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Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Date:5/16/10

Series: The Sermon on the Mount

Category: Sunday Morning Sermons

Passage: Matthew 5:8

Speaker: Daniel Sweet

The Sermon on the Mount

Blessed are the Pure in Heart; Matthew 5:8

 

Exposition of Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

  1. Blessed: Happiness or inward joy that comes from God
  2. Blessed are those who seek to be emptied of themselves
    • The spiritually poor, Matthew 5:3
    • Those who mourn over spiritual poverty, Matthew 5:4
    • Those who are gentle with others who are spiritually poor, Matthew 5:5
  3. Blessed are those who seek to be filled with the things of God
    • Righteousness, Matthew 5:6
    • Mercy, Matthew 5:7
  1. Blessed are those whose motives are pure, Matthew 5:8
  • “Pure in heart”
  1. The promise that fulfills the longing of every believer’s heart
    • “For they shall see God” (Connection with Psalm 24)


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The Sermon on the Mount

Blessed are the Pure in Heart; Matthew 5:8

 

Mission Testimony: Lyndi Pate

 

Scripture Reading and Prayer

  • Read Matthew 5:3-12 (slides)

 

Exposition of Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
(Slide 1 – Header Slide)

  1. Blessed: Happiness or inward joy that comes from God
  2. Blessed are those who seek to be emptied of themselves (Slide 2)
    • Overview again of the nine beatitudes and their relationship to one another
    • Not a full disclosure of doctrine in this passage, but instead an overview of the fundamental principles of spiritual life
    • However, these nine statements give a powerful, simple and comprehensive overview of what it means to be a follower of Christ
    • There is more information needed than just the beatitudes to fully comprehend what Christ has said here
    • There is a progression in these
    • Not that you only do the first and if you wish you proceed to the next
    • This is the call for all believers in Christ is to continually progress through these attributes and to continually embrace each attribute
    • The spiritually poor, Matthew 5:3
    • Those who mourn over spiritual poverty, Matthew 5:4
    • Those who are gentle with others who are spiritually poor, Matthew 5:5
  1. Blessed are those who seek to be filled with the things of God
  • Righteousness, Matthew 5:6
  • Mercy, Matthew 5:7
  • The next beatitude reminds us that God is not looking for merely external evidences
  1. Blessed are those whose motives are pure, Matthew 5:8 (Slide 3)
  • Not only is there a progression of life through these beatitudes
  • There is also a progression in outcome or in promises
  • Notice the outcome of these promises (Slide 4-5)
  • In the kingdom, … see God, called Sons of God
  • The reversion back to the basic promise is the result of persecution – this makes sense because if an individual goes through trouble they may wonder if they are “in” or “out”
  • We will speak more of this in a few weeks, but persecution does not mean you are out of the kingdom
  • Today’s beatitude, blessed are the pure in heart (Slide 6)
  • Purity – clean, washed, without blemish, spiritual - without duplicity
  • “Pure in heart”

o   Let’s see how the term heart – cardia (cardiac) is used throughout Scripture

o   There are times in Scripture that heart refers to the physical muscle in the chest that pumps blood throughout the body

o   However, more than that, the Old and New Testament use the term to describe a spiritual reality and not a physical reality, 600 Old and 200 New references

o   We need to get to the heart of the matter

o   I love you with all my heart

o   There aspects of the human heart from a spiritual prospective are not all flattering

o   Consider these verses

o   The first occurrence of the word heart in the bible, Genesis 6:5 (Slide 7)

o   In God’s dialogue with Moses, He told Moses that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart and so it happened, Exodus 8:15 (Slide 8)

o   The psalmist refers to the atheist as making a heart decision, Ps. 14:1 (Slide 9)

o   In Matthew 15 the Pharisees challenge Jesus about the failure of His disciples to follow the parasitical tradition of ritual hand washing before eating bread

o   Jesus quotes the Old Testament to them, Matthew 15:8 (Slide 10)

o   “Whoa to you Scribes and Pharisees”

o   The disciples pull Jesus aside and say, “I think you offended them.”

o   Jesus then gives this principle of spiritual life, Matthew 15:18-19 (Slide 11)

o   Sin is an expression of what is inside a person, lies come from within, hate comes from within, these are not merely physical reactions like Pavlov’s dogs

o   On the positive side of spiritual life and the use of heart, there are several expression in sacred Scripture

o   The greatest commandment in the Bible found in Deut. 6:5-6 (Slide 12)

o   This statement is quoted by Jesus as the greatest commandment

o   David, after his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah the Hittite is in need of forgiveness so he begs God for such

o   Part of that confession is found in Psalm 51:10-11 (Slide 13)

o   Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God

o   One other Psalm that connects directly with what Jesus says in the beatitudes

o   Read Psalm 24:3-5 (Slides 14-16)

o   Read Ezekiel 11:19-20 (Slide 17)

o   Read Ephesians 3:16-17 (Slide 18)

o   The human heart is the center of vitality, if your heart stops beating you are declared legally dead

o   Spiritually, the heart of an individual represents the center of the person’s life

o   The mind, the emotions, the will, the conscience all the dimensions of spiritual life

o   With the spiritual heart we love and hate God and others

o   With the spiritual heart we sin or perform acts of righteousness

o   The spiritual heart, the inward life of a person, marks the integrity of the person

o   The spiritual heart is by nature wicked and evil and turned against God

o   God comes and gives us a new heart, a clean heart, a pure heart

  • “For they shall see God”

o    Connection with Psalm 24 and Psalm 51

o    The connection between the purity of heart and the outcome

o    They shall see God

o    Moses request, “Show me your glory.”

o    Isaiah, “I saw the Lord, high and lifted up.”

o    Jesus prayer for His disciples in John 17, “that they may see my glory.”

o    John describes our greatest joy is to see Jesus Christ as He truly is (Slide 17 -Read I John 3:2)

o    For the individual who is lost, there is little appeal in this sentence by Jesus

o    For the believer there is infinite joy in this prospect

  1. Application:
  • Read Matthew 5:8 (Slide 19)
  • There is a blessing or happiness, a joy that is associated with a life of purity in heart
  • God will not let those who have pursued Him with such motives be disappointed
  • So what does this look like? (Slide 20 – Header Slide)
  • Self-effacing, humility, a gentleness, personal righteousness, mercy all down from a genuine attitude toward God
  • Someone who is pure in heart is…
  • Not concerned about external appearances, not doing what we are doing for the recognition by others, not living in a way so as to be noticed and respected
  • Not trying to impress or receive credit from others for their actions
  • Living out the other beatitudes with a engaged heart, thoughts, attitudes
  • Living out the beatitudes with a purity of motives so that we do what we do for the sake of God’s glory, His name and His reputation and His kingdom
  • May 18 is our anniversary - Marriage and the external actions
  • External actions are important, but the heart is the issue
  • As with marriage, our relationship to God is a heart decision
  • This is the check for a purity of heart
  • This moves us from the mere external actions and moves us to the far more challenging aspect of kingdom living
  • This verse calls us to check our motives, our thoughts, our dreams, our desires
  • This verse calls us to evaluate honestly what is going through our mind when we do anything