Volume. XXXVI, No. 8
Sunday, 22 August 2021

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Jesus said in the sixth beatitude, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). We live in times when people call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). The world that we live in enjoys things that are sensual and impure, both in thoughts and actions. And often, such evil and unclean things are universally accepted as norms. Dirty jokes, vulgarities and filthy language dominate much of the communications in secular gatherings and media. Pornography and adult-themed movies are glorified.  At such times when sins abound, is purity of heart possible? To have purity of heart seems unattainable to our fallen nature; world values, and Satan constantly work against it. We may feel like David in Psalm 23:3-4 "Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?" David's answer is like the sixth beatitude, "He who has clean hands and a pure heart." 


Christianity is all about keeping our hearts pure. We thank God for the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is all about having a pure heart through the work of Christ on the cross. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only pathway for us to see God. Because our heavenly Father is rich in mercy and because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can be pure in heart and see God. When Jesus is referring to the heart, He is referring to the centre of our inner life. It is like the centre of our soul where we make all our moral decisions. Everything that comes out of our mouth and life passes through our hearts. So, naturally, because of our fallen nature we produce all evil things from our heart. Jesus said in Matthew 25:25, out of our heart proceeds all evil things such as evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, etc. So Jesus is concerned about not just our salvation but also our purity in heart.


"Blessed are the pure in heart." The Pharisees in Jesus' day were like the legalists who were only concerned about the letter of the law, ritual and ceremonial purity and often ignored the spirit of the law and holiness of heart. The purity that we all should be concerned about, first must happen in our heart and spring out of it to all the other spheres of life. It is much easier to be a Pharisee and more challenging to work on matters in our hearts. The opposite of a pure heart is to have a divided or impure heart. The solution is for us to have a singleness of heart to follow Christ. If we follow society or world values, we will become like the world and be impure in heart. First John 2:15-16 reminds us, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world." The Epistle of James in 4:8 gives the solution to divided or impure hearts: "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."  So, we can't love Jesus and love the world at the same time. Jesus Himself said in the sermon on the mount that we couldn't serve two masters. Our Saviour and Lord, Jesus, demands single-mindedness and pure, genuine and sincere hearts. 


Jesus is our best example of a pure heart. Jesus was actively obedient to God and overcame all temptations. He loved the LORD God with all His heart, and with all His soul and with all His mind.   He always put God first, and doing His will was His priority.  Even at the most trying time like that agonising prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed, "Not My will but your will be done." (Luke 22:42) He remained blameless and sinless throughout His life, which is the absolute example of purity of heart. We who belong to Christ and as His disciples, let us emulate the purity of Jesus. 1 John 3:2-3 reminds us, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Having purity of heart must be sought now even as we will be pure in heart forever one day.


Having purity of heart does not mean sinlessness. We know from the record in the Bible that God's saints were not perfect or sinless. Noah, Lot, Abraham, Elijah, Peter etc., all have their stories of imperfections. Yet purity is what is called for in the Scriptures, "Be ye holy for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). God knows the nature of sin that entangles us or sneaks in and defiles us. Even as we struggle for purity, let us remember purity is the end of our election. “Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). God predestines us to Christ's image, which is all about purity in heart.


The sixth beatitude promises that, "they shall see God." Moses once requested to see God but was only shown a shadow as no one can see a holy God. Yet we who are justified by faith in Jesus Christ and cleansed by His precious blood will see God face to face in His holy presence. God is seen when He sustains His grace-dependent child during trials. The Holy Spirit bears witness in our heart of His ever-abiding presence with us. "If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin" (1John 1:7). We see God in our fellowship with His saints. We see God in our devotions through his Word. We are gradually moulded more and more like Christ, even as the apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." 


The pure in heart shall see God one day and be like Him. Every child of God looks forward to the day when Jesus will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." We look forward to that day when we shall be like Him; meanwhile we continue to keep ourselves pure in heart. "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1). "Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22). There is much to abstain from to keep oneself pure. Also, there is much to embrace.  Let us ask God to reveal any misplaced priorities or anything in our life that is causing us to lose our first love for Him.


Like the pure in heart, let us seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness always. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."


Rev Matthews


More Lively Hope



  • Holiday Bible Club, 27 Sept to 1 Oct: Registrations now available online: https://forms.gle/xzSSLpjroRVfMFU46. Friends welcome. 
  • Service Roster Oct-Dec 2021: Please email your availability by 1 September to hopebpcrosterer@gmail.com.
  • Update in COVID-19 restrictions: Singing is permitted with masks on. Sunday School children & families are to sit physically distanced in the Hall, adults in the Sanctuary. Masks mandatory for Year 8s and older.
  • Missions Fair Cookbook: Please submit recipes and photos.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Current COVID-19 situation in South Australia.
  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence for the past week.


Prayer Requests

  • Healing: all who are unwell.
  • Christians in Afghanistan.
  • Comfort and peace for friends and family interstate and overseas affected by COVID-19.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041