Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
I have wondered why this is my least favorite of the Beatitudes that Jesus spoke. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it has a lot to do with the fact that of the group this is the one that I a clearly do not exemplify in my own life. The simple truth is, the more I look into my heart of hearts the further from God I realize that I am. I keep getting reminded of the somewhat creepy sounding statement from the old radio show, The Shadow. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” You see the issue is, the more I get to know Jesus, the more I see the evil that lurks in my heart. Not only does the Shadow know, but I know and there is no psychological trick of denial that is strong enough or effective enough to cover over that fact and hide that truth.
The closer I get to Jesus the more I realize I am a despicable, sinful, self-centered, egotistical, covetous person. At this point you are all supposed to say, “oh no Dan, you’re wonderful, awesome, and godly, don’t be so hard on yourself, we love you”. Thanks. I appreciate the gesture but that is exactly how our world tries to deal with the sinfulness of our hearts and it just doesn’t cut it. Denying that one has cancer will not get rid of the cancer. A correct diagnosis and surgery can. Denying the sin in my heart will not make my heart pure anymore than painting over the X-ray of the tumor will make it go away.
Now here is the huge irony in all of this. It rests in the statement “the closer I get to Jesus the more I realize how sinful I am”.  As the sin in our life gets dealt with and we grow to be more like Jesus, our heart is getting more pure. As a result we see who God is with greater clarity than ever. BUT, we also see the sin that remains with that same clarity. I may have been able to effectively deal with a mouth that swore like a drunken trucker before I came to Jesus. But as I get closer to Him I realize that sins of the heart like envy, or jealousy are harder to deal with. And as long as I don’t to something too overt to let that sin out, nobody else knows about. I look good on the outside, but the inside is not what it should be.
So what’s the answer? I found it in a 4th century book by St. Augustine titled, “Confessions”. In it I saw a man who learned to be honest about the sin in His heart. He exposed it to the light of truth. And just like a vampire from a Hollywood science fiction movie, it looses all power and crumbles to dust when exposed to the light. Sadly, Christians have learned to paint over and hide their heartfelt sins. We have learned not to expose them and make them known because we so quickly get rejected by other Christians who are threatened by the possibility have having to expose their own sin.
Jesus has a very different approach. It is called confession, repentance, and forgiveness. He deals with our sin and urges us to move on and get even closer to Him. But I want to warn you. When you do that you will find out even more of the things that lurk in your heart. A further part of the irony here is that the closer you get to God, the more you realize that you are farther from Him than you thought. As you see the glory and holiness of God more clearly, because your heartfelt sins are being dealt with, the more you see that you are not nearly as close to Him as you hoped. You are more sinful than you knew, and he is more holy than you ever imagined. But there is hope. Jesus makes a promise in this verse that if you continue to pursue a pure heart and are honest with Him about your sin, the day will come when you will stand before Him, face to face. You will be welcomed into His eternal kingdom. As Paul says, “now we see as if dimly in a mirror, but then we will see face to face.”
Comments
  1. Steve says:

    Yes, but remember that we are already perfect “in Christ”, pure in heart. We have been born again by his HOLY Spirit living in us, God in us, and that part of us is perfect and sinless.

    1John1:9 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

    Sin still lives in our flesh and will continue to be seen until our flesh has died and is resurrected sinless. However, our born again Spirits, the Spirit of Christ living in us, is already perfect and pure, we have spiritually died in Adam and been resurrected in Christ, born again, and are already perfect and sinless through and in Him. In my born again Spirit I cannot sin and would never desire to sin, but in my corrupted flesh where sin is not completely dead yet, sin still shows itself.

    Romans 7:16 “And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.”

    And so our perfected Spirits, already pure in Heart, being the pure Heart of Christ, are bound for a time in sinful flesh. But as we yield to the Almighty Spirit in us, we will not fulfill the lusts of our weak corrupted doomed to die filthy flesh, but will put those deeds to death by His infinite power over them.

    Gal 5:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

    You do not do the the things that you wish, the things that your corrupted flesh lusts after.

    Therefore, we should look forward to the death of our sinful flesh with great joy and anticipation! It will be the day we are finally completely free from this filthy stinking prison of sin, corruption, and death. The consummation of everything Christ suffered for on our behalf. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

  2. This one particularly resonates with me. I was shackled in the torture chamber of addiction to pornography for 10 years, and no one but me knew about it. All the while, I was a Bible study leader, the “model kid” that all the parents wanted their kids to be like, etc. Nothing I tried would let me free from it! But I finally exposed it to the light and asked for help from my brothers in Christ, and by the grace of God it has withered away. And now I’m seeing more, deeper areas I need to work on. It’s a process, but someday we shall be completely sinless, oh glory! 🙂

  3. Steve says:

    For “Pure in Heart” frustration read “The Christian in Romans 7” which is a really great article by Arthur W. Pink:

    http://www.presenttruthmag.com/archive/XXXI/31-6.htm

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  6. Gary potter says:

    Pure of heart am I idk I don’t thank of myself as being pure I sometimes have sinful thoughts and am no better than anybody in fact am probably much less worthy of a white robe or crown. I became I’ll as my heart attacks became closer and closer together in frequency every 30 minute for one day and then slowly reducing back over 2 weeks to nothing. At my worst I repented to Jesus and asked what I needed do to go heAven then all sudden I heard a real voice and it said save the baby from being aborted at first I was suprised and had to ask 3 times what he meant then immediately I was standing before Jesus in spirit on earth at the bottom of the steps that go to heaven and he was wearing a white robe and he did not look nothing like the picture people have of him The bottom of the old concrete steps go up to heaven. I started back in church and told my preacher and he said not many people would believe me. I hAvnt told anyone because people would scoff me and not believe me anyway. Am I pure of heart ? Jesus showed me my future. I wonder how many more people like me there are that know if they speak out would be called a liar even by people who love god ?

  7. Gary potter says:

    Jesus did several things for me he showed me upcoming death of my wife He showed me visions that were horrific of women in lingerie for several days I seen the visions every one of them their heads melted and then u could see the black inside them. Jesus showed me to help me cause I had a problem with looking at dirty pic on Internet. The baby I’m supposed to save well I hAvnt talked to Jesus anymore but Jesus told me if I save the baby from being aborted I could go to heaven. Would u please pray for me about the baby that I can save it ? It’s been over a year and I’m worried that my opportunity to save baby has passed me up. I hope it’s still in my future would u please make a prayer for me cause believe wouldn’t believe and this is my last resort to ask for prayers Please pray that I succeed and save the baby for Jesus and I don’t fail Jesus ?????

  8. Gary potter says:

    Please pray for me I’m very sick and need prayers to help me save the baby from being aborted before I die. I need strength cause I’m sick and weak please pray that I can save the baby and I don’t fail Jesus I need wisdom and physical strength just long enough to save the baby I been waiting and watching for baby and I hAvnt found it yet either. Pray ill find it please. Pray ill can save it before I’m overcome with death myself Please pray I save the baby Jesus told me I could go to heaven if I did Holy people that have favor with god please pray this baby is important to Jesus

  9. Gary potter says:

    Pray for me that I don’t fail Jesus and save the baby when time arrives I not afraid to die closer i have been to death the more god has poured his spirit on me to let me know he’s with me. Please pray I don’t fail Jesus to me that would be horrible to have to live in all eternity knowing I failed Jesus would be terrible to me. Please pray I succeed in saving the baby for Jesus

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