Sunday, September 18, 2016

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

Temple Baptist Church - 9-18-2016
Matthew 5:8

A.  This Beatitude mentions the heart or the soul of man. 
1.  Man is a trichotomy: three in one.  He has a body which is world conscious; he has a soul which is self-conscious; he has a spirit which is God conscious.
2.  The soul of man is called the heart in the Bible and is of the utmost importance because the heart’s condition determines our relationship with both God and the world.
Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 23:7  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Matthew 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
B.  I do not want to begin a series on the heart this morning but do want to emphasize its importance in our walk with God as well as in our daily walk before men.  I want to look at two types of purity for a few minutes.
1.  Outward Purity of the moralist.  Though purity is beginning to be old fashioned in our day, there are still people who have some integrity left and it shows.  It is outward.  Readily recognizable because of the lack of purity of the majority of people that surround them.  Morals have “gone to pot” in these last days and the things that were once not to be spoken of publicly are now publicly displayed and flaunted. 
Proverbs 30:12  There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
2.  There is also the outward purity of the religious man.  The Pharisees made clean the outward man but they were full of deadness on the inside.  Religion loves to look right without being right.
Matthew 23:25-28  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  (26)  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  (27)  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.  (28)  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
3.  Inward Purity.  The inward purity spoken of in our Beatitude for this morning is much more than just an outward show though it does affect the outward man.  Inward purity is the purity that God sees in us.  God is a Discerner of the heart of man. 
1 Samuel 16:7  But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.  (Some have used this verse to qualify their erroneous thinking that God is not concerned with our outward appearance but with our heart only.  Too much is said about the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is our body, for this reasoning to “hold water.”  We are to present our bodies to God a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable which is our reasonable service.)
C.  The Purity of the Godly is Inward. 
1.  The believer is given a holy nature at the moment of the New Birth. 2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2.  That new holy nature must be nurtured in what is referred to as progressive sanctification. 
Ephesians 3:16-17  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  (17)  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
D.  The product of a pure heart is that the believer “shall see God.” 
1.  This not a visual sight of God but a spiritual one.  Most religious people have concocted a “god” of their imagination: a “god” that they are comfortable with and who is comfortable with their lifestyle.
a)  America no longer sees God as He is!  I hear these Washington politicians end their anti-God speeches with “God bless America.”  What “god” are they talking about?  A “god” that loves sodomy?  A “god” that loves abortion?  A “god” that loves lying and deception?  A “god” that accepts other “gods” such as Allah, Joseph Smith’s “god” or some other “god?”  The God of the Bible is a holy God who rejects these things.
b)  God cannot continue to bless America!  God cannot continue to be gracious to America!  God is still merciful to America but I believe that will end soon.  “One nation under God” is a pledged by a nation that rejects God.
c)  What is the problem?  People no longer see God.  Our nation no longer sees God as He is but has created a “god” of love without holiness!  Pulpits across America have been silenced because sin has entered the “camp” and it there to stay.  Look at the Bible Belt and its liberal, casual, contemporary churches.  They no longer see the God of the Bible because their hearts are impure.
2.  The pure hearted believer sees God as He is!  He is a loving, kind, merciful, compassionate God but He is also a holy and just God.  I want to look at an often quoted verse that explains how we shall see Him as He is. “For they shall see God!”  They shall see God as He is, not as man too often perceives Him to be.  A thrice holy God!  As the majestic Sovereign of the universe!  As the Lord of lords and King of kings!
1 John 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is(I understand that this is speaking of when we stand before Him in our glorified body and see Him with our eyes but the key is “be like him…see Him as He is.”  The purer our hearts become, the more that we are like Him, the clearer that we see Him as He is.)
E.  How do we get a pure heart?
1.  Purity of heart comes through obedience to God’s Word - Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
2.  Purity of heart comes through purity of thought - Proverbs 23:7  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
3.  Purity of heart comes through fleeing from sinfulness – 2 Timothy 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
4.  Purity of heart comes through an unfeigned love of the brethren – 1 Peter 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
5.  Purity of heart comes through watching for the coming of our Lord – 1 John 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

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