How about your heart, is it right with God?
That's the thing that counts today
Is it black by sin, is it pure within?
Could you ask Christ in to stay?
People often see you as you are outside
Jesus really knows you for He sees inside.
How about your heart, is it right with God?
That's the thing that counts today
Bennie S. Triplett
Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Happy are the Holy!
Psalm 24:3-5, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Heart trouble sneaks up on you. Often we are not even aware that there is a problem. Most of us think we are immune, that we are bullet proof! Several years ago I had been experiencing some shortness of breath and chest pains. One day I was walking into a mall when the shortness of breath and pain became severe. Marlena persuaded me to go see my doctor. He immediately put me in Sacramento Memorial Hospital, where I had open heart surgery to repair four clogged arteries. Mankind can stand a lot of different illnesses, but the most common killer is heart trouble. Physical heart trouble is bad, but spiritual heart trouble is worse. If your physical heart fails, you die. If you do not take care of your spiritual heart you die an eternal death. Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
My good friend Bob Woosley (who is now with the Lord) sent this outline about heart trouble to me years ago.
Heart trouble will have multiple symptoms.
Clogged arteries. The arteries carry the blood to your body, when clogged they can’t do their job. Prayer carries your inmost thoughts to God. When the channel is clogged with the debris of life, it’s time to go to God for a cleansing, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Faulty valves. The valves control the flow of blood in and out of the heart. Prayer and Bible study are the balance that keeps the blessings of God flowing in our lives.
Muscles. The heart is a muscle, it beats millions and million of times in a lifetime, but it rests momentarily between each contraction. Some people want to work all the time and never rest, while others want to rest all the time and never work. Either will damage the muscles, learn to work and rest.
Reduced energy. This is a good indicator that there is heart trouble. Your spiritual energy is a good indicator of your spiritual heart condition. If your enthusiasm for serving God has decreased, be aware of spiritual heart trouble.
Heart pain and Pressure. Do you have depression, anxiety, or tension? You may be suffering from spiritual angina.
Shortness of breath. This causes us to quit before the race is won, to stop before the task is completed. 2 Timothy 4:7,8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
And there are lifestyle causes for heart trouble. There are things that we know are bad for us, yet we continue doing them
What is the meaning of the word heart in the Bible?
It is not the organ that pumps blood through the body, even though the Greek word for heart, Kardia refers to your human heart. But the Scripture greatly expands the usage of the word.
“According to the Bible, the heart is the center, not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life. “Heart” and “soul” are often used interchangeably (Deuteronomy 6:5; 26:16; Compare Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30,33), but this is not generally the case. The heart is the “home of the personal life,” and hence a man is designated, according to his heart, wise (1 Kings 3:12), pure (Psalms 24:4; Matthew 5:8, etc.), upright and righteous (Genesis 20:5,6; Psalms 11:2; 78:72), pious and good (Luke 8:15), etc. In these and such passages the word “soul” could not be substituted for “heart.” The heart is also the seat of the conscience (Romans 2:15). It is naturally wicked (Genesis 8:21), and hence it contaminates the whole life and character (Matthew 12:34; 15:18; Compare Eccl 8:11; Psalms 73:7). Hence the heart must be changed, regenerated (Ezek. 36:26; 11:19; Psalms 51:10-14), before a man can willingly obey God.” –Easton Bible Dictionary.
In Scripture the heart is the center of your personality, it includes, thoughts, feelings, and will. It includes our entire mental and moral activity, both rational and emotional elements. It is the complete you, who you really are.
The heart is the seat of all our human troubles, Jesus said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:18-20). The problem of the human heart is the heart of the human problem!
Dr. Joseph Stowell writes: “Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. It has been described as the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity, the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will, and the center of a person. The place to which God turns.” (O Bible.org. Fan The Flame, Joseph Stowell, Moody, 1986).
The heart is the seat of:
•Adultery: Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
•Desire: Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel[a] is that they may be saved.”
•Evil: Psalm 28:3, “Evil is in their hearts.”
•Hatred: Leviticus 19:17, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.”
•Lust: Romans 1:24, “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.”
•Obedience: Romans 6:17, “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.”
•Purpose: 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
•Sorrow: John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”
•Concern: Jeremiah 31:20, “Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still; therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord.”
•Doubt: Mark 11:23, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”
•Fear: Isaiah 35:4, “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, be strong, do not fear!”
•Love: Mark 12:30,33, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”
•Meditation: Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
•Pride: Proverbs 16:5, “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord…”
•Reason: Mark 2:8, “But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?”
•Rejoicing: Acts 2:26, “Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.”
•Thought: Matthew 9:4, “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?”
The heart is described in the Bible as:
•Blind: Ephesians 4:18, “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…”
•Covetous: 2 Peter 2:14, “They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.”
•Unrepentant: Romans 2:5, “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
•Proud: Jeremiah 49:16, “You have been deceived by the fear you inspire in others and by your own pride.”
•Darkened: Romans 1:21, “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
•Full of evil: Genesis 6:5, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
•Lustful: Proverbs 6:25, “Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids.”
•Deceitful: Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
Listen to God:
•1 Chronicles 28:9, “The Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts…”
•Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
•Proverbs 23:26, “My son, give me your heart.”
•Psalm 44:21, “Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.”
•Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
•Psalm 57:7, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and give praise.”
•Psalm 101:2, “I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”
Now to our text: Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, wrote, “We come now to what is undoubtedly one of the greatest utterances to be found anywhere in the Word of God. Anyone who reads these words can approach them only with a sense of awe…It is a bottomless pit, a well whose depth is immeasurable…The theme “Purity of heart,” as the prerequisite to seeing God is so vast and infinite that it draws on almost every Biblical principle.
One of my professors in college, Dr. Peter Connolly, said, “The greatest languages the world has ever known (Greek and Hebrew) crack under the weight of God’s inspiration.”
The Beatitudes show us that God wants us to be happy! Not the kind of happiness the world gives, but a deep satisfaction and peace that things are right with God and with those around us. Everyone is looking for true happiness, but only the righteous have found it.
I found happiness, I found peace of mind;
I found the joy of living, perfect love sublime;
I found real contentment, happy living in accord;
I found happiness all the time wonderful peace of mind,
Since I found the Lord!
What does it mean to be pure in heart?
The Greek word, Katharos, means, without admixture, clean, pure, unstained, either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright.
“Being pure in heart involves having a singleness of heart toward God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, and no hidden motives. The pure heart is marked by transparency and an uncompromising desire to please God in all things. It is more than an external purity of behavior; it is an internal purity of soul” (GotQuestions.org).
Spiritual heart trouble comes from a divided heart. One part of us wants to serve God and worship Him. Another part wants to do its own thing. Psalm 86:11 MSG, “Train me God to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear.”
And here, as has been already noticed, we have more than cleanness; we have wholeness, the undivided heart, the heart that is utterly and absolutely loyal. The promise is, “They shall see God.”
Five kinds of purity:
1. Primitive Purity. This purity exists only in God. It is as essential in God as light is to the sun and wet is to water. God is pure, holy.
2. Created Purity. This is Adam and Eve before the fall. This is innocence. God created man and angels in purity, and they both fell.
3. Ultimate Purity. Romans 8:30, “Whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Ultimately all the saints will be completely pure and we shall be like Him “For we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
4. Positional Purity. This is the believer’s present possession. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us and we are pure in Him. This the holiness of which Hebrews 12:14 speaks, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
5. Practical Purity. This is the most difficult! Only God can know primitive purity. Only God can bestow created purity. Someday when we go to live with Him we will be gloriously pure. But for now 2 Corinthians 7:1, says, “Dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Our text, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” is talking about Practical Purity! Our white cloak is a bit stained. It’s hard to understand how some have a problem with those who preach “holiness.” It is certainly a very plain Bible doctrine. God says in 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 2 Timothy 1:9, “God saved us and called us to live a holy life…” 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13,” And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”
How can our hearts be made pure?
1. You can’t do it on your own! Proverbs 20:9, “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?’” Nobody! Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…”
2. Our hearts are purified by faith. Acts 15:8,9, Peter here is talking about the Gentiles coming to Christ: “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Faith in what? God Almighty, Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, and His resurrection, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God. 1 John1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” To be pure in heart one must accept, by faith, the sacrifice that that God made when He gave His Son to die for us.
3. When we accept what God has done for us, then we continue to purify ourselves through the Word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Romans 6:12-14 NLT, “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
What do the pure in heart see? “They shall see God.”
1. Not a physical manifestation of God. He is incorporeal (without a body of flesh). Our image of God can never be anthropomorphic. We can never ascribe to Him the characteristics of humankind. John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” Exodus 33:20 tells us, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” As sinful human beings, we are incapable of seeing God in all His glory. His appearance is utterly unimaginable and too glorious to be safely perceived by sinful man.
2. God does not dwell in some local habitation. Today, God does not dwell in a building, He lives in our hearts. We do not have to meet at a special building or enter a special building to worship God. A church building is not needed for us to meet or worship God, nor is it needed for the center of the life of the church. Acts 17:24, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.” Acts 17:28, “In Him we live and move and have our being…”
God lives in Heaven, on earth, in the underworld, in the atmosphere, and in our hearts. Psalm 139:8,9 NLT, “If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” Ephesians 3:17-19, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
“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” (1 John 3:2). There are two promises in this verse: One, we shall see God as He is, and two, we will be like Him. When I think of seeing God as He is, I cannot imagine how astonishing that will be.
Martin Luther once had a dream in which he stood, in the Day of Judgment, before God. Satan was there to accuse him; and when the books were opened, he pointed to transgression after transgression of which Luther was guilty. Luther's heart sank in despair. Then he remembered the Cross and, turning upon the devil, he said, “There is one entry which thou hast not made, Satan.” “What is that?” asked the devil. “It is this,” answered Luther: “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).
Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also the New Living Translation (NLT); The Message (MSG); and The Amplified Bible (AMP); and The Living Bible (TLB).
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