I have been blogging through the book, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. In chapter ten on his book, he covers the Beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” In the beginning of the chapter he spent a good bit of time reviewing how all the beatitudes fit together. And they do. Interestingly, he sees the first seven Beatitudes as going up and down a mountain. He states, “In the first three [poor in spirit, mourning, and the meek] we are going up one side of the mountain, as it were. We reach the summit in the fourth [hungering and thirsting for righteousness], and then we come down on the other side [with the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers.]”
But then he shows an even “closer correspondence.” The first three Beatitudes, he says, correspond to the second three. So he sees it like this: “The merciful are those who realize their poverty of spirit.” Secondly, the pure in heart correspond to they that mourn. Then the peacemakers are those that are meek. And this seems to be true. Thus we may see it like this:
The poor in spirit ——-> the merciful
They that mourn——–> the pure in heart
The meek———–> the peacemakers
Now as for this sixth beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” it is imperative that we first understand what is meant by the heart. The meaning is the center of our personality, not so much the intellect. To develop the intellect will make us smarter as far as knowing facts, but it will not solve man’s deep problems—the problems that stem from sin and self. But if we can get a grasp on our heart, we can conquer our deep moral problems; for out of the heart comes evil.
What does it mean to have a pure heart? And how can we accomplish it? Purity of heart can mean two things: 1) without hypocrisy, or to be single minded; and 2) without defilement, or to be made holy and sinless. Both are important and both together will take us to the result—to see God.
So how can we be pure of heart? How can we be holy and without hypocrisy? Here are three ways:
1. By Prayer. Pray daily that He will create in you a clean heart. He alone can do it (Ps. 5 1).
2. Submit to God and draw near to Him (Ja. 4:7-10). And when you do, He will draw near to you and help you to be pure of heart. But you must also do your part. He tells us to purify our own hearts, to mourn over our sins, and to humble ourselves before Him.
3. Mortify your members (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5). Mortify means to put to death. We are to put to death the deeds of the body, or the deeds of our flesh—all impurity, immorality, evil desires. And the way we do that is by starving them to death. We cut off their food supply. That is, we stop thinking about those lustful things and stop looking at those things.
The result, or the blessing will be that God lets us see Him. We see Him not with our physical eyes—because He is pure spirit. But we will see Him with our spiritual eyes. We will feel His nearness in our spirit everywhere we go. We will sense His nearness in nature as we see His creation. We will see Him in people. They too are His creation. And we will feel Him close to us as we pray and read His word.