A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Special Study: THE BLESSEDNESS OF PURITY OF HEART
Matthew 5:8; Psalm 24:3,4; Revelation 22:3-5
The heart is the centre of life; out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). The surrounding may be clean but as a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). We need to have a clean, pure and perfect heart towards God (Matthew 12:34). The condition of the heart determines what we say with our tongues, what we do with our hands, where we go with our feet. It is the heart that moves or directs other parts of the body, including the brain. It is the heart, not other parts of the body that harbours guilt resulting from deeds done by other parts of the body like hands, feet, tongue, etc. Also, what we treasure within tells who we are (Luke 6:45; 1 Samuel 16:7). The Lord searches the heart. Heart righteousness and not head religion, is what will take us to heaven. Knowledge of divine revelation, Christian doctrines, good activities and Christian services are not enough to take us to heaven unless there is heart righteousness (Psalm 15:1,2).
THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING PURE IN HEART
Matthew 5:8; 2 Kings 20:3-6; Acts 15:8,9; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:4-10; Genesis 5:22-24; Daniel 6:3,22; Psalm 24:3,4; Revelation 7:9-17.
Purity of heart is possible. There are people who had lived before us who were pure in heart though they had temptations like we are having. If it was possible for them to be pure, it is possible for us today. If God did it for them, He will do it for us too. One of them, Hezekiah, at the point of death, prayed without fear of condemnation, “I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight” and God answered because he truly had a perfect heart. From the prayer of Hezekiah, it is clear that the married and the unmarried, the leaders and the led can be pure in heart. Management position or administration should not be an excuse for nursing an impure heart. If it was possible for early apostles like John and Peter who were once boisterous, violent, boastful and self-confident to have their nature so changed so much that they turned out to be the ones advocating love, gentleness, humility and meekness, then it is possible for anyone. Early believers including Cornelius, a military officer, also had their hearts purified by faith. “And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Therefore, whatever province, state or country you live in, it is possible to be pure in heart. Before Paul the apostle was born again, he had murderous, violent character. But after salvation occasioned by the Lord, and purity of heart, he became so gentle and loving like a nurse. What a change the grace of God can make in a man’s life! Pure heart implies a pure mind, conscience, a purified affection, pure submissive will to the truth of the Word of God and to the righteousness of God in the inner man, in the inward part.
THE PROVISION OF PURITY OF HEART
Matthew 5:8; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:25-28; Psalm 51:6-10; Romans 2:29; Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 5:25-27; John 17:6-23; Hebrews 8:6,10; 9:13,14; 10:16-23;13:12-14,20,21.
God has made sufficient provision for the purification of our hearts. But we have to make use of this provision so that the blessing of purity of heart can be our experience. Beside the provision, God has power to change man and any of His creatures. Thus, the Word of God says, “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). Both negative and positive miracles in scriptures show us that God can circumcise our hearts. If He changed the heart of Nebuchadnezzar from that of a man to an animal that ate grass for seven years, if He turned him to his natural, human senses afterwards, He can change our nature – mind, soul and spirit – so we can love Him with a pure heart. If God could open the eyes of Balaam’s ass – the most stupid and dullest of animals – to see an angel; if He could open its mouth to speak human language distinctly with understanding, can He not so transform a life yielded to His hands to possess a circumcised heart? If God could suspend the carnivorous and ferocious nature of many lions such that they could not do any harm to Daniel, it is not hard for Him to change human attitude, life and nature. If God could perform these miracles on men and animals, He can and will change us if we allow Him. There is no excuse then for remaining uncircumcised at heart.
Knowledge of things that God has done in scriptures activates our faith to believe that He can cleanse us completely from moral impurity. That God could make the clothes Christ wore on the Mount of Transfiguration to be as white as no earthly dry-cleaner could make should encourage us to believe that He, according to His promise and provision, can “sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:25,26).
THE PROMISE FOR THE PURE IN HEART
Matthew 5:8; Job 33:25,26; Numbers 12:5-8; Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 34:10; Isaiah 33:15-17; Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 3:2,3; Job 19:25-27; Revelation 22:3-5.
The privilege that we have of seeing God face to face is great. There are normal requirements and conditions to be fulfilled before seeing great leaders in this world. People find it easy fulfilling those conditions because of the benefits they will enjoy. God’s own condition to be fulfilled before we can see His face is holiness of heart and life. To interact with God here on earth at the time of prayer, on hospital beds, during persecution, trials and at death, what an incomparable privilege and joy will it be! But if you leave this world without a pure heart with which to see God, how miserable will you be all through eternity? Death is a glorious experience for the pure in heart. At death, John Wesley said, “the best and the greatest that can ever happen is to see God”; D. L. Moody said, “glorious day of coronation”; and another saint said, “I see them, I see them, myriads of angels”.
God defends the pure in heart. He spoke with Moses face to face because he was pure in heart. God commands us to possess and maintain a pure and holy heart so as to enjoy this privilege of seeing Him face to face on earth and in heaven. When Christ shall return on that glorious day of rapture and resurrection, we shall see Him face to face. What a glorious hope and expectation for the pure in heart! “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God ” (Matthew 5:8). To be among the number that will see God, ask the Lord to purify your heart now.
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