The Pure in Heart

October 6, 2014

The Pure in Heart

            In Matthew chapter five the pure in heart are promised the blessing of God.  “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).  They are those who grieve because of the impurity of their hearts.  The only way to have a pure heart is to be aware of impurities in your heart, ask for God’s forgiveness, and for his help in cleansing your heart.

To clearly understand what it means to have a pure heart we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of the heart.     It is where we make decisions of life.  In our terminology, as well as in the Bible, the heart could be called the command center of our being.  In some cultures, it is said to be the bowels. It is most likely in our mind that we make decisions, but we sense an emotional feeling in our mid-section.  The heart is what influences our thoughts.  Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”   Proverbs 4:23 exhorts us to keep our hearts. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Having a clean heart is not just a matter of intellect.  It is possible to be highly educated and still have an impure heart.  We have to be educated to the extent that we know what is right and wrong. A pure heart doesn’t come from formal education.  It is by means of a humble acceptance of the moral values that God wants us to have.

Biblically, the heart is the center of our emotions, intellect, and will.  That is why Proverbs 4:23 says that the issues of life flow out of the heart.  If our heart isn’t pure, many of our thoughts and actions will be impure.  We have all had our hearts broken when someone we thought was a spiritual Christian was suddenly caught in an act of immorality.  It was because he was harboring impure thoughts in his heart.  Jesus said, in Matthew 15:19-20 “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:    These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

Many modern people think and say that crime and bad behavior stem from a bad environment.  They think that if people are surrounded by those who set a good example they will behave right.  We can’t deny that our environment has an influence on our behavior, but it is possible to have a pure heart in a bad environment.  It is also possible to do wrong in a good environment.  Adam and Eve were in the Garden of God when they sinned.  They weren’t influenced by bad people.

We also need to give some consideration to what is meant by the word “pure” in Matthew 5:8. It is only logical to think that if something is pure, it doesn’t have impurities in it.  When we buy salt we don’t want it to have grains of sand in it.  When we buy milk we don’t want it to have water mixed into it.  A pure heart doesn’t have impure thoughts in it.

When God saves us he wants to clean up our hearts.  He wants us to be “a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).  Even though we never arrive at perfection, that is what God aims at when he works in our lives. In the Bible the word “perfection” often speaks of arriving at spiritual maturity.  I Peter 5:10 says, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

When we think of a pure heart we think of someone who   is genuine.  It is one that is free of hypocrisy.  A hypocrite is one who plays a part.  He presents himself as a clean person when he has a dirty heart.  In Matthew 23:27 Jesus compared the hypocrites to whited sepulchers.  “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”

How can we clean our hearts?  Psalm 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” If you really want a pure heart you need to be willing to pray honestly the prayer of David found in Psalm 139:23-24.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The promise given to those of a pure heart in Matthew 5:8 is that they shall see God.  That means they shall be admitted to heaven.  In this life we will never have a heart that is 100% pure.  If we have put our faith in Christ for salvation, we will enter heaven on the merits of Christ who died for us.  Christ is the only one who ever passed through this life without impurities in his heart.  If we are in Christ we will have his pure heart.  Psalm 24:3-4 says, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?   He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”  If you have never put your faith completely in Christ for your salvation you will never see God.

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