Berlin Immanuel Church gathered on Sunday, 11 February, continuing in series on the Beatitudes with Matthew 5:8. The Pharisees tried to reduce faith and righteousness to actions and behavior; they were more concerned about the external religion and forgot the more important matters of the law which are to love God with all our heart and mind and love our neighbor. Jesus brings out this problem when speaking to them in many places in the gospels – in Matthew 15:18-19, 12:33-34, and reminds them what God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 6:7 that God’s main concern is the man’s heart. Heart is the focus and center of the teachings of Jesus and the one thing that he wants to transform. Blessed are the pure in heart, not only pure on the surface but in the center of their being, at the source of every action, thought and feeling. Heart is the source of all our troubles and is beyond cure, as Jeremiah 17:9 puts it, as the result of the sin.
What is a pure heart then and how can a believer find purity when there is wickedness beyond cure? In pure heart, there is no falsity, the pure hearts seeks God only and doesn’t rely on things of the world – Psalm 24:3. Similarly James says in chapter 4 verses 4 and 8 that we must wash our hands and purify our hearts because they are double minded, saying we love God but loving world at the same time. Sin divides our heart between God and the world, but we must come near God and let him create a pure heart in us – Psalm 51:10. The disciples knew that pure heart is the work of the Holy Spirit in Acts 15:8,9. A man of pure heart seeks the Spirit to put to death the impurity of the heart so that he may live to seek God – Romans. A child of God draws near Christ and longs to see him to be made pure just as he is pure – 1 John 3:2,3. And though we now see only a reflection, we will see him in the fullness of his glory and grace, face to face, in his kingdom – 1 Cor 13:12