5 marks of a pure heart

During lent this year, we used C.J. Mahaney’s The Cross Centered Life in our growth groups. The book is brilliantly simple at uncovering legalism, condemnation and a subjective faith. It then takes those who suffer such things (like me) back to the cross and gives helpful ways of keeping the cross central.

One obvious symptom of legalism, condemnation or a subjective faith is a corrupt and impure heart (conscience). Thomas Watson provides some great tools for diagnosing whether our heart is pure or not. I found the third point particularly helpful. Watson shows that the avoidance of sin can stem from motives other than the pure heart which results from a proper grasp of Christ’s imputed righteousness.

Watson’s work needs to be set in the light of the work of Christ, so:

Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:21-22). To the pure all things are pure (Titus 1:15).

I shall next show you the signs of a pure heart.

1 A sincere heart is a pure heart: ‘In whose spirit there is no guile’ (Psalm 32:2). There are four characters of a sincere-hearted Christian.

(i) A sincere heart serves God with the whole heart.

(ii) A sincere heart is willing to come under a trial. ‘Search me, O God, and try me’ (Psalm 139: 23).

(iii) a man of sincere heart dares not act in the least against his conscience.

(iv) a sincere heart is a suspicious heart. The hypocrite suspects others and has charitable thoughts of himself. The sincere Christian has charitable thoughts of others and suspects himself.

2 A pure heart breathes after purity. A gracious soul is so in love with purity that he prizes a pure heart above all blessings.

(i) Above riches.

(ii) Above gifts.

3 A pure heart abhors all sin. A man may forbear and forsake sin, yet not have a pure heart.

(i) He may forbear sin as one may hold his breath while he dives under water, and then take breath again.

(ii) He may forbear sin for fear of the penalty.

(iii) He may forbear sin out of a design. He has a plot in hand and his sin might spoil his plot.

4. Again, a man may forsake sin yet not have a pure heart. Sin may be forsaken upon wrong principles.

(i) From morality: moral arguments may suppress sin.

(ii) From policy: a man may forsake sin, not out of respect to God’s glory, but his own credit.

(iii) From necessity. Perhaps he can now follow the trade of sin no longer. The adulterer is grown old, the drunkard poor.

5. But he is pure in God’s eye who abhors sin. ‘I hate every false way’ (Psalm 119: 104).

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
This entry was posted in Transforming hatred of Sin and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 5 marks of a pure heart

  1. waseem yousaf says:

    Dear Brother,

    I am Waseem Yousaf from Pakistan. I have studied your web site, and I found it the most wonderful site to get righta to the True Word of God. My suggestion for you is to create your material in my language of Urdu and Punjabi also. It will bring lots of blessings of the Word of God for the Pakistani and Indian Urdu and Punjabi speaking people. For that purpose I as a translator will bring your material into Urdu languages and into Punjabi language as well. Although it will take your low expenses as well, as fund for the Word of God to reach out to the deserving people. I my self, work on a local radio station also. Many times it becomes difficult for us to keep doing this because of being minorities and because of the lack of the financial resources. I will wait for your response.

    Waseem Yousaf ( Pakistan ).

    • neilrobbie says:

      Hi Waseem and welcome to Transforming Grace. I am delighted to hear that you find my posts from God’s word helpful. I know Pakistan, having spent some time in Hyderabad, Karachi and Peshawar. I live in an area of England where there are many Punjabi’s, and a Punjabi language church meets in our church buildings on a Sunday. I will speak to my Punjabi speaking brothers here about your ideas. Do keep in touch. Your brother in Christ, Neil

  2. Manda Kirby says:

    Dear Neil,

    I have recently decided to reasses my own heart and make it pure for Jesus and i realized that it is not easy! Satan can throw so much at us that makes it so hard. but i just wanted to say that it is such an encouragement when i read things like this on the internet. it makes me understand just a little bit why God fights for our hearts to be pure. So thanks for the encouragement, its really awesome to know there are people in the world who really know what it means to have a pure a heart and it shows me that it is not impossible because it is what our Saviour wants for us!
    The world needs us christians to stand up and show our hearts to them so they can see Jesus through the purity of our lives. i once heard there are 5 gospels- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and then the life of us!

    God bless,
    Manda Kirby

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