Blessed Are The Pure in Heart
March 12, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Note: This is part 6 of an 8 part series reflecting on the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. These values of the Kingdom of God are also values of our church. How do our values shape who we are and what we do?
Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
This is my favorite Beatitude (if I’m allowed to have a favorite). It utterly humbles, it leads to our greatest hope, and it energizes the good fight.
1. The blessing for the pure in heart utterly humbles those who acknowledge their impurity. Who is this blessing for? Jesus says, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matt. 15:19). And Jeremiah states, “The heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Then John says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8).
As Scripture clearly affirms, no one is pure in heart. Every single one of us is corrupted by sin. The promise of this Beatitude is that the pure in heart see God. If no one is pure of heart, no one can see God and enjoy fellowship with him. What a desperate situation we find ourselves in!
2. The blessing for the pure in heart also leads us to our greatest and only hope. As we dig into Scripture we find that purity of heart is essential because of the holiness of God. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive… for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Again, John explains, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 Jn. 1:5-6). A holy God cannot associate with sin and sinful people.
So, where’s the hope? John continues in his letter, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us” (1 Jn. 1:7). God does not compromise his holy standard for fellowship, but he does provide the cleansing needed for fellowship. Praise God for the saving power of the blood of Christ!
Who are the pure in heart? Anyone who acknowledges his spiritual poverty before God, mourns over his sin, does not presume on his status, hungers for righteousness, and proves to be merciful. Who are the pure in heart? Anyone who has come to Christ for his forgiveness of sin and cleansing from all unrighteousness; works only Christ can accomplish. This Beatitude is the gospel promise!
3. The blessing for the pure in heart energizes the faithful for the good fight. The promise to see God certainly is future, fulfilled in the new heavens and new earth, when we are in God’s presence free from all sin. But this promise also has a present fulfillment! To see God is to enjoy his presence and fellowship. The psalmist speaks about the sweetness of this fellowship when he says, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell in the tents of wickedness,” (84:10) and “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (16:11).
The enjoyment of this fellowship with God is broken by sin (see, again, 1 John 1:5-10). The promise of Christ’s shed blood is the restoration of that fellowship. The good fight of the Christian is to resist the temptations of sin, which break the fellowship, and rest in the goodness and sufficiency of Christ. The promise of fellowship, and all the joy wrapped up in that sweet communion, energizes that fight.
Are you blessed by that sweet communion with God?