Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Human Heart = Evil

The Bible tells us that the heart of the human problem is a problem of the human heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says: "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"

Because the wicked always have some excuse to defend their doings He shows that their own lewd imaginations deceive them and bring them to these hardships: but God will examine their deeds by the malice of their hearts, 1 Samuel 16:7,1 Chronicles 28:9, Psalm 7:10, Jeremiah 11:20,10:12, Revelation 2:13 ~ Geneva Study Bible

There is nothing so false and deceitful as the heart of man; deceitful in its apprehensions of things, in the hopes and promises which it nourishes, in the assurances that it gives us; unsearchable by others, deceitful with reference to ourselves, and abominably wicked, so that neither can a man know his own heart, nor can any other know that of his neighbour's. ~ John Wesley

The heart, the conscience of man, in his corrupt and fallen state, is deceitful above all things. It calls evil good, and good evil; and cries peace to those to whom it does not belong. Herein the heart is desperately wicked; it is deadly, it is desperate. The case is bad indeed, if the conscience, which should set right the errors of other faculties, is a leader in the delusion. We cannot know our own hearts ...Much less can we know the hearts of others, or depend upon them. He that believes God's testimony in this matter, and learns to watch his own heart, will find this is a correct, though a sad picture, and learns many lessons to direct his conduct. But much in our own hearts and in the hearts of others, will remain unknown. Yet whatever wickedness there is in the heart, God sees it. Men may be imposed upon, but God cannot be deceived. ~ Matthew Henry

Please remember no one is good at heart. Not you. Not your neighbor. Human beings are not basically good. Don't tell people to let their heart be their guide. It is not wisdom to advise: "You will know what is right if you listen to your heart." Human beings are corrupted by a sin nature and their heart is desperately dark and wicked. People aren't sinners because they sin, they sin because they are sinners.

Jesus Christ taught us: "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness...." Mark 7:21-22

"For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened." Romans 1:21

" ...the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives." Ecclesiastes 9:3

What is the remedy for the evil heart of unbelief? Only God can do a heart transplant.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:26

Cry out with the Psalmist: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

"Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die ...?" Ezekiel 18:31

"And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh ..." Ezekiel 11:19

What does this mean? Listen to John Wesley explain:
"A new heart - A new frame of soul, a mind changed, from sinful to holy, from carnal to spiritual. A heart in which the law of God is written, Jer 31:33. A sanctified heart, in which the almighty grace of God is victorious, and turns it from all sin to God. A new spirit - A new, holy frame in the spirit of man; which is given to him, not wrought by his own power. The stony - The senseless unfeeling. Out of your flesh - Out of you. Of flesh - That is, quite of another temper, hearkening to God's law, trembling at his threats, moulded into a compliance with his whole will; to forbear, do, be, or suffer what God will, receiving the impress of God, as soft wax receives the impress of the seal."

The heart of man is carnal. It stands in opposition to God and His commandments. Only the Lord can grant you a new heart, one that is humble, docile, teachable and fit for receiving the good seed of the gospel. A divine encounter with the risen Savior is necessary for the heart to be changed, softened, tender, willing to comply with His will.

Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

The beginning of Christianity consists in this, that we know ourselves not only to be corrupt in part, but to be wholly dead in sin: so that our nature has need to be created anew, with regard to its qualities, which can be done by no other power, but by the divine and heavenly, by which we were first created. ~ Geneva Study Bible

In this solemn discourse our Lord shows, that no external profession, no ceremonial ordinances or privileges of birth, could entitle any to the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom: that an entire change of heart as well as of life was necessary for that purpose: that this could only be wrought in man by the almighty power of God: that every man born into the world was by nature in a state of sin, condemnation, and misery: that the free mercy of God had given His Son to deliver them from it, and to raise them to a blessed immortality: that all mankind ...might share in these benefits, procured by his being lifted up on the Cross, and to be received by faith in Him: but that if they rejected him, their eternal, aggravated condemnation, would be the certain consequence. ~ John Wesley

Our Saviour spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration or the new birth, and at once directed Nicodemus to the source of holiness of the heart. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before. This new birth is from heaven, (see John 1:13), and its tendency is to heaven. It is a great change made in the heart of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It means that something is done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves ... It is not wrought by any wisdom or power of our own, but by the power of the blessed Spirit ... He whom we offended is our Peace, and the way of applying for a cure is by believing. ~ Matthew Henry

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." II Corinthians 5:19

"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent." Acts 17:30

"The time has come," Jesus said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mark 1:15

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