What Does the Bible Teach About Having a Pure Heart?

During his epic Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). In other words, Jesus is concerned with our hearts, not our outward appearance. 

A pure heart is a heart that has nothing to do with falsehood. It desires to be with God, honor His Word, and walk in His ways. It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship with Him. Let’s walk through some key passages in God’s Word to gain insight.

What Does it Mean to be Pure in Heart?

Jesus came into this world to change and cleanse the hearts of sinners like you and me. He did not come to ensure that we conform to society’s manners or wear an outward mask of righteousness.

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean” (Matthew 23:25-26). 

A pure heart focuses on Jesus. With full assurance of faith, one of the wisest prayers you can ever utter is: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). Only God can do the good work to give you purity of heart and a sincere faith.

Related post: Powerful Verses to Start Your Day with God

red flowers

Heart Identity

The human heart is who you are in those secret thoughts and feelings that no one knows about but God. He sees the invisible roots of your true heart. And they matter as much to God as the fruit they produce. 

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). For those who diligently seek the Lord, that verse is comforting. Those who don’t find it terrifying.

Our heart condition matters. “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander” (Matthew 15:18-19).

The condition of our heart is key: “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:33-34).

Our whole heart matters to Christ Jesus. It can be the source of defilement of the body or a holy place of pure words and a new spirit. He desires that we put away youthful lusts and youthful passions to live a new life in Him. He did not come here to simply break our bad habits. Jesus Christ came to cleanse and purify our hearts.  

Related post: What is the Biblical Meaning of Restore and Renew?

Heart of Flesh

Scripture uses the word “heart” in the context of both emotions and intellect. In other words, our heart houses our innermost being and holder of our deepest desires. God did not give us a heart of stone, but a moldable one. Who we allow to mold our hearts is critical.

Regarding the heart’s emotions, Jesus said: “Let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). Walking in this world flat out hurts us sometimes – whether because of our sinful desires or someone else’s. But when we rely on Him, we are freed from constant fret and worry.

The will of God is for us to walk by faith in peace, trusting Him with the new heart He provides. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can surrender our will to God. Daniel 1:8 says, “But Daniel was determined not to defile himself…”. We can live with such determination as well!

If you’re like me, your mind constantly races like a hamster wheel. One of the most powerful Bible verses about surrender says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). Such wonderful comfort.

Related post: 10 Powerful Prayers for Repentance and Restoration

prayers for repentance

Guard Your Heart

As the storehouse for our deepest desires, a heart not surrendered to Jesus can lead to a world of hurt. The Book of Proverbs cautions: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23). 

Holy hearts need the words of the Lord to plunge deep and take root. The Old Testament reminds us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Guarding our hearts is an essential part of that godly wisdom. 

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). The works of the flesh (murder, adultery, theft, slander, etc.) derail the way of a man into sin. We act shocked at the sins of others, but we are not blameless widows of sin. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father relentlessly extends His forgiveness and steadfast love. The children of God experience the peace of God as we guard our hearts with His strength.

Guarding your heart ensures that you keep your own eyes on your own husband to remain faithful and maintain sexual purity in your marriage bed. King David failed to guard his heart and maintain a steadfast spirit for the Living God when he violated the commandment of the Lord and slept with Bathsheba. Even though David knew better (he was not a young man), he ignored the precepts of the Lord.

Related post: Powerful Prayer for God’s Protection from Psalm 91

God's protection

Why Does a Clean Heart Matter?

We live in an era where we are very conscious about the purity of our drinking water. But a pure heart is more important than pure water. Dirty water can cause defilement of body with diseases and even death. But a dirty heart can derail a whole life and steal the joy of your salvation. 

What awaits those with a clean heart? The King James Version of the Bible says: “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psalm 24:4-5). 

Dear friends, our God is worthy of praise! He could have left us wallowing in sin without hope. Yet from Him flows the springs of life–His wellspring of living water. Only His clean water given through the blood of Christ purifies our hearts. 

A clean heart removes unnecessary barriers for us to call on God: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22). God desires a relationship with us. So in His divine jealousy, He faithfully removes barriers so that we bear good fruits and good things for the kingdom of God.

Related post: How Many Times is Joy Mentioned in the Bible?

joy in the bible

Wise Prayers For Our Hearts

Diligent prayer is the key to keeping our hearts pure before the Lord. And we can use Scripture to pray those words back to the Lord. For instance, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, English Standard Version).

By faith, you can pray with determination: “My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding (Psalm 49:3).

Another wise prayer: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart (Psalm 51:3-6). 

Prayer is key and God is always available 24/7/365.

Related post: Best Christian Prayer Room Ideas to Strengthen Your Faith

Bottom Line

God loves you more than you can possibly fathom. God cleanses your heart as you diligently seek Him and pray in Jesus’ name. And as you study His Word and increase your own understanding of God’s steadfast love and forgiveness, He faithfully cleanses your heart and walks beside you. Joy!

Related Posts:

About the Author

Donna is a sought-after speaker, multi-published author, and Bible teacher. Her path from unchurched to becoming passionate about sharing Jesus was difficult. Read about her God-breathed journey: “From Unchurched to Becoming a Multi-Published Author and Sought-After Speaker.” If you want to send Donna a quick message, visit her here.

donna snow

{Some of these links are affiliate links. If you purchase through that link, the ministry may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.}