Summary: Lesson 7
"Very solemn and searching is this sixth Beatitude, for it equally condemns most of that which now passes current for genuine religion in Christendom. How many today rest satisfied with a head religion, supposing that all is well if their creed be sound; and how many more have nothing better than a hand religion--busily engaged in what they term ‘Christian service.’ ‘But the Lord looketh on the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7) ... " (Arthur Pink)
The Bible puts a great deal of emphasis on the heart. No doubt the Lord included this sixth Beatitude, as well as other remarks which we will discuss later in these lessons, because of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. The most common charge leveled against the Pharisees by the Lord was that they had a keen interest in the outside of the pots and platters, but they blatantly ignored the inside. When viewed externally, the Pharisees had it altogether and were found to be without spot. But inwardly they were, to quote the Lord, "full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matthew 23:28). They were guilty of omitting "the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith" (Matthew 23:23), while they were most concerned about the external injunctions of religion.
When the Lord said, "Blessed are the pure in heart", He was pronouncing blessedness on those who are pure at the very center of their being, at the very source of their every activity, not those who are merely pure on the surface. May we keep in mind that "the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."
I. THE PERCEPTION OF PURITY
A pure heart is one that is:
A. Free from Corruption
1. In one sense, to be "pure in heart" means to be clean; to be without blemish.
B. Fixed on Christ
1. Another sense in which it means to be "pure in heart" is to be without hypocrisy; to be single-minded; to have unmixed motives.
2. Psalm 86:11
a. The desire of the Psalmist was to learn the way of the Lord and His way only. He wasn’t interested in learning any other way. Once he learned the right way, David was willing to commit himself to walking in that way. He was committed to living a life that conformed to the Scriptures. But he knew that in order to follow a single path it would take a single heart, so he prayed "unite my heart." The word "unite" means "to be or become one." (Compare Hosea 10:2)
b. Even David knew the danger of having a divided heart. A divided heart results in an unstable life (James 1:8).
3. To be "pure in heart" our foremost desire must be to please the Lord and to follow Him, and nothing must be allowed to interfere with the fulfillment of that desire (Luke 16:13; 1 Corinthians 10:21; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15; Revelation 3:15-16).
II. THE PLACE OF PURITY
A. The Heart Defined
1. In the Bible, the word "heart" means the center of man’s personality. It is used in reference to man’s intellect, will, and emotions.
2. Intellect - Mark 2:8
3. Will - Daniel 1:8
4. Emotions - John 14:1
B. The Heart Described
1. The heart can be proud - Proverbs 18:12
2. The heart can be pure - Proverbs 22:11
3. The heart can be heavy - Proverbs 11:25
4. The heart can be sick - Proverbs 13:12
5. The heart can be bitter - Proverbs 14:10
6. The heart can be sorrowful - Proverbs 14:13
7. The heart can be merry - Proverbs 15:13,15; 17:22
8. The heart can be fretful - Proverbs 19:3
9. The heart can be envious - Proverbs 23:17
10. The heart can trust - Proverbs 31:11
11. The heart can lust - Proverbs 6:25
12. The heart can be faint - Genesis 45:26
13. The heart can be willing - Exodus 35:5
14. The heart can be discouraged - Numbers 32:7
15. The heart can be trembling - Deuteronomy 28:65
16. The heart can be disquieted - Psalm 38:8
17. The heart can be hot - Psalm 39:3
18. The heart can be contrite - Psalm 51:17
19. The heart can be overwhelmed - Psalm 61:2
20. The heart can be smitten - Psalm 102:4
21. The heart can be wounded - Psalm 109:22
22. The heart can be broken - Psalm 147:3
23. The heart can melt - Ezekiel 21:7