Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God…by Jim Nelson
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. To see God is a Hebrew saying for standing before God. (Psalm 11:7) For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see His face. As students of God’s Word, we come to understand that the subject of purity of heart can be traced from Genesis to Revelation.
The Beatitudes are a wonderful description of those who are in the kingdom. As you read the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-12, you see that these verses are progressive, following logically one after another, and they form something of an outline for the whole Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapters 5-7. While each beatitude stands on its own, each is linked progressively to the one following it. Like pearls in a necklace they are strung together; each builds on the previous one. And, you’ll see that Jesus is concerned about the condition of our heart in a big way!
Let’ take a look at the historical context for the Beatitudes. When Jesus began His ministry, Israel was in a desperate condition, political, economically and spiritually. For hundreds of years, Israel was under oppression from foreign conquerors. But their biggest issue was their spiritual condition. The Pharisees had taken Judaism into a legalistic and ritualistic religious system. They were more concerned about the external view of their religion vs. their inward heart condition toward God. And, Jesus wasted no time highlighting this critical point.
In Scripture the heart represents the inner person, our motives, attitudes, thinking process and particularly our will. In other words, the heart is the control center of our mind, emotion, and will. This is why scripture spends so much time focusing on the condition of our heart.
Here’s just a small sample of verses; In Proverb 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life”. In Psalms 51, David cries out to the Lord, “Create in me a clean heart”. Jeremiah declared, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick”. Many more verses in scripture talk about our heart. This would be a great word study for you this week, now that we are more or less locked in our homes due to the coronavirus.
I’m particularly fond of this quote from Charles Spurgeon “True religion is heart-work. We may wash the outside of the cup and the platter as long as we please, but if the inward parts be filthy, we are filthy altogether in the sight of God, for our hearts are more truly ourselves than our hands are; the very life of our being lies in the inner nature, and hence the imperative need of purity within.
Here are some thoughts as we walk daily for purity of heart;
First, we must realize that we are unable to live a single pure and holy moment without the Lord’s guidance and power.
Second, we must stay in God’s Word. It is impossible to stay in God’s will apart from His Word.
Third, it is essential to be controlled by and walking in the will and way of the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, we must pray. We cannot stay in God’s will or understand and obey His Word unless we stay near Him.
We seek to keep our hearts pure that we might see God in our lives today. As we strive for purity each and every day with God’s help, we find a degree of happiness and joy that is hard to explain. A pure heart means a single focused heart, not divided between God and this world. When our hearts are purified at salvation we begin to live in the presence of God. We begin to see and to comprehend Him with our new spiritual eyes. Purity of heart cleanses the eye of the soul so that God becomes very visible. And just as impurity of heart separates men from God, only purity of heart through Jesus Christ will reconcile men to God.
When we put our trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are given positional purity, God imputes to us Christ’s own righteousness, what amazing grace!
With the backdrop of this horrible coronavirus spreading around the world, what joy it is knowing Christ is with us and we can rest fully in Him.
Your brother in-Christ, Jim Nelson