Summary: Sixth in a series of sermons on the Beatitudes - developing Christian character
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
TEXT: Matthew 5:8
· Benjamin Franklin was committed to making himself a better person. So much so that he carried around a little book with a list of 13 virtues that he wanted to incorporate into his life. Each day he would concentrate on a different virtue.
š Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
š Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
š Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
š Wrong no one by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
š Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
š Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself.
· Franklin working hard to become a man of character
· Jesus, in giving us the Beatitudes, gives us virtues of Christian character
· Preaching through the Beatitudes
I. BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART
1. Genuine sense of internal joy or inner satisfaction, not dependent on
1. Free from corrupt desire, sin, & guilt; Freedom from every mixture of
what is false; blameless; unstained with the guilt of anything
C. Heart (Jerry Bridges)
1. The whole soul of mankind with all its faculties, not individually, but as
they all work together in doing good or evil. The mind as it reasons,
discerns, & judges; the emotions as they like or dislike; the conscience
as it determines & warns; & the will as it chooses or refuses
2. The center of who we really are
D. Paraphrase – A genuine, internal joy that is not dependent on outward
circumstances is for those who are absolutely, completely blameless
& 100% free from any kind of blame, guilt, or blemish deep down in the center
of their being – in their mind, in their emotions, in their conscience, & in their
will, for they will see God.
II. DILEMMA – WE AREN’T PURE IN HEART
(IL) Willie Nelson apparently at one time owned a golf course. He said the great
thing about owning a golf course was that he could decide what par for each
hole was. He pointed at one hole and said, “See that hole there? It’s a par
47. Yesterday I birdied it.”
1. We not only try to make up the rules, but we fall short of God’s par,
which is purity as I described above
A. God’s tells us what our hearts are like & He doesn’t paint a pretty picture
1. Jer 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things & beyond cure.
2. Mat 15:19 – For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery,
sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what
make men ‘unclean’.
3. Ro 2:5 – But because of your stubbornness & your unrepentant heart,
you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath,
when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
4. Eph 4:18 – They are darkened in their understanding & separated from
the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the
hardening of their hearts.
5. Recap – our hearts are deceitful and beyond cure, they lead to evil
thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lying, slander,
separate us from God, & cause us to store up God’s wrath against us.
B. We have an apparent problem
1. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart” when He knows very well
that the rest of Scripture clearly teaches us that our hearts are far from
2. Is he toying with us? Messing with our minds? Playing some kind of
3. Remember I said we have an ‘apparent’ problem
a. It only appears there is a problem because while I’m not pure &
you’re not pure, there is One who is pure
b. If there was only a way to have His purity count for me/you.
c. Do you think He’d trade? – He’ll take my filth & sin & impurity &
in return He’ll credit His righteousness & purity to our account
(IL) Bible in hand
4. Isa 53:6 – We all like sheep have gone astray. Each one has turned to
his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
5. II Cor 5:21 – God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in
Him we might become the righteousness of God.
6. Jesus has made a great exchange possible
(1) God no longer looks at the Christian & sees the impurity & sin,
but He sees the righteousness, the perfect obedience of His
son, the purity of Jesus
III. THAT CAN ONLY HAPPEN IF WE RESPOND IN FAITH