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Matthew 5:8

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


We come to this next Beatitude, speaking of purity of heart.
Matthew 5:8 ESV
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
There is a great focus in the Bible on the matters of the heart. So many verses in the Bible that talk about the heart. And when we see such a focus like that in the Bible, it should give us pause to why we see so much that is concerned with a subject like this - the heart.
So, let’s get right into it here.
We will look at several different aspects of this Beatitude tonight.
First of all, let’s look at what is meant by “heart”

The Heart

The heart as it is referred to here is mentioned 948 times in the Bible. 948 times! Isn’t that astounding!! It was to me anyway lol.
The heart that the Bible refers to in all of these places isn’t our blood pumping organ. The Bible never refers to it as an organ or an actual part of the physical body.
The heart that we see here is the “master control” of the person. It means the inner man with all of his functions. It is the intention, drive, purpose, will, desire of the person.
It encompasses who we are and doesn’t just include our actions, but it includes our motivations.
It includes our emotions, but isn’t limited to our emotions. It is speaking about our inner-self and motivations for what we do. It is the reason behind who we are.
We’ve talked about it a lot in these Beatitudes, but this verse speaking about being pure in heart is one of the most searching and overarching verses that we will ever come to in the Bible.
There is an element of this Beatitude in all of the rest of them. The desire to have a pure heart.
The condition of the heart matters the most!
Listen to these verses that describe that:
Matthew 12:
Matthew 12:34 ESV
34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45 ESV
45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Aren’t those verses telling of us?
My middle child, we call her the admiral. She has a very strong personality and is very determined. But one of the aspects of her personality is that she likes to be the news reporter around our house. She needs a microphone at times at the scene of an accident:
“Breaking news here folks: This is big sister and I am reporting live at the scene where my little brother has taken a sharpie to the walls in the play room. It is definitely a desperate scene here, there is chaos running amok. He is currently running down the hall… Oh wait folks, a breaking development here… Mom is now involved… Wait... yes, there’s the spanking we all anticipated. And there you have it folks, justice has been served on this momentous occasion. Until next time, this is the tattle-tell sister reporting live from the scene of the crime”
So, your actions are like my middle child. They tell on you. They show the condition of what is inside.
I used this quote a few weeks ago, but I can’t help but use it again:
“What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket!”
What’s in your heart comes up in your actions and your responses. Your actions and your responses tell the story of the condition of your heart.

This doesn’t say HEAD, it says HEART

Now, this is an important distinction. Intellectual knowledge isn’t something that is lauded by Jesus. Jesus doesn’t say here “blessed are those who KNOW ALOT OF BIBLE FACTS.” Intellectual knowledge isn’t enough.
That is why it is possible and even beneficial for a child to receive Christ as saviour, because it doesn’t take intellectual knowledge at a high level to believe in Jesus. Jesus says you must come as a little child.
Intellectual knowledge isn’t bad obviously, but when it takes the place of the condition of the heart, then it has been misplaced.
There are a lot of atheists that have more head knowledge than a lot of Christians but that doesn’t save them.
Head knowledge about Jesus can’t save you. Your environment can’t save you. Your emotions can’t save you. Only a repentant heart over your sin and a desire to be pure can save you!
I have talked to people who say “I can’t teach a Sunday School class because I don’t know enough” or “I can’t witness to someone because they might ask a question that I don’t know” - Well join the group! You won’t ever know enough to feel comfortable starting. You just have to start! And there will always be someone who “knows” more than you do - that doesn’t mean you can’t teach or witness!
Now that we’ve talked about the “heart” as described in the Bible, let’s talk about the purity aspect.

Pure in Heart

So, what does purity in heart mean?
Well first of all, we have to know that the heart is not pure by nature.
Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
This is the natural born condition of the heart. There isn’t a person born that doesn’t have this natural condition.
Now, this is where Jesus was really getting pointed to the Pharisees. They were the religious leaders and they were all about making sure they followed certain rules.
Matthew 23:25 ESV
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
See, the Pharisees were all about the outside following of the law. They thought that the external following of rules could make them righteous and holy, and here Jesus tells them it’s nothing but a sham!
See, purity of heart is what is emphasized here. It isn’t external obedience. External obedience is good obviously, but only when it follows the internal purity of the heart.
Proverbs 21:2 ESV
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
Matthew 15:8 ESV
8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
See, Jesus looks at the heart. He goes beyond what other people see on the outside. Do you see why this is so important that we understand this purity of heart?
This is an inner holiness.
DL Moody once said “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself!”
I love that. If we take care of our inner character - then our actions and our reputation and all of that other stuff will follow. Sounds familiar to doesn’t it??
You see, God cares about the inside. He cares about your heart.
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