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Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Sermon on the Mount  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Blessed are the Pure in Heart

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Introduction —
The Beatitudes have always been

What is Purity of Heart?

In our day, because we live in a hyper-sexualized society, we tend only to think only to think of purity in terms of sexual purity. Of course, that is true here as well.
But we all need to pay attention today becuase purity of heart is much more than mere sexual purity.
The closest OT parallel to today’s text is .
Psalm 24:3–4 ESV
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
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).
James 4:8 ESV
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
We see here that James again associates purity of heart with single-mindedness.
James 4:4 ESV
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

How is Purity of Heart attained?

There is a positive way to say this:
Matthew 22:37 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This Beatitude reminds us of Christ’s deepest concern for us

“The ‘pure’ in heart know that the temptation of externalism and the social honor that comes with being pure in hands, or in observance, or in reputation.” (Scot McKnight.
Biblical religion is not primarily about doctrine
Now, it seems like a cruel trick to be told that the poor in spirit are blessed, those who mourn are blessed, and then tell us that the pure in heart are blessed. We are obviously not pure in heart by birth.
Matthew
Matthew 6:1–4 ESV
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Remember, holiness is summed up in love. God is a person to be loved, not a person to be impressed.
Now, it seems like a cruel trick to be told that the poor in spirit are blessed, those who mourn are blessed, and then tell us that the pure in heart are blessed. We are obviously not pure in heart by birth.
Genesis 6:5 ESV
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis
Proverbs 20:9 ESV
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?
Jeremiah 17:9–10 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Proverbs
Jeremiah 17
Matthew 12:34 ESV
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Matthew 15:8 ESV
“ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Matthew 12
Matthew 15:8 ESV
“ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Matthew 15:19–20 ESV
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
Matthew 15
Matthew 15:
Matthew 15:8 ESV
“ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
“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.”

This Beatitude reminds us of Christianity’s true source.

Throughout the Bible, a pure heart, which loves what should be loved, is a result of God’s work. (this is huge because it keeps us in desperate dependance upon God).
Deuteronomy 30:6 ESV
And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Psalm 51:10 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Jeremiah 31 ESV
“At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.” Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim: ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’ ” For thus says the Lord: “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O Lord, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” Thus says the Lord: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Thus says the Lord: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country. I have heard Ephraim grieving, ‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined, like an untrained calf; bring me back that I may be restored, for you are the Lord my God. For after I had turned away, I relented, and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the Lord. “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities. How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman encircles a man.” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I restore their fortunes: “ ‘The Lord bless you, O habitation of righteousness, O holy hill!’ And Judah and all its cities shall dwell there together, and the farmers and those who wander with their flocks. For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say: “ ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord of hosts is his name: “If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before me forever.” Thus says the Lord: “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the Lord.” “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when the city shall be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. And the measuring line shall go out farther, straight to the hill Gareb, and shall then turn to Goah. The whole valley of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be sacred to the Lord. It shall not be plucked up or overthrown anymore forever.”
Jer. 33:33
Jeremiah 31:33 ESV
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Ezekiel 36:26 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
:
Ezekiel 36:

This Beatitude reminds us of Christianity’s ultimate reward

For they and they alone will see God. Remember that Christianity is not Buddhism. Buddhism says that all suffering is the result of desire. So, we should get rid of desire.
Spurgeon —
They will see God in nature.
“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 lightning 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 () and the beauty of his holiness will be tasted directly like honey on the tongue.”
They will see God
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