Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Before modern refining techniques, pure gold was refined in a crucible or pot.
The impure gold was heated.
As the gold reached a particular temperature, impurities rose to the top and were carefully skimmed off by the refiner. He continued heating the gold until it reached a higher temperature, and more impurities would rise to the top and be carefully skimmed off.
The process continued until suddenly, he looked at the gold and it was like a mirror — he could see his image in it! No more fire was needed — it was pure!
But when the gold was pure, it took on another wonderful characteristic, besides reflecting the image of the refiner. Pure gold is so soft, so malleable that it can be molded and shaped and pressed without breaking or cracking. It was too soft and pliable to be made into jewelry like my wedding ring. But it was perfect for being molded and shaped. It was used to cover wooden objects used for worship in the Tabernacle of God, and in the Temple in Jerusalem.
As we come to today’s scripture (Matthew 5:8), three questions come to mind:
#1 – What is a pure heart?
#2 – How do I get one?
#3 – What does it mean to “see God?” Why am I supremely blessed when I do?
What is a pure heart?
A pure heart is one that has no other elements in it, like the pure gold. There is no admixture.
It is a heart that is completely and entirely God’s. Jesus doesn’t have to compete with anything for your attention. Your eyes are on Him, and His love is always in your line of vision.
It is a heart in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell, for they will not dwell where there is impurity.
It is one in which the Refiner, the Lord Jesus, can see His own image!
It is a heart filled with the actual love of God — not love for God, but His actual love in that heart!
It is a heart made perfect (complete) as He is perfect (Mt. 5:48, made holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16)!
It is a heart that is malleable, moldable, shapable, as His Spirit takes us from image to image and glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18)!
It is a heart that does not intentionally rebel against God (sin).
How do I get one?
Praise the Lord — we can’t do it!
David knows, from the Psalm he wrote after he sinned with Bathsheba and sent her husband to his death. Only God can do it!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God.” The Hebrew word for “create” here is bara’, and it is used only of God.
“And renew a right spirit within me.” Renew really means to make new. He needs a spirit that is right, that is steadfast, and only God can do that.
An important truth: It is only when David’s heart is made pure by God and a new spirit is in Him that David (and we) can teach transgressors the Lord’s ways, resulting in their conversion and salvation.
Beloved, if we are not living what we are teaching and proclaiming, our words mean nothing. No one will believe us.
In Ezekiel 36, the Lord declares that He will take out our stony heart and replace it with a heart that responds to His every whisper. He will give us His Spirit so we are careful to obey Him, out of love.
Malachi 3:2-4 —
Jesus Christ is your Refiner. He cleans you up inside (refining) and out (strong soap used by a fuller/launder), O royal priesthood, holy nation!
Is that “for everyone?” It was certainly for the Apostles and also for the house of Cornelius, as Peter testifies in Acts 15:9. Just like the Apostles, Cornelius and his house suddenly had cleansed (2511, katharidzo, cleansed, purged, purified) hearts!
What is it to “see God” and why am I supremely blessed when I do so?
This is one of those “here and now” and “there and then” promises.
The word “see” is horao (3708) — to stare at, to discern clearly (physically or mentally); to experience; to behold, to perceive, to take heed.
We will certainly see Him when we worship at His throne in heaven. Look to Revelation 4 and 5 to get a picture of the scene!
But how can we “see God” here and now?
As David writes in Psalm 24:3-4, only those with clean hands and a pure heart can ascend into the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place.
It is good when we see Him working around us, and to see Him providing for us, as He did for Israel, but that’s not the kind of seeing this verse refers to. It is experiencing Him.
I tell you, if you have been argued into believing in Jesus, someone can come along with a better argument. But if you have experienced Him, if He has filled your heart with God’s actual love, no argument will ever sway you!
Beloved, the Father’s promise is that He will fill us with His Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire — His refining fire!
He will purify our hearts, and the Father and Son and Spirit will literally dwell inside of us (John 14:23). That is a supreme blessing, beloved!
So we shall certainly have the holy intimacy that “seeing” connotes, the nearness, and we shall see Him in a spiritual way! That is a supreme blessing! We will fellowship with Them, just as the Apostle John writes in 1 John 1:3. Those who have impure hearts cannot fellowship with God . . . sin separates them from Him (Isaiah 59).
This purification and molding and shaping makes you a witness of Him here, and that is the whole purpose of the church — not simply to get them saved, which is essential and great, but to purify. Jesus came so you would be able to be forgiven of your past sins, which comes first. But He came to give you a pure heart.
God was not surprised that Adam sinned; He had already prepared a Lamb, His Son., before the earth was formed, before time began. It did not surprise God that though Israel sincerely said, “We will serve You alone, O God,” they turned from Him and served other gods. He knew the condition of the hearts of His creatures. And He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to purify our hearts so we would love Him only.
Without this pure heart, you will not see God.
Here and now, His presence will not come into you, so you can spiritually see Him. There and then, you will stand before Him, fall down and worship Him.
And the writer of Hebrews warns the Hebrew Christians:
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification [purification] without which no one will see the Lord.
The good news is that Jesus Christ came not only to forgive but to purify, so we may make offerings to Him rightly.
Beloved, if you see that your heart is not pure, come to the Purifier today. He will heat you up, and skim off all that is not God.
He will see His reflection in you, and You will see God!
You will stare at Him, you will clearly discern Him (physically or mentally); you will experience Him; you will behold Him and perceive Him!