Summary: God is concerned with the condition of our heart. We are to seek purity of heart in two ways: (1) be right, and (2) be true. Our words and deeds must be in sync with our heart.
Noticed Jesus did not say “Blessed are the pure…” which is correct too.
• But He said, “Blessed are the pure IN HEART.” The emphasis is right.
• Man concerns the outward – we want to look good, to make an impression.
• We need to place more emphasis on what is unseen – the attitudes of our heart.
Man’s tendency is to put up a good front.
• The Pharisees made that same mistake. “Clean your hands!” they would say.
• They did all they can do to make the outside look good and clean.
• But Jesus says, “Clean your heart!” He reserved the harshest words for those who mask their heart. Matt 23:25 “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.”
• Many times, we read in the Gospels, Jesus saw the wicked intentions of their heart.
• That is what He sees and that’s what He is concerned about today.
These Beatitudes remind us that God is not focused on man’s outward performance.
• God is very concern with the attitudes of our heart – what is on the inside.
• We are to take good care of what is inside us. Our attitude determines our altitude – how high can we climb, how far we can grow as a Christian.
• Without the regular maintenance of the heart, we cannot go far.
I’ve seen quite a few Christians falling away, although they look good on the outside.
• Why? How can they backslide so easily?
• It may have been there all along, right beneath the skin, unseen on the outside.
• The person has not been right with God. The problem is with the heart, not the forms.
• Christianity, ultimately, is more than just a matter of doctrine or understanding; it is a condition of the heart. It is not just a matter of the mind, but of the heart.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus forces us to look at our attitudes, the condition of our heart.
• If we want to be a blessed Christian, then we need to check our heart.
• You do not need to prove to me that you are a Christian, but you need to prove to God that you are a true Christian, and He sees the heart.
Samuel made that mistake when he was looking for the future King for Israel (among the sons of Jesse).
• The Lord corrected him, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7)
• There is a great proverb - Prov 21:2 “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.”
• That’s where our attitudes, convictions, and ultimately our actions are shaped. Prov 27:19 “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”
Do you know that when God looks at us today, He pays little attention to our outward appearance?
• I wish He does sometimes, because many of us are quite well dressed-up on Sundays.
• But frankly, that is not His real concern. God looks at our heart because that is who we really are.
We are to be PURE in two ways:
(1) Be RIGHT as oppose to wrong; being righteous, not evil or sinful
(2) Be TRUE as oppose to false; our outward and inward are in sync. Not hypocritical and deceptive.
A pure heart has a clear conscience. We need God for this.