That is an excellent question! Let’s read Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (NKJV). We need to be clear that whatever is meant by “the pure in heart” it can NOT mean that they are “sinless.” In 1st John 1:8 & 10 we are told, “If we say that we HAVE NO SIN, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us….If we say that we HAVE NOT SINNED, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” These two verses teach us that even a true believer in Christ still has “sin” in him (the “sinful nature” that we were born with) and commits “acts of sin.” We will not be perfectly holy and incapable of sinning until we are in the glorified state in heaven. At that time we shall take on Christ’s likeness completely, as we see in 1st John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, for we shall see Him as He is.” The church of God, composed of every believer, will be presented to Christ in sinless perfection. Ephesians 5:27 declares, “That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

The word “pure” in Matthew 5:8 speaks, first and foremost, of a believer’s POSITION IN CHRIST. Once we trust in Christ as our personal Savior, the Lord “purifies our hearts” by giving us a New Nature and a New Position before God. In 1st Peter 1:22 we read, “Since you have PURIFIED your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit.” This sounds like WE purified our souls, but it was actually God who made us PURE. This is borne out in Acts 15:8-9, “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, PURIFYING THEIR HEARTS BY FAITH.” This is a most precious truth, through faith in Christ, God has now “purified our hearts!” We are indebted to God’s grace alone for this, for before the world even began He purposed us for this blessing. Ephesians 1:4 states, “Just as He chose us IN HIM before the foundation of the world, that we should be HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME BEFORE HIM in love.” Again, this is the POSITION we now occupy before God “in Christ.” We are now “the pure in heart!”

But there is also a PRACTICAL application as well. We stated earlier that once we reach the glorified state in heaven we shall be like Christ, for we shall be completely conformed to His image. Yet even now we are being conformed to His image; our lives are being transformed as we learn of Christ through the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. 2nd Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” So, as we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2nd Peter 3:18) we become more like Him and thus more “pure in heart” in our PRACTICE (our walk here on earth). We had quoted 1st John 3:2 above to show that in glory WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM. The next verse goes on to say, “And everyone who has this hope in Him PURFIES HIMSELF, just as He is PURE.” The thought here is that as we meditate upon Christ and the hope we have of being with Him and like Him in glory, there will be a “purifying effect” in our lives HERE AND NOW! May it be the desire of every believer to become more “pure in heart” each and every day. This will take diligence on our part and we will need the encouragement of other believers who also have this desire. This is confirmed by Paul’s wholesome words in 2nd Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace WITH THOSE WHO CALL ON THE LORD OUT OF A PURE HEART.” (274.1) (DO)