Summary: Integrity of life is necessary for a joyful life.
Title: Good People
Text: Matthew 5:8
Truth: Integrity of life is necessary for a joyful life.
Aim: To challenge them to live more consistently and clean.
Other preachers and I speak to the generation of Watergate and Monica-gate. Surely we have an easier time convincing the congregation and culture of the singular importance of purity. The plot was the same with both Presidents: wrongdoing, denials, a web of deception and solemn declarations that turn out to be lies. Those lies are probably better known than John 3:16. Who said, “I am not a crook?” Right. Richard Nixon. Who said with emphasis and indignation, “I did not have sex with that woman”? Right. Bill Clinton.
In lengthy television interviews with David Frost, Richard Nixon never admitted guilt. He used words like “errors of judgment” and “mistakes,” but he never bluntly confessed, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.” President Clinton proved more forthcoming only after the evidence of taped conversations, letters, gifts and a soiled dress—piled up.
There will always be this stain on their historical reputation—liar. Neither man could control their passions.
Actually, what these two represenitive figures witness to is the necessity to understand and practice this beatitude on purity. They show that impurity curses a life.
If a person were to accept Hollywood’s interpretation of reality, you would think that evangelical Christians go through life burdened by guilt, in contrast to carefree unbelievers. If you’ve been a Christian any length of time and you actually talk to people you know that the only people who go through life with the burden lifted off are Christians. Blessed are the pure in heart.
Jesus said that the pure in heart are blessed. What does “blessing” mean? Max Lucado said it is the too-good-to-be-true coming true. Do you remember the Publishers Clearinghouse commercial where they arrive at the front door of an elderly Black lady? When informed she has won she says, “Thank you, Jesus!” That’s blessed. Jesus must have enjoyed that.
To be blessed means God approves of you. He delights in you. It is to receive what you always dreamed about but never expected. This is what the pure in heart experience.
Notice two parts to this beatitude.
I. THE CONDITION FOR BLESSING.
The word “heart” is our word “cardiac.” Every culture has some internal organ which it considers the emotional, spiritual and mental center of a person. When we say, “Let’s get to the heart of the matter,” we mean let’s get to the essence or core. This is the way Jesus is using this word.
Had Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure” the Pharisees would have been happy. Outwardly they were very careful about keeping religious rules. But Jesus is not talking about outward purity but inward purity.
The Lord told Samuel that even though David’s oldest brother Eliab was a striking specimen of manliness he was not the Lord’s pick to be king of Israel. The Lord said, “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (I Sam. 16:7).