Summary: Purity of heart is NOT sinless perfection.
Series: The Sermon on the Mount
Title: Purity of Heart
Text: Matthew 5:8
INTRODUCTION: When we began our study of the beatitudes some weeks ago, we addressed the question of what it means to be “Blessed”.
We noted that blessedness is not just a synonym for “happiness” even though some translators have chosen to translate the word as Happy.
Makarios (Greek for Blessed) means supremely blessed or extremely fortunate.
Happiness, of course, is a part of this - but because in our modern vernacular “happy” is such a trite word, it does not justly describe the benefit which is here being described.
In our early study, we talked about the highest blessing of the believer which theologians called “THE BEATIFIC VISION”.
The beatific vision is when the believer reaches the culmination of his/her faith, and sees the Lord as He is.
1 John 3:2 “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
This is the greatest of all blessings which is expected by the Christian: that one day we will see the Lord as He is, and we will be like Him in a glorified and eternal body.
I mention this because we have arrived today at the Beatitude which actually describes the beatific vision within its blessing.
All of the beatitudes have a congruent blessing associated with them.
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
And today’s beatitude is no different.
There is the description of the blessed person, and the resultant blessing is that they will indeed, see God.
READ: Matthew 5:8
Each week, I have sought to help us understand the progression of the beatitudes.
As I have said, when you read them together a natural pattern emerges.
We begin to see that Jesus is not here describing various individuals with various character traits (i.e. some are poor in spirit, some mourn, some are meek, etc.)
Instead, he is talking about the natural blessing of the person who is converted by God to faith in Christ.
He begins poor in spirit.
He mourns over his poverty.
He is humbled before God.
He is desperate for righteousness.
And his behavior is affected, as he becomes an agent of mercy.
This is the picture of the blessed man.
But it does not end there... it continues on with another, even deeper description...
The blessed man is PURE IN HEART.
This is probably the most difficult of the beatitudes so far.
I say difficult, because it is probably hard to find ourselves in this beatitude.
We might rightly see ourselves as poor in spirit and mourning over our sin.
We might rightly see ourselves as humbled before God and desperate for the righteousness which we do not have.