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Friday, March 9, 2012

The Sixth Beatitude – Significance & Meaning

“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”

To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. What a beautiful goal! How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? But an act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.
Psalms 119:9 “How can a believer keep his heart pure? By keeping it according to The word of God”.
Out of the hearts of men come all kinds of evil things. Everything from evil thoughts and greed, to slander and arrogance. All these evil things come from the inside of man, from his heart, and this evil from the heart is what makes man unclean. Two very good examples of verses that show the evil of the heart are below.
Mark 7:20-23 “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within the man, and they defile the man.”
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked”.
Therefore, one of the most important questions that we can ask is how can we be truly pure in our hearts and clean of filth and sin? How can we be pure in our imaginations, in our thoughts, in our words, in our decision making, and in our desires? How can we think what God thinks, will what God wills, desire what God desires, hate what God hates, and love what God loves? In other words how can our hearts be pure hearts, free from sins like pride and envy, free from evil thoughts and evil deeds?
The truth is we can’t do any of these things on our own. We can’t reform ourselves. We can’t self clean ourselves. Many people have tried to clean themselves. Some have tried to do this through asceticism or leading a life of complete self denial, or by other methods such as by going away from the world and living in solitude, or permanent silence, or by beating their bodies with whips and clubs, even by inflicting upon themselves all forms of degrading and unpleasant acts, even going so far as castrating themselves. They have tried to cleanse themselves through celibacy, fasting, and prayers. But such asceticism is not biblical and it will not result in purity of heart.
So the first point we must be aware of is this. The path to a pure heart begins with the realization that we have impure hearts. The entire Bible revolves around the central theme that the Lord looks at the heart of the person and not at their external appearance, their behavior, or their achievements. The Lord does not acclaim education, intellect, business success, or social position, as the world does.
And the second point we must be aware of is this. God must clean us. God alone is able to make rotten people pure in their imaginations, thoughts, words, deeds, and desires. The pure in heart are those who are free from evil desires and evil purposes. So if God is the only one who can cleanse us, then how does he do it? Well the Bible tells us that God has a plan to deal with the problem of sin infected hearts. God has a plan to save us and make us holy in thought, word and deed. And the plan is found in many places such as in Romans 8:29. Here God tells us that he wants “to conform us to the image and likeness of His Son”. Thus God’s plan is to make us like his own Son, like Jesus Christ. His purpose is nothing less than that we be pure in heart just like Jesus Christ is.
How does God clean and purify us? First of all, when we become born again and we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus Christ and put our entire faith and trust in him, God will supernaturally regenerate us and give us a brand new nature, a new self. We become a brand new creation. He tells us what he is going to do to us at Ezekiel 36:26-27. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you”.
And this all happens the very moment when you are saved, because when you are born again you indeed become a brand new person. A brand new person who is walking arm and arm with Jesus Christ on a road to spiritual purity, spiritual growth, spiritual maturity, and spiritual strength.
The Bible tells us that once we are saved and become born again then we are no longer living our lives by ourselves. Galatians 2:20 tells us, “It is no longer I that live, but it is Christ that is living in union with me”. Now both you and Jesus are living your life together, and it is at this point that a number of very marvelous things occur. First of all you have a brand new spotless heart, one that is no longer saturated with sin. You also have Jesus Christ dwelling within you and you are united with Jesus Christ. You now believe fully and completely in our Lord Jesus Christ. You have also pledged your love, trust, and obedience to the Lord. And something else extremely important has occurred and that is the Holy Spirit has decided to move in and take up residence within you. The Holy Spirit is the one who’s going to guide you and teach you and show you exactly what to do and how to do it, in order for you to become pure in heart. All the believer needs to do is constantly and continuously keep their focus on Jesus Christ.
This beatitude tells us if we are pure in heart then we will see GodThe reward for this beatitude is truly marvelous because when the believer becomes pure in heart, not only will they see God as they pass into heaven immediately upon their death, but they will see God right now, not with their natural eye, but through their spiritual vision, through their faith in Jesus Christ.For the pure in heart will see God in all his glory in every single thing that they see. To the pure in heart, God will become extremely visible.

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