Blessed are the pure in heart
What does it mean to be pure in heart? Can anyone make that claim? Sermon from March 8th 2020
Reminder of Sermon Audio on our website
Reminder of Sermon Series ------- Did anyone read ahead?
If you didn’t, you have after school detention today.
If you did, i’ll give you a “high five” after Service today.
We're going to be talking about Matthew 5:8 today-----which means that next week we’ll be talking about Matthew 5:9. So if you don’t want detention again, make sure you read ahead.
Summary of Sermon Series:
It starts with being poor in spirit, acknowledging where we stand before a Holy God. and when we do that----
We will mourn, when we mourn----
We will be meek. And being meek, leads to-----
Us being hungry for righteousness. And when we are hungry, and God fills us with His righteousness-------
We will be merciful
And that brings us up to today’s verse.
Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )
With this Beatitude, Jesus kind of culminates all the ones before it.
This beatitude (Blessed are the Pure in heart), and all of the ones before it, all talk about the state of the person’s heart. They talk about the changes that the Holy Spirit starts to make in our heart. Its these areas, that God changes within His children.
As a result of God working in our hearts and minds---as a result of Him blessing us, we become:
Poor in spirit
Hungry for righteousness
We become merciful
And then he hits us with “pure in heart.”
When God saved us, and all of these things started happening------it leads to a “final state” if you will, of our heart.
He makes us have a pure heart--------and as a result of Him cleaning our hearts, we will see Him when our time on the earth comes to an end.
So-----what does this mean?
Like I said earlier, all of the Beatitudes thus far, have been talking about the state of a person’s heart. Their soul. Who they are on the inside, because this is what Jesus is concerned with.
Yes he cares what we do on the outside, what we do with our bodies, with our hands, with our voices, but those things we do on the outside, those things we do with our bodies ----- all originate from who we are on the inside.
Matthew 15:19-20 says “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person;”
Who we are on the inside-----is manifested in our words and actions.
If someone murders another person, its because there was murder in their heart before they ever took action.
If someone lies, cheats, or steals, it’s because those thing were already in their hearts before they ever enacted them.
It is who we are on the inside that matters.
It is our heart, that drives our actions.
It is our heart and our soul that powers the words that come from our mouths.
Who we are on the inside, is who we really are.
We can smile, be nice, and talk to people, but if in our hearts we cant wait to get away from that person ---------then thats who we really are.
We can donate to charity and volunteer, but if in our hearts we think that we ourselves can cover over our sin by good deeds-----then thats who we really are.
If we think, “its ok that I looked at pornography last week, im going to give a lot at churc, so itll even itself out.”
We can pray and worship loudly, for everyone to hear; we can memorize and recite every verse in the Bible; we can make it a point to tell everyone in our life that we are a Christian------but if in our hearts were doing it because we think we are holier than others-----then that is who we really are
Who we are on the inside, is who we truly are
I have this habit, in my life, that Sarah thinks is super gross.
I'm not sure if other people do this, but I dont think I'm the only one.
Whenever I drink coffee, if its in a mug at home, or in my thermos or travel mug-----I never really wash it out after using it.
Ill leave the empty mug on the counter, and the next morning ill pour fresh coffee into it.
Sometimes theres half a mug of day old coffee just sitting there, and ill dump fresh stuff on top------
Other times itll just be a few drops in the bottom-----but it builds up over time.
In fact, if you went into the office right now and grabbed my coffee mug, I can gurantee that theres a nice layer of old coffee staining the inside of it.
I never really gave it much thought, until one day I filled my thermos with fresh coffee, came to the Church and started writing the sermon for the upcoming Sunday.
Im praying, reading writing, doing all that stuff, and decide to pour some coffee from the thermos into the mug.
I pick the mug up, take a big ole swig of some nice hot coffee----and its filled with chunks and flakes of week old -----stuff.
It was super gross.
The thermos looked clean and reliable ----- but inside it was disgusting.
No matter what I poured into that thermos or that mug, it would be dirty when it came out. It could have been the healthiest drink, the cleanest water, the most refreshing liquid on the planet------but because of how dirty the inside of the container was----it would contaminate whatever liquid was poured into it.
When Jesus was talking and teaching the people that day in the Sermon on the Mount, and He said “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”, it would have been like a bomb going off-----because of who their religious leaders were. The pharisees.
You see, these guys did all the outward things that would “make them holy”
they dressed the right way,
spoke the right way,
did all the right things--------
but they did it because they believed they were holier than all the poor stupid people.
They believed, in their heart, that they could work their way to see God------but Jesus comes along and says that its people with a pure heart who see Him.
They were dirty on the inside-----so no matter what came out of them, no matter what behavior or language they used, it was contaminated by the filth they had in their hearts.
Matthew 23:25-26 - “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
Our outward holiness,
How we look and act on the outside will count for nothing, if who we are on the inside is: jealous, fearful, prideful, and self righteousness, hateful, lustful, angery, etc etc
It doesnt say blessed are the pure in language-----
Or blessed are the pure in behavior---------
It says blessed are the pure in heart
A verse that will help us understand this, is:
James 4:8 “8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
“Purify your hearts, you double-minded”
You see, we use the word “pure” to describe something that hasn’t been contaminated or watered down by anything else:
A gallon of olive oil is pure, if it hasn't been cut with some other kind of oil
A love that a man has for a woman is pure, if it hasn't been influenced by lust or control or power
Our faith in God is pure, if it hasn’t been contaminated by self righteousness, or wrong thinking
To have a pure heart-----as that verse in James says -------means:
To not have something in our heart, but our actions and words act contrary to it
To say one thing, but think and feel another.
To say we love God-----but live like we don’t.
To say we believe the Bible------except for certain verses.
To say “Yes God I trust in you and you alone------but this part of my heart-----you can’t have that.”
Our heart must be PURE if ever expect to see God.
If our hearts aren’t pure, then nothing we do on the outside will help us to see God.
If we hold anything in our heart, anything at all, to define us, to direct us, to support us, if there is anything in our heart apart from a desire to see God, then it is a heart mixed with other things---------then it is not pure.
If we are double minded, and have an impure heart-------- then nothing from the outside can change that. We will pour fresh water into our heart, and it will come out stained and contaminated.
We could even read the Bible every day, memorize ever verse
Pray every day
Go to every Church service
Volunteer // donate // tithe //
Give up our time
Defend the faith to unbelievers
We could do all the things that would pour life giving water into our soul-----but if the inside of the cup is dirty-----then what comes out of our life will be contaminated, and will falsely represent our God.
if there is anything in our heart that goes against what Scripture teaches------ It will contaminate all of our being, and we won’t see God.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for THEY will see God.
This is some heavy stuff, right?
This is life changing, anger inducing, heart racing stuff----- I understand.
What if: were not like those pharisees?
Were not self righteous // prideful // arrogant // look down my nose holier than you are----kind of people?
What if the things in our heart arent things I want to even acknowledge, let alone admit they might be ------bad?
Surely there's other reasons why someone would act and speak in a way that was different than what theyre really feeling inside, right?
No one wants to let people see them be angry, or hurt, or weak or vulnerable.
We “put on a happy face” when inside were in pain or suffering.
We don’t want people to see our sin-----
We don’t want people to see our heart----
To know we messed up----
To know we failed----
I'm not some prideful // self righteous jerk ----- I just don't want people to know the real me.
If you guys are anything like me, then you think things like:
I know im a sinner-----I dont need to be reminded
I know ive messed up
Im no one special // I know ive done things, said things, seen things
I want to hide my sins, not wear them on my sleeve for all the world to see!
Ive heard the preacher say how humans are naturally evil
Ive read the Bible verses that say our heart is wicked
I have sin inside of me that I am ashamed of, and I dont want people to see it.-------does that make me double minded? Does that mean I dont have a pure heart?
Well I want to tell you guys this morning, that if youve had those kinds of thoughts, then you are in good company.
Romans 7:18-20 says “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
You see, if you are thinking those things:
If you're ashamed of your sin
If you want to hide your sin from the people in your life
If you know when you mess up
If you know that there are things that you think, feel or do------ that the Bible says shouldn't be there…..
It is precisely because you already have a pure heart. ---- in fact, you wouldn’t even be able to think those things UNLESS you have a pure heart!
The impure heart cares not what Scripture teaches
The impure heart doesn't strive to know Jesus more
The impure heart isnt ashamed of it’s sin, it brags about it
If you have repented of your sins, and believed in Jesus Christ to save you-----
If you have been saved------it is because God has given you a new heart
Ezekiel 36:25-27 says: “25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
If the Holy Spirit lives within you, then you have a pure heart.
If your sin causes you to wince in pain every time it appears, it is because you have a pure heart.
If you hate the things in your life that are contrary to Scripture, it is because God has given you a pure heart.
If you are ashamed of your sin and regret it-----it is because God has given you a new heart.
He didnt just clean up the old one
He didnt just brush you off, give you a hug and send you on your way
Galatians 2:20 says: “20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Your old self has been crucified and killed, and now you have an altogether new life.
If you have a desire to be better-----it is because you have a pure heart
If you want to know more about God----
If you want to hear from Him
If you want to worship Him
If you want to live how He says you should live-----it is because you have a pure heart
Yes we are still sinners. Yes we still need Him, on a day to day, hour by hour basis.
But the desires of our heart, are now in line with Him and what Scripture says about Him.
We sin, and regret and repent. ---- we recite that verse in Romans “What Im doing, I dont want to do!”
If the Holy Spirit lives within you, then you are no longer like that verse in James says. You are no longer “double-minded”.
Yes we sin ----- and hate every minute of it
Yes we fail and fall ----- but we know who will pick us up.
Never content with the sin that is in our life, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
We are sinning saints, with a pure heart, never ceasing in our desire to see God.
So what do we do about all of this?
How can we take this kind of stuff, and put it into action in our day to day life?
We need to understand that God and Him alone is the one who gives us a pure heart.
Nothing we do with our words or our bodies can change our heart for the better.
We ourselves can’t clean the inside of the glass
It is only through repentance and belief that God removes our old heart and gives us a new one.
When we acknowledge this, that God is the one who cleans us---- it reminds us that we do in fact have a pure heart
We arent some lowly horrible good for nothing wastes of life, we are conquerors, in fact, we are more than conquerors!
We are the sons and daughters of God
We are the descendants of the God of the Universe
We arent some loser to be stepped over and ignored
We are chosen by God Himself to be His representatives
When we sin------we can call out to Him who will never leave us
When we fail or fall------we repent and ask for forgiveness
Galatians 2:20 “It is no longer i who live, but Christ who lives within me.”
Repeat this verses to yourself, as many times as you need to. Until you can’t think of anything else.
When the temptation to sin, in whichever way you turn to, literally say out loud with your mouth “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me”
“I have a pure heart”
“I am a child of God”
“The blood of His Son has made me clean”
“I have a pure heart”
“I have a pure heart”
If you cant do that----if you've run dry of strength
If we’ve repeated those verses over and over again, but the feeling that we don’t have a pure heart ------ and that we’ll never see God------is ever before our eyes------
If the sin that we hate…..has captured our will and no matter how much we fight against it-----we cant seem to win
We say what King David said in
Psalm 51:10-12 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Admit your weaknesses to Him, and He will hear you----and He will clean you
We say to Him “God I cant get away from this”
God I need you
God Im falling - im failing - I cant stand up - I cant see - I cant breath -
Create in me a clean heart ---- create in me a pure heart ----
I hate my sin - I hate it I hate it
And He will answer you.
He will hear your cry
He will hear your prayer
He will respond to you
He will work in your heart and in your life
He will correct your thoughts
He will show you love
Show you life
Show you freedom and peace and understanding
He will never leave you
Never forsake you
He will give your life meaning beyond this world
He will give you direction
He will remind you as often as you need to be reminded of how important and special you are
He will make you new
He will give you a pure heart ------ and when your time on this earth has reached its end--------you will see Him.
As I start to wrap this up: Id like to summarize something, then give you guys one more thing to help you understand how to tell if you are “pure in heart”
First------- Like I said earlier------if you hate your sin, and acknowledge that only God can clean the inside of your cup------ “thats the first way to know if you are pure in heart”
Second---------has to do with the rest of that verse I read earlier
Psalm 51:10-13 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.”
When God gives us a pure heart, when He changes our wants and desires, when God makes us new-----we will want to tell others. It will be an all encompassing desire.
Not out of a want to control them // be in charge // let them know how holy we are and they need to be like us-------no-------
But because we love them
Because we want to see people saved and set free from the sin in their lives, just like we were
I Timothy 1:5 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
It is our love for unbelievers, that is evidence of being pure in heart.
I want the lost people to know you God
I want the broken and abused to see your love
I want the lost and hurt to find peace and love
I want those who take joy and happiness from their sin to see the end result and be terrified of an eternity without you God
I love the unbelievers // I love the lost
I love the people in this world who are drowning in the sorrow of their life and are searching for a life raft------
We of pure heart know where they can turn
We know who can save them
God please let the love you have shown us by giving us a pure heart, flow through every area in our life---through every relationship
God save the unbelievers in this world
Touch their hearts
Open their eyes
Free the slaves Lord
( → → Call up the Worship Team ← ← )
When that happens, when we let the desires of a pure heart push us towards reaching the lost, and God moves in their life-----that is “seeing God”
Every time an unbeliever repents and is saved from hell------we are seeing God
Everytime an abuser calls on God and changes their ways ------- we are seeing God
When the desperate turn to Him
When the lost find Him
When the broken are made new --------we are seeing God
A pure heart is one:
"That hates sin and consistently goes to God for forgiveness and freedom -----
And has an unquenchable desire to see the lost and broken come to Him."
If this is you, then Jesus was talking about you when He said:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
( → → Close in prayer ← ← )