By: Scott Adkins, Sling ‘n Stone Ministry
Carter County Times
Last week, we looked at how we must be merciful to ourselves to receive God’s mercy per Matthew 5:7. This week, we move-on to the sixth Beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8.). But what does it mean to be “pure in heart”? The original Greek uses the word “katharoi” for “pure” in our English version. “Katharoi” means, essentially, a consistency between one’s deeds and one’s motivations for doing those deeds. One theologian, David A. Hagner, explained: “‘Pure in heart’ refers to the condition of the inner core of a person… [i]t takes for granted right actions but asks for integrity in the doing of those actions[.]” But still, what exactly did Jesus mean when He commanded we:
Be Pure In Heart
Pastor John MacArthur explains that, “it is the inner man, in the core of [our] every being that God requires purity.” James’s Epistle illuminates this concept: “Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double minded.” (James 4:8). That is – James 4:8 urges that our deeds and our hearts align in purity before God. The Old Testament instructs us: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7). And the Lord Jesus Christ, for example, asked a group of scribes, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4).
So, the real question would seem to be: “Just how do we purify our hearts?” And that is a profound question. Of course, God’s Word gives us the answer. The Lord Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy Word is truth.” (John 17:17). The Old Testament says the same: “Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalms 119:11). And back to James’s Epistle: “[R]eceive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:21-22). Finally, the Old Testament instructs that, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged.” (Proverbs 16:6).
What does this mean in an everyday practical way? As we abide, obey, and dwell in God’s Word – God’s “truth,” according to Jesus in John 17:17, we receive the “engrafted Word.” (James 1:21). To “engraft,” we must cut-off something – that is, by obeying God’s Word, we cut-off evil deeds and motives. It is God’s Word that cleanses, which is why Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3). That cleansing starts in our minds, (Romans 12:2 “renewing” our minds), and Romans 12:1 commands us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service.”
In simplest terms, we cleanse our minds and inner core, i.e., our hearts, by “hiding,” (Psalms 119:11), God’s Word there, and both our deeds and motivations will follow in obedience that, we may “see God.” (Revelation 22:4) (“And they shall see His face[.]”).
/s/Sling ‘n Stone Ministry