The Heart

J.R. Waller, MBA

Key Points

  • The spiritual condition of our hearts is important, for it determines where we will spend eternity.
  • Man believes that if the good in his heart outweighs the bad, then he will go to heaven. However, only God can properly diagnose our hearts.
  • According to Him we are born with corrupt hearts that leave us unworthy of entering heaven.
  • Yet, God can create a new heart in us, and heal us from our sin through forgiveness and salvation if we believe in Him and ask Him to do so.
  • The Christian's heart is forgiven, pure, inhabited by the Holy Spirit, at peace with God and worthy of heaven.
Introduction – How is your heart doing?

Today it is easier than ever to know the physical condition of your heart.

Resources abound online. Smartphone apps and wearable fitness devices track heart rates and vital signs.

Cardiac procedures and tests provide clear answers, and genealogy research informs family members of potential hereditary concerns.

Suffice to say, we are more “heart-aware” than ever before.

However, while many are aware of their heart’s physical condition, most do not know about the spiritual condition of their heart.

Matters of the heart are matters of eternity

It is important for us to know the spiritual condition of our hearts for two reasons.

First, the heart is the center of our lives. From out of the heart “are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23)

That is, everything that transpires in our lives, including the good and the bad, proceeds from our heart.

As a result, our heart determines the direction and course of our lives. All of the results of what we say, and do can be directly traced back to the desire, and inclination of our hearts. (Lk. 6:45)

“Ultimately, our heart’s physical health determines whether we live or die in this life, while our heart’s spiritual health determines whether we live or die in the next life.”

This is why we must keep it with all diligence. (Prov. 4:23) The word “keep” means to “to watch” and “to guard.” The human heart must be kept under close watch, for it directs our life.

Second, the spiritual condition of our heart is important because our heart’s spiritual health determines our eternal health.

Put another way, our heart’s physical condition applies to this life, but our heart’s spiritual condition applies to both this life and the next life.

Ultimately, our heart’s physical health determines whether we live or die in this life, while our heart’s spiritual health determines whether we live or die in the next life.

Those that are pure in heart will see God in heaven, while those who are unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Matt. 5:8, 1 Cor. 6:9, Gal. 5:21, Eph. 5:5)

God has made it clear that evil proceeds out of the heart. (Matt. 15:18-19) It follows then, that unrighteousness comes from an unclean heart, for the lustful desires of our hearts are the cause of sin. (Jas. 1:14)

“Those that are pure in heart will see God in heaven, while those who are unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”Sinful actions are evidences of unrighteousness, thus those who commit any sin will not inherit the kingdom of God for they are unrighteous.

However, while many would agree (and admit) that they do wrong from time to time, many believe that, while we might sin, we also act in ways that are altruistic and good.

The heart to them is healthy as long as it can be kept it in a state of equilibrium, where good deeds outweigh bad deeds.

Life then, is just a matter of simply doing more good than bad to enter heaven.

But is this really the way to eternal life? Is our heart merely a needle that fluctuates up and down and that must and can be kept properly balanced?

Can we earn our way to heaven or be good enough for God to look favorably upon us? If so, can that make our hearts pure and worthy of heaven?

In order to answer these questions, we need to look deeper at our heart and get a Biblical and true diagnosis of its condition.

The diagnosis

There are many ways to keep your heart physically healthy. For instance, proper diet, exercise, rest and medicine can all keep our hearts in good shape.

In the end, the better we treat our hearts the greater our chances are of living long and healthy lives.

However, when it comes to our heart’s spiritual health, is doing good enough to give us eternal life?

Just like with our physical health, we must start with a proper diagnoses. We must know what our hearts are really like. The problem is though, we do not naturally know how bad we really are.

This is because we have all “gone astray” and have followed our own ways and hearts. (Is. 53:6) Rebellion is mankind’s natural way, its been like that since sin entered humanity in the Garden of Eden. (Rom. 5:12)“A proper diagnosis of our heart can only come from the one who created us.”

As such, there is confusion and denial regarding the natural state of our hearts. Psychology, humanism, and other educational outlets mislead and falsely diagnosis us.

Some say we a born inherently good. Others teach that sins are just mistakes and that no one is perfect. There are also some who advocate that we can get better by our own effort.

The problem is that none of these remedies can ultimately help or satisfy us. None of these “oppositions of science falsely so called” take into account what God says about our hearts. (1 Tim. 6:20)

A proper diagnosis of our hearts can only come from the one who created us; from the one who knew no sin but who took on the guilt and shame of our sins to save us. (2 Cor. 5:21)

By the cross He knows how sinful each and everyone of us really is. He also understands how powerful sin is, for He knew us before sin.

He knows how far humanity has fallen from Him because He once enjoyed fellowship with us before sin entered the world; before it marred His creation.

Yet there is another reason why we must only look to God for a proper diagnosis of our hearts.

It is because our hearts, apart from God, deceive us. In fact, our heart is so “desperately wicked” that we cannot even know it. (Jer. 17:9) What is more…

18) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:Ephesians 4:18 (KJV)

So then, we are naturally alienated from the life of God (which means “eternal life”) because our hearts are naturally blind.

To make matters even worse, our hearts are full of evil and our hearts defile us. (Ecc. 9:3, Mk. 7:21-23)

We are born into this world as unrighteous, our hearts contaminated with sin. This is why the Psalmist asks “Who shall stand in his holy place?” (Ps. 24:3) The answer? He that hath a “pure heart.” (Ps. 24:4)

Yet, none of us is pure, we are all unrighteous. (Rom. 3:10) Worst of all, we cannot make our own hearts clean. (Prov. 20:9)

So then, the diagnosis of the natural heart is that it is defiled, and the prognosis is eternal death apart from God.

The remedy

At first glance the diagnoses of our hearts true condition appears to leave us in the midst of a hopeless and inescapable quandary.

If we cannot save ourselves, then there is no hope. Our hearts are evil, and that keeps us from God, and that’s it. Or is it?

Thankfully, this is not all that God has to say on the matter.

If we cannot know our hearts, and if God says that our hearts are inherently sinful and blind, then logically we can only turn to Him for a cure. And that is just what He wants us to do.

He is always ready and willing to cure our unclean hearts when we search Him with all of our heart. (Jer. 29:13) For only He can create in us a clean heart. (Ps. 51:10)

This is why Jesus “came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” for He is the Great Physician and He came to heal mankind. (Lk. 5:31-32) “By His call we understand that our hearts need to be healed.”

Notice, Jesus “calls” sinners to repentance. It is by His call that we understand that our hearts need to be healed, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)

This is why Peter could proclaim about our savior “you have the words of eternal life,” and why Jesus Himself said His words are life. (Jn. 6:68, Jn. 6:63)

Who better to call and save us then He who sees us for who we really are. He knows exactly what we really need.

He looks at our hearts, He knows our imaginations and intentions. (1 Sam. 16:7, 1 Chron. 28:9) Also, He knows that we have gone away from Him and He mourns because of that. (Lk. 19:41)

Ultimately, He “is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9)

And therein is the remedy, it is forgiveness. He came to heal all of us, for there is none righteous unless they have partaken of God’s gift of forgiveness through His grace alone. (Eph. 2:8-9)

But God does not stop there for He does not just heal us, He transforms us.

Conclusion – The new heart

God does not just mend broken hearts, He creates entirely new ones…

26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.Ezekiel 36:26 (KJV)

It is fitting then that it is “with the heart” that man believes unto righteousness, and that it is from our heart that we confess with our mouth Jesus as our savior. (Rom. 10:10) For it is in the heart where God begins His wondrous handiwork of transforming us.

In the moment when we believe on Him as our savior, understand that He died for us, and ask Him to forgive us, we are justified by faith, and He not only forgives us of our sins, He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. (Matt. 13:15, 1 Jn. 1:9)

He gives us a new and pure heart through faith and by that pure heart we shall see God. (Acts 15:9, Matt. 5:8)

Only He has the power to do that. Through faith and belief in Him we receive the blessing of righteousness. (Ps. 24:5)

God’s way of salvation goes even further though. He does not just forgive and replace our heart. It is not just a transplant of one heart with another.

No, our new heart is a spiritual heart, it is something that only He can provide.

What is more, just as a new physical heart brings new life to its host, so does our new spiritual heart bring us new and everlasting life. (Jn. 3:16, Jn. 6:47, Jn. 10:10)“He gives us a new and pure heart through faith and by that pure heart we shall see God.”

Being born again sets us and our hearts back to a right relationship with our creator and heavenly father. (Jn. 3:3)

What new Christians quickly learn, is that their restored relationship with God enables them to be fully reliant on Him, and to live a full life that bears fruit. This is why without Him we can do nothing. (Jn. 15:5)

He does this through the Holy Spirit who comes and resides in our new heart. (2 Cor. 1:22) He then becomes the new barometer that helps regulate our new spiritual heart in Christ.

So then, the new heart of the Christian is forgiven, pure, inhabited by the Holy Spirit, at peace with God and worthy of heaven.

The saved Christian no longer has to let his or her heart be troubled (Jn 14:1). Belief in Jesus is the great and only cure for an anxious, depraved and lost heart.

A pure and clean heart can only come from God. (Ps. 51:10) If you have not asked God for a new heart, do it today. (2 Cor. 6:2)

When you do, may you rejoice that your heart and all things in you are made new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

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