Blessed are the Pure in Heart for they shall see God
Talk notes for 23rd June
recorded version will be here for a couple of months http://www.ascensionbath.org.uk/sermons/
Matthew 5 1-2 & 8 Gal 5 16-26 Psalm 24
God wants hearts that are in line with Him.
We will get things wrong but God still knows our heart
Do we know and accept the wrong we do and seek forgiveness?
Does our heart want to follow the Spirit and live God’s way? that is important
When our heart is in line with His ‘Pure’ then we see God in all around us and others see God in us.
We can also see God and hear from Him
- Blessed are the Pure in Heart for they shall see God
I said in the notice sheet piece ‘The interesting thing is that so many people say that they want to see God but they don’t know how.
Here, in Matthew, Jesus tells us that those who are pure in their hearts will see God.
However the problem is often no one understands what being Pure in Heart means.
Pure the Greek word is katharoi, which means, “clean, pure, unstained, either literally, ceremonially, or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright.” It refers to that which is “without added mixture; separated (purged), clean (pure) because it is unmixed (without undesirable elements).” In the spiritual sense, it refers to being purified by God – being free from the contaminating influences of sin.
Heart: The original Greek word used here is the word kardia. It’s obvious we’ve carried this word over to represent the organ in our body responsible for pumping 750 gallons of blood through our body every nine hours.
But the biblical use of this word goes beyond a physical organ. It refers to the core of a person; that immaterial thing inside that makes us what we truly are. When you strip everything away, what’s left? That’s what this verse is really referring to here. It’s our irreducible minimum.
- Those with Pure Hearts are contrasted with those who thought that they had satisfied God’s will through ceremonial conformity to tradition. Jesus insisted on simple, true heart – righteousness
Judah followed the rituals but their hearts were far from God and not pure
Jeremiah 7 3 – 11
3 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the Lord’s Temple is here. They chant, “The Lord’s Temple is here! The Lord’s Temple is here!” 5 But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice;6 only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. 7 Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
8 “Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! 9 Do you really think you can steal; murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”— Only to go right back to all those evils again?
- Boast in the Lord not your things accomplishments
Jeremiah 9 23-24
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
24 But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
- We will get it wrong often We will fall into sin by doing wrong
After all we started as sinners made pure by Jesus
4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.
12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God
- . 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
It is through the grace of God that are hearts become like Jesus’ pure and holy
It is through confession that we keep our hearts pure.
- We need to acknowledge our sinfulness
Jeremiah 8 4-6
4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again?
When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?
5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?
Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?
They cling tightly to their lies
and will not turn around.
6 I listen to their conversations
and don’t hear a word of truth.
Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?
Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?
No! All are running down the path of sin
as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!
And Paul says in Galatians
- The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
None of this gives us a Pure heart, rather a polluted one.
We need to recognise when we sin, and repent.
Allowing Jesus to purify our hearts again.
Asking to be filled by the Holy Spirit again so we can live pure lives with the fruit of the Spirit in us.
Again Paul says – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Pure speaks of being free and clear of the effects of guilt and sin. It’s like a filter has been put over the heart so it becomes peaceful instead of hostile. What was wrong with the heart before has been made right by virtue of God’s influence upon it. Just as Jesus touched and purified the leper, He purifies our heart when He touches our lives.
- We need to be more real on inside than it seems outside
Faith is not about outward acts or appearances but begins and ends with the transformation of the heart
Matthew 6 1-6; 16-18
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair[d] and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
- Do we live from the outside in – to please others and build our reputation in the eyes of the world?
Or do we live from the inside out – seeking to live good honest lives before God and leaving our reputation in God’s hands.
Do we have integrity?
What is the core of your life?
What is your worldview?
Jeremiah 17:9-10 MSG “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”
John said about Jesus: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
- So today’s question is, what is your heart centred on, is it family, career, hobby, money, enjoyment something else or as Jesus said him?
How do you see the world around you?
Jesus said in Luke 18 “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
We have to be like Children, Pure in Heart.
Children are pure in heart as they are the same on the inside and outside, they have not learnt how to wear a mask.
What matters is not your status before man, but your status before God your Father.
Child of God, Pure Hearts come from putting Jesus our saviour God our father at the heart of everything
- RESPONSE: Today, ask the Lord to search your heart for any impurities that may be clouding your vision of Him.
Father we want to see you
We want to see and hear from you daily.
We want to see you all around us.
So Father please Purify my heart today, wash it clean with the blood of your son Jesus our saviour
Fill me anew with your Holy Spirit
Help us to be pure in heart and blessed with the sight of you.
Notice Sheet piece
Blessed are the Pure in Heart for they shall see God 
The interesting thing is that so many people say that they want to see God but they don’t know how.
Here, in Matthew, Jesus tells us that those who are pure in their hearts will see God. However the problem is often no one understands what being Pure in Heart means. Jesus had made it clear in other places we have pure hearts when we put Jesus at the centre of our lives and treat others as He would and as He does treat us. It’s not about making sure we look good to others, or taking part in the rituals of church, or even being seen to do good works. No it is about what is important deep in our lives. So today’s question is, what is your heart centred on, is it family, career, hobby, money, enjoyment something else or as Jesus said him?
I have found that when my heart is pure, aligned with, centred on, Jesus then I see and hear God around me and in others and when I let my heart slip away then I lose that sight.
 Matthew 5 8