"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8 NASB)
The blessing that the pure in heart will receive is that they will see God. The cursing of the defiled of heart will be that they will not see God. There are those who will see God and those who will not. There are those who are pure in heart and those who are not pure in heart and therefore defiled.
The seeing of God seems obviously to occur in the after life. When Jesus spoke this text, he was speaking of a future time (for they shall see God). God is a Spirit and can not be seen by our physical eyes this side of eternity. I think those two facts are sufficient to conclude that this seeing or not seeing of God is something that happens either after death or at the return of Jesus. So the pressing question to ask ourselves this morning is am I pure of heart?
The phrase pure of heart is used just two other times in the Bible. One time in 1 Timothy:
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5 NASB)
The other time is in Hebrews 10. The pureness of heart idea is spoken of as a sincere heart washed with pure water.
let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22 NASB)
First Timothy describes a pure heart as residing in an individual with a sincere faith in Jesus, and a good conscience. Hebrews describes the good conscience as one that has been cleansed by the blood of Christ; then further describes the sincere faith as a faith that is fully assured of it’s authenticity. So what is a pure heart?
A pure heart is found residing inside of a person who has an active faith (trust) in Jesus and who’s conscience has been cleansed from damning judgements placed upon itself. The consciences job is two fold. It takes the memory of past sin and brings it into the courtroom of the mind. It then pronounces a guilty judgement so that you feel the weight of your guilt in your affections. The second job of the conscience is to be the active alarm system that alerts you before and during sin. It is much like a smoke detector in the house warning you of smoke prior to pending loss of life. The conscience is not omniscient and can not with absolute certainty declare oneself as guilty. The reason is because the conscience itself can become defiled and delusional. It is the mechanism God has given us, and for the most part works as a good and righteous prosecuting attorney.
When the blood of Christ sprinkles the conscience clean, the weight of guilt in the mind and affections lift. It is liberated like a free man who’s sentence has been removed, and who’s penalty has been paid by another. It is Barabbas skipping down the temple steps when he was released by Pilate because Jesus was condemned in his place. Before I became a Christian, I lived a life that was wrought with sin. I had learned how to shove a rag in the mouth of my conscience so that it no longer alerted me of present sin, nor reminded me of my past guilt. It was a very bad place to be. Every so often, the rag would fall out and it would scream at the top of it’s lungs. It taught me that trying to forget my past sin was never a solution to past regret. I needed forgiveness, not a severe case of amnesia or Alzheimer’s. It was only when I came to the cross with my burden of sin that my conscience was liberated and set free. It skipped down the temple steps and jumped for joy as Jesus hung there for me. Don’t get me wrong, if Jesus remained in the grave and was punished in my place, my conscience would only be worse off. The story does not end with a man on a tree, but the Son of God rising from the grave and ascending for me.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Am I am individual who is pure of heart? Why yes indeed I am. It is not because I am good, but rather because I am trusting in King Jesus who is good. He alone has liberated my conscience and freed me to see Him one day.