Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverbs 27:19 As in water face reflects face, So a man's heart reveals the man.
November 10, 2008
Pure in Heart
Mt. 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God
The meaning and the implications of "pure" are the key to the significance of this be-attitude. The word is katharos. Strong's says it means clean and clear, literally or figuratively. So it doesn’t mean that we, or anyone else, come that way. Vines says it means cleansed. Brown says that in the Greek roots of meaning it signifies clean in a physical sense; or clean in a sense of free, "without things that come between." The English word derived from it is "catharsis." Webster defines catharsis as purging or purifying the emotions in order to bring about spiritual renewal or release from tension. Also, it means the elimination of a set of attitudes (complex) by bringing them to conscious awareness, and giving them open expression ("pour out your heart before Him" Ps. 62:8). Here are a couple of other places where katharos is used: 1 Tim. 3:9; 2 Tim. 2:22.
Scripture calls this kind of activity with the Lord confession, and intends it to be at a very deep and freeing level of heart. Confession does not only mean acknowledging disobedient actions and thoughts, though it may include them. The word confession is Homologeo. It comes from homou, which means the same, at the same time or place, together; and logos, which means word, something said, and by extension the Divine expression, that is Christ, the Word. So its meaning is more nearly saying the same thing together with the Lord. This has everything to do with purity of heart, which is produced by reconciling our hearts with the Lord, bringing what we have and letting Him cleanse and purify it. It is this sense of getting free of what comes between, of what does not agree with the Lord, and moving over into saying the same thing with Him that brings this beatitude alive (1 John 1:9).
Blessed are those who have allowed their hearts to be cleared and cleansed because they will see God. There are a number of words for "see" used in Scripture: scopeo means to take aim at, watch from a distance; blepo means to look at, bodily vision; eido expresses mechanical, passive, casual vision; theaomai and thoreo signify earnest and more continual inspection. These are all ways in which we might attempt to see God. None of them, however, is the word used to describe how we see Him when what is in the way is cleared and cleansed away. That word is optomai. Strong's says that it means to gaze with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable! That is the outcome that makes the process of consciously acknowledging our emotions, giving them expression, purifying them, worthwhile (Lu. 3:2-6; Jn. 11:39,40).
Purity of Heart and Love
Having our heart cleared and cleansed has impact on our ability to love in the way the Lord loves us. If our heart is clogged or defensive or protected, we will have difficulty loving others in the way the Lord advocates. The answer to this is not self-condemnation, but clearing and cleansing of heart, or we could say healing our heart, freeing ourselves to love.
1 Tim. 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith...
Heb. 10:22 Let us draw near with a pure heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
There is also a link between heart and conscience, which is very important. Conscience, suneidesis, means co-perception. It comes from sun, denoting union, together with; and eido, to see. Seeing together with what or whom? With whom do you co-perceive? That is one of the chief questions in life. One could say that counseling has to do with identifying with what or whom we co-perceive, and changing that alignment where needed.
Heb. 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience (co-perceiving) from dead works to serve the living God?
2 Cor. 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience (co-perceiving), that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you.
Rom. 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience (co-perception) also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit.
It never ceases to amaze me how much the Lord is saying in one sentence of Scripture or in one word like pure or conscience!
Lord, help us remove the “things in between” so we may be able to gaze at you with wide open eyes, at the One who is SO remarkable!