your heart or follow your heart”?  That is dangerous if you don’t know Jesus and have His Spirit in you.  The unbeliever can’t trust his heart because it is corrupted by sin.  The unredeemed heart is the source of the problem because it is dead to God.  “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” 
Only God can make the heart pure.  The vain attempt of religion is to purify the heart through self-discipline.  Try what you will, ethics, religion, self-denial, or separatism –  none of it will work.  The flesh can manage itself but it can’t transform its heart.  Only Jesus can cleanse the heart and change the nature of man.  You can change your sin from one type to another but you can’t change the nature of your heart – you must be born again!
A pure heart is cleansed by God.  God is the only one who can remove sin and give us a clean heart.  All your attempts to cleanse your heart will leave it more corrupted than before.  If you’re born-again your spirit is alive and free from sin.   We must continue to live out of our spirit and not our soul.
Let God search your heart.  Let the light of the gospel shine on your heart.  Do you know Him as Savior, Lord and Life? 
A pure heart is essential to relationship with God.  When we come to Christ He doesn’t leave us with a sinful heart but He gives us a new one so we can be in relationship with Him.  You’ll still be able to sin.  You can be deceived as a believer by living out of the soul – but your spirit will never lead you to sin and will never deceive you.  In Christ, our hearts are transformed, our souls are saved, and our spirits are alive with the Spirit of God. 
A pure heart is essential to hearing the voice of God.  There was a reason Samuel heard the voice of God, and why the corrupt priest, Eli, didn’t.  When our hearts are pure we are sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.  The Word of God jumps out at us.  God reveals Himself more readily to the pure in heart than to those who are only mighty in intellect.  Isaiah in chapter six, and then Job, had this experience when they saw God. 
The pure heart is still tempted.  We often confuse temptation with sin.  We are shocked by the temptations that come into our mind and we question the purity of our heart but don’t make that mistake.  Your child heart of God is no longer desperately wicked and deceitful.  However, the tempter is deceitful and wants you to believe the lie that your heart is still in a desperately condition.  He tempts you in the domain of the soul.
Ezekiel 36:25-26 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
When Jesus cleanses you of your sin, He gives you a new heart.  He took your sinful heart of stone and gave you a heart of flesh.  Keep your heart tender and yielded to Him.  Let Him kneed your heart to keep it sensitive to His leading and voice.
For they shall see God:  The promise, for all whose hearts have been made pure through Christ, is to see Him.  God was amongst them as Jesus spoke.  There is this glorious promise that, in some way, the pure in heart shall see God.  In the mean, remember that He lives in you and is your source for all you need.
You are loved!
Pastor Tim