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7. The Beatitudes – Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

Matthew 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God

The merciful shall find mercy, and the pure in heart shall see God. Every impure thought defiles the soul, impairs the moral sense, and tends to obliterate the impressions of the Holy Spirit. It dims the spiritual vision, so that we cannot behold God.

The Lord may and does forgive the repenting sinner; but though forgiven, the soul is marred. All impurity of speech or of thought must be shunned by him who would have clear discernment of spiritual truth.

But the words of Christ cover more than freedom from sensual impurity, more than freedom from that ceremonial defilement which the Jews so rigorously shunned. Selfishness prevents us from beholding God.

The self-seeking spirit judges of God as altogether such a one as itself. Until we have renounced this, we cannot understand Him who is love. Only the unselfish heart, the humble and trustful spirit, shall see God as “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”

Matthew 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God

The word translated “heart” designates the intellect (ch. 13:15), the conscience (1 John 3:20, 21), the inner man (1 Peter 3:4).

Purity of heart, in the sense Christ used it, includes far more than sexual purity (MB 25); it includes all desirable character traits to the exclusion of all that are undesirable.

To be “pure in heart” is equivalent to being clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness.

Matthew 22:11  “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 

Matthew 22:12  So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 

Listen to what an exclusive outfit is promised by God:

Revelation 19:8  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 

Revelation 3:18  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 

Revelation 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 

It was not ceremonial purity that Jesus had in mind, but inward cleanness of heart. If the motives are pure, the life will be pure.

Matthew 15:17  Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 

Matthew 15:18  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 

Matthew 15:19  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 

Matthew 15:20  These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” 

Those with pure hearts have forsaken sin as a ruling principle in the life, and their lives are without reserve consecrated to God. To be “pure in heart” does not mean that one is sinless, but it does mean that his motives are right, that by the grace of Christ he has turned his back on past mistakes, and that he is pressing toward the mark of perfection in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:13–15).

Matthew 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God

See God. Christ places emphasis upon the kingdom of divine grace in the hearts of men in this present age, though not to the exclusion of the kingdom of eternal glory in the age to come (see on v. 3).

It is clear, therefore, that the words “see God” refer to spiritual as well as to physical sight. Those who feel their spiritual need enter the “kingdom of heaven” (v. 3) now; those who mourn for sin (v. 4) are comforted now;

those who are humblehearted (v. 5) receive their title to the new earth now; those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Jesus Christ (v. 6) are filled now; the merciful (v. 7) obtain mercy now.

In like manner, the pure in heart have the privilege of seeing God now, through eyes of faith; and eventually, in the glorious kingdom, it will be their privilege to see Him face to face (1 John 3:2; Rev. 22:4). Furthermore, only those who develop the heavenly vision in this present world will have the privilege of seeing God in the world to come.

As with physical narcotics and intoxicants, the first effect of sin is to becloud the higher faculties of mind and soul. It was only after the serpent had charmed Eve into seeing with the eyes of her soul that “the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise” that “she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat” (Gen. 3:6).

When the serpent said, “Then your eyes shall be opened,” he referred to figurative sight, for the result of their “eyes” being “opened” was a knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:5). The devil first blinds men by persuading them to believe that experience with sin will give them clearer sight. However, sin leads to further blindness. Sinners “have eyes,” but they “see not” (Jer. 5:21; cf. Isa. 6:10; Eze. 12:2).

Only those with singleness of heart will ever “see God.” When the “eye” of the soul is “single” the life will be full of “light” (Matt. 6:22, 23).

Too many Christians become spiritually cross-eyed in the attempt to keep one eye fixed on the heavenly Canaan and the other on the “pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25) and the “flesh pots” of Egypt (Ex. 16:3).

Our only safety is to live by principle, to make God first in everything. Those today who see that the things of the world are to be “desired,” whose attention is fixed on the glittering trifles of earth that Satan displays, will never see the greater value of obeying God. The window of the soul must be kept clean if we would “see God.”

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

The Jews were so exacting regarding ceremonial purity that their regulations were extremely burdensome. Their minds were occupied with rules and restrictions and the fear of outward defilement, and they did not perceive the stain that selfishness and malice impart to the soul.

Jesus does not mention this ceremonial purity as one of the conditions of entering into His kingdom, but points out the need of purity of heart. The wisdom that is from above “is first pure.” James 3:17.

Into the city of God there will enter nothing that defiles. All who are to be dwellers there will here have become pure in heart. In one who is learning of Jesus, there will be manifest a growing distaste  for careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse thought. When Christ abides in the heart, there will be purity and refinement of thought and manner.

But the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” have a deeper meaning—not merely pure in the sense in which the world understands purity, free from that which is sensual, pure from lust, but true in the hidden purposes and motives of the soul, free from pride and self-seeking, humble, unselfish, childlike.

Only like can appreciate like. Unless you accept in your own life the principle of self-sacrificing love, which is the principle of His character, you cannot know God.

The heart that is deceived by Satan, looks upon God as a tyrannical, relentless being. The selfish characteristics of humanity, even of Satan himself, are attributed to the loving Creator.

“You thought,” He says “that I was altogether like you.” Psalm 50:21. His providences are interpreted as the expression of an arbitrary, vindictive nature. So with the Bible, the treasure house of the riches of His grace.

The glory of its truths, that are as high as heaven and compass eternity, is undiscerned. To the great majority of mankind, Christ Himself is “as a root out of a dry ground,” and they see in Him “no beauty that” they “should desire Him.” Isaiah 53:2.

When Jesus was among men, the revelation of God in humanity, the scribes and Pharisees declared to Him, “Joh 8:48  Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”  John 8:48.

Even His disciples were so blinded by the selfishness of their hearts that they were slow to understand Him who had come to manifest to them the Father’s love. This was why Jesus walked in solitude in the midst of men. He was understood fully in heaven alone.

When Christ shall come in His glory, the wicked cannot endure to behold Him. The light of His presence, which is life to those who love Him, is death to the ungodly.

Hebrews 10:26  For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 

Hebrews 10:27  but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 

When He shall appear, they will pray to be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them.

But to hearts that have become purified through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, all is changed. These can know God. Moses was hiding in the cleft of the rock when the glory of the Lord was revealed to him; and it is when we are hid in Christ that we behold the love of God.

He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend.  Proverb 2:11.

By faith we behold Him here and now. In our daily experience we discern His goodness and compassion in the manifestation of His providence. We recognize Him in the character of His Son.

The Holy Spirit takes the truth concerning God and Him whom He has sent, and opens it to the understanding and to the heart. The pure in heart see God in a new and endearing relation, as their Redeemer; and while they discern the purity and loveliness of His character, they long to reflect His image.

They see Him as a Father longing to embrace a repenting son, and their hearts are filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

The pure in heart discern the Creator in the works of His mighty hand, in the things of beauty that comprise the universe. In His written word they read in clearer lines the revelation of His mercy, His goodness, and His grace.

The truths that are hidden from the wise and prudent are revealed to babes. The beauty and preciousness of truth, which are undiscerned by the worldly-wise, are constantly unfolding to those who have a trusting, childlike desire to know and to do the will of God. We discern the truth by becoming, ourselves, partakers of the divine nature.

The pure in heart live as in the visible presence of God during the time He apportions them in this world. And they will also see Him face to face in the future, immortal state, as did Adam when he walked and talked with God in Eden. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.


Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 

Updated on 15th Nov 2022

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