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20 Bible Verses About A Pure Heart

white heart-shaped rock on the ground

God is an expert on the human heart. From the Old Testament to the New, the Scriptures guide believers on a path to a pure heart, one that reflects God’s goodness and righteousness, and shines for others to see.

Form the Psalms to Jesus’ teachings in the Beatitudes, we see certain character qualities and blessings associated with a pure heart, also referred to as a clean heart.  Let’s explore God’s Word to learn more about having a pure heart.

All passages are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted. 

What Does It Mean To Have A Pure Heart?

Matthew 5:8

The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God. 

“The heart” refers to what’s on the inside, where our feelings and private thoughts originate and live. The Message translation calls this “your inside world”. 

 The word “pure” in Greek is katharos and the NIV Concordance’s definition for the type of pure that is used here is “clean, pure, innocent, or clear”  [the Strongest NIV Concordance, copyright 1999].

When we have clarity of heart, we are not just pure on the outside, for appearances, but our hearts are sincere, honest, straightforward, and undivided in our beliefs. Our faith is intact and we are ready to confess anything that muddies our hearts.

Psalm 66:18

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (ESV)

I shudder to think how many times I’ve “cherished iniquity in my heart”. Those times when I have allowed myself to think the worst instead of the best of someone, to gossip about, criticize, or talk about a person, knowing all along that it was wrong, but giving in to the temptation rather than allowing the conviction in my heart to stop me.

Pride can also be the thing that causes us to cherish iniquity in our hearts. When we just can’t bring ourselves to admit we’ve taken the wrong path or that we should not have said or done that thing. If you’ve ever struggled with pride, 20 Key Verses About Pride In The Bible might be a place to start understanding and dealing with a prideful heart.

Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is more deceitful than anything else and incurable — who can understand it? I, Yahweh, examine the mind. I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve. 

Hebrews 3:12

Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. 

This passage indicates that we can have control over what our minds dwell on and what is kept in our hearts. In fact, we are responsible for making sure there is no evil unbelief that would interfere with a right spirit and turn our hearts away from God. 

Luke 6:43-45

For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Mark 7:20-23

Then He said, “What comes out of a person — that defiles him. For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”

We can see that God knows what is inside the human heart and mind. He not only knows, but He examines what is in there, and gives what we deserve according to what he finds in our hearts.

Jesus says we are defiled by what we allow into our hearts. And what is inside of a sinful heart comes out and shows up in the words we say, the way we act, and the things we do. 

He knows if our hearts contain sincere faith or sinful desires, and He is the only One who can determine if we truly have holy hearts. 

 How Can I Get A Pure Heart?

Our hearts are naturally drawn away from the things of God. This is our human nature, our inclination toward sinning. Outward appearance has absolutely nothing to do with true purity of heart. None of us can gain a pure heart by doing good things or acting nice. 

The question is, since we can’t purify our own hearts or take away our own sin, how can we get our hearts clean? The following verses can help us to understand more about how we can each have a pure heart.

James 4:7-8

“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded.  

James tells us that we must seek a pure heart by submitting to God, resisting the devil, drawing near to God, and keeping our hands and hearts clean. When we make the move to have a relationship with God, He will be with us. Both we and God have a part in the purifying. We cannot do this all by ourselves. 

Submission doesn’t come easily for us prideful human beings. But when we realize our sinful ways and trust God in full submission, He will do a miracle in the heart. 

Our part is to humble ourselves, recognize how truly un-pure our hearts are by nature, and open our hearts to allow Jesus to work in us, to forgive us, and change the will of our human heart to match up with the will of God. 

Acts 4:12

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people and we must be saved by it. 

The Bible is clear that there is no other way to be saved from our inevitable sin than to receive purity of heart from Jesus, becoming one of His forgiven, purified, believing saints. As we look ahead to the following verses, we see that God doesn’t make it hard for us to find salvation. As soon as our hearts are ready to seek and submit, we will receive that new heart that Ezekiel tells us about:

Ezekiel 36:26

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”.

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 

You see? God doesn’t make Himself hard to get or hard to find. All we need to do is seek Him.

Matthew 7:7-8

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

This passage clarifies that the first step we must take is to seek the truth, draw near to God, and to trust Him. When we do, He will fling the door open and bring us in forevermore. We will be able to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus, rather than in Hell in eternal suffering. 

The Power of A Clean Heart

Let’s look at the unimaginable blessing that come from having a purified heart.

Psalms 51:10:

“God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

David called upon God to create a clean heart in him. He had sinned badly in the story we read in 2 Samuel, and, realizing his sin, he wanted what only God with his powerful ways could give.

His heart had been darkened to the point that he wasn’t aware of his sin, that is, until the prophet Nathan spoke up and told him a story that was actually about himself.

It wasn’t until he saw his own evil ways in the man in the story that he was repentant and willing to be changed completely. Amazingly, God calls David “a man after My own heart” in the Scriptures. Our Lord truly does know exactly what we hold onto in our hearts.

Signs And Benefits Of A Pure Heart

As we trust God to purify our hearts, we will gain qualities and characteristics that we never had before. We will lose sinful thoughts and behaviors that we used to have but won’t need or want to live with any more. We will see the effects of a pure heart in our everyday interactions and attitudes. 

A true heart cleansed and purified by God brings about a good conscience, a steadfast spirit, pure words, and actions, and shows the good fruits that we bear because of our obedience to God. The change is always for the better. It is powerful change. Change with God’s hand on it. 

Psalm 24:3-5  

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

When we live with hearts that are purified, we will find that following His commands is not a burden, but a privilege and a blessing, both for ourselves and for others.

2 Timothy 2:22

Flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. 

Because we are still human, there will still be temptations. God can help with them. Our job is to turn away from the things tempting us and pursue the things of God. 

Psalm 51:6

​Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within. 

It’s still clear that God expects something of us in all of this. He expects us to have the desire to do right, to be pure, to stay in step with Him. And we will demonstrate that from the heart, He is with us, in us, and never hesitates to give us the wisdom we need to persevere. 

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. 

As the two above verses clarify, it is our choice to follow God. We can choose to see things with our own eyes, continuing in our old sinful lives, and pay the price forever. Or we can turn to God, submit to Him, and allow Him to make the changes in us that will transform our lives and our minds, and purify our hearts. When we are in the will of God, we realize that nothing we had before will ever compare. 

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise- dwell on these things. 

The Apostle Paul gives us this good tip to keep our minds out of the gutter – that is to think of things that are morally excellent and praiseworthy. This is a great Scripture to memorize so we can pull it up at a moment’s notice, whenever our minds start to wander. 

A Whole Heart For God Is Pure Gold

We know in our heads that God is present all the time, but sometimes we lose the heart awareness of His constant presence. What would it be like to think of Him first in every situation, both pleasant and unpleasant? What would it be like to know and feel His love and comfort, and to seek and find His will in all that we do? 

The following Scriptures reassure us of the steadfast love and constant presence of our heavenly Father in the hearts of His people. 

Psalm 119:11

I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.

Hebrews 10:22  

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 

I’ve made a free printable page containing these verses and more that pertain to purity of heart. The Bible reading plan, is totally free, which can also be used for deeper Bible study or journaling. How To Use These Bible Reading Plans offers tips and ideas for how to get the most out of these one-month printable Bible reading guides. 

Click HERE or on the image below to get the free plan!

As you can see in these Scriptural words of the Lord, a pure heart is truly a blessing from God’s own heart. A pure heart is intricately woven into the fabric of God’s own heart and His teachings. His heart’s desire for us is that we have a whole heart in sincere and unwavering relationship with Him.

When we, as children of God, remain in close relationship with our Heavenly Father, we will receive blessings untold, forevermore. Who wouldn’t want that?

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