Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

This is a lesson I gave at VBS at Cherry Street Church of Christ in New Albany, IN on June 10, 2005Text: Matthew 5:8 INTRO: We need to define the words in our text Another word for “blessed” is “happy.” It means receiving Divine favor. The following passage gives us some insight on the the kind of man (person) God desires. Psalms 1:1-6

What Does the word “Pure,” mean? Examples: holy, clean, unspotted from the world. Can you think of some synonyms for pure? Nelson”™s Bible Dictionary defines Purity”

The quality or state of being free from mixture, pollution, or other foreign elements. The term purity may refer to things (gold, Ex 25:17; oil, Lev 24:2) or people. Purity with reference to people may be racial (Phil 3:5), ceremonial (Lev 19:16-33; Luke 2:22), ethical (Prov 22:11), or spiritual (1 Tim 1:5; 4:12).

The Jews of Jesus”™ day often took ceremonial purity beyond what Scripture commanded. They considered ceremonial purity more valuable than spiritual purity (Mark 7:3-4; Luke 11:39-41). For this error they were soundly rebuked by Jesus (Mark 7:1-13; Luke 11:39-41). The purity which a Christian should strive for is spiritual in nature (Matt 5:8; James 1:27).
(from Nelson”™s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

What does the word “heart” mean? Is it referring to the organ called the heart? Sometimes in Scripture it does.

The heart is what you are, in the secrecy of your thought and feeling, when nobody knows but God. And what you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what your are at the visible branch. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). From the heart are all the issues of life.

But most of the time it is referring t the mind. It is with the mind that we make our decisions on whether to serve God or not, whether to follow God”™s will or not. We must have the right kind of mine”“ We must practice “Mind Renewal in a Mindless Society” Rom 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Pure in Heart Ps 15: 1 LORD, “who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? 2 He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; 3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

Ps 24:3-5 3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

You can see what David means by a “pure heart” in the phrases that follow it. A pure heart is a heart that has nothing to do with falsehood. It is painstakingly truthful and free from deceitfulness. Deceit is what you do when you will two things, not one thing. You will to do one thing and you will that people think you are doing another. You will to feel one thing and you will that people think you are feeling another. That is impurity of heart. Purity of heart is to will one thing, namely, to “seek the face of the Lord” (verse 6).

You can see this idea of purity in James 4:8. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.

Notice that just like Psalm 24 there is reference to both clean hands and a pure heart as preparation for drawing near to God, or “ascending the hill of the Lord.” But notice how the men are described who need to purify their hearts: “men of double mind.” That is they are men that will two things not just one thing.

Purity of heart is to will one thing, namely, God”™s truth and God”™s value in everything we do. The aim of the pure heart is to align itself with the truth of God and magnify the worth of God. If you want to be pure in heart pursue God with utter single-mindedness. Purity of heart is to will that one thing.

Can we live pure lives? How to we change our mind-set to accomplish this?

  • We must cultivate a Christ Like Spirit””We must seek to be like Christ, knowing He is the Great Example””we must have the same kind of characteristics and traits that He has.
  • We must love the things of God and hate the things of this world 1 John 2:15-17-we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world””How to we accomplish this aim?
  • We must center our thoughts and actions on the Things that are above, not things below Col 3:1-4 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory
  • We must seek the Fruit of the Spirit (contrast works of flesh and Fruit of Spirit in Gal. 5)
  • We must build upon our faith”“ 2 Peter 1:5-11But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • We must understand the proper place of works in a Christian”™s life (Under Grace you get to work” Cottrell.) We must cultivate a love for the Word of God. 2 Tim 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17
  • If we love the pure milk of the Word, this will lead us to being pure in heart.

    • What is it to see God?
      I would mention three things. First, to see God means to be admitted to his presence. After the plague of darkness on Egypt Pharaoh exploded to Moses with these words: “Get away from me; take heed to yourself; never see my face again; for in the day you see my face you shall die.” Moses said, “As you say! I will not see your face again.” Exodus 10:28-29When a king says, “You will never see my face again,” he means, “I will never grant you admission again into my presence.” 

      In the same way we call the doctor today and say, “Can I see Dr. Lundgren today?” We don”™t mean, Can I see him from a distance. Or, Can I see a picture of him? We mean, Can I have an appointment to be with him?

      So the first thing seeing God means is being admitted to his presence.

      Second, seeing God means being awestruck by his glory””by a direct experience of his holiness. After God confronted Job in the whirlwind, Job said, “I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

      Virtually all of our spiritual sight in this life is mediated to us through the word of God or the work of God in providence. We “see” images and reflections of his glory. We hear echoes and reverberations of his voice.

      But there will come a day when God himself will dwell among us. His glory will no longer be inferred from lightnings and mountains and roaring seas and constellations of stars. Instead our experience of him will be direct. His glory will be the very light in which we move (Revelation 21:23) and the beauty of his holiness will be tasted directly like honey on the tongue.

      So seeing God means not only being admitted to his presence, but also being awestruck by a direct experience of his glory.

      Finally,
      seeing God means being comforted by his grace. Again and again the psalmists cry out to God that he not hide his face from them. For example in Psalm 27 (verses 7-9) David says Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! “¦Hide not thy face from me.
      “Hide not thy face from me,”
      is the same as saying, “Be gracious to me!” This means that seeing the face of God is considered to be a sweet and comforting experience. If God shows his face we are helped. If he turns his face away, we are dismayed.

      So when Jesus promises the reward of “seeing God” there are at least these three things implied: we will be admitted to his presence, not just kept in the waiting room. We will be awestruck with a direct experience of his glory. And we will be helped and comforted by his grace.

      And this we will have””in part now, and fully in the age to come””if we are pure in heart. 1 John 3:2-3 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

      Therefore, trust in the Lord with ALL your heart (Proverbs 3:5). Will this one thing. And you will see God.

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