Purity of heart does not mean sinlessness in life.
I heard a man of God speak these words today and they have stuck with me throughout the day, for they are truth. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8)
Far too many who profess Christ as Lord do their best to live sinless lives on their own accord, not out of a love for the Savior, but just the opposite, so that they will not call His wrath down upon them, they fear God but not in a reverential way. All works-based churches and sadly many Evangelical ones have fallen into this deceitful trap. Attempting to live a sinless life without the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, leaning upon the traditions instead of the truth of Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Part of it in those Evangelical churches comes from what I call the known repetition, church always starts and finishes at the same time, the order of the service is never altered, the prescribed place in the pew is always reserved. These traditions produce a false purity of heart and in their minds, they see themselves no differently than the Romanist or other cults do, the obligation has been met for the week, the sins blotted out because of it.
It is a terrible trap to fall into, believing that what we are doing is pleasing to the Lord when all we are doing is repeating the same routine over and over throughout the years. They grow older but never closer to the Lord, and as long as the obligation is continued in, they will believe themselves to be blameless, sinless.
Now, these individuals may indeed realize that there is still sin in their lives, but they consider them minor and of no real consequence, after all, were they not baptized, do they not attend the Sunday morning service with regularity, do they not sit in the midweek Bible study listening, not speaking unless they are spoken to first. Do they not feel Holy? Are they not showing their faith by their mere attendance.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22)
The purity of our heart comes from faith in the Word of God, believing that His promises are true, that not one work of ours will be accepted in His sight for our salvation, that we can do nothing of ourselves, and that all we do is done out of a love for Him who first loved us.
I know people who think that if you do not attend church you must not be saved. I have met people who avoid my beautiful wife and myself because we speak of Christ in public, and that is just not what a Christian is supposed to do. There are people in the town we live in that will no longer associate with us because we stopped attending their church. Yet they believe themselves to be pure in heart because they show up to church every week. It is called self- righteousness, and it is most definitely not a sinless life.
“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1st Sam. 16:7)
We need to look at our own hearts. Why do you attend your church? Because the people are polite and friendly, because the pastor is always up to date with all that is going on in the world, because you feel comfortable there? Is it honestly a place where the people’s hearts are pure?