In the Previous blogpost, I explained the reason Scripture no longer declares the born-again believer’s heart evil. Since we have been given a new heart of flesh but, the Spirit of God (Ezekiel 36:26); how do we proceed? How do the two relate and what does the New Covenant say about or heart?
Our heart is kind of like the “throne” to our body which is God’s Temple. 1 Peter 3:15 exhorts us to ~“15… sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts…”
When we constantly keep Jesus settled as Lord of our heart; He becomes our focus in everyday life and our will comes into alignment with his will.
We need to recognize that becoming born-again does not mean that Jesus came to live in our heart, despite what we were taught in Sunday School. Scripture teaches the exact opposite. God has joined himself to our spirit not our heart of flesh. The Lord Jesus will not settle for an unholy habitation. That’s why HE cleaned our spirit and sealed it but, the sensitive heart of flesh is our responsibility.
The goal or desired outcome of Paul’s teaching was primarily love from a pure heart! The Gospel isn’t about getting people to Heaven but about transforming people’s lives now! Let’s not be like those who strayed from these things…
There are almost 160 uses of “heart” in the New Testament and most of them relate to the passage above. The heart is capable of faith or unbelief. Love or hate. Clean conscience or condemnation.
The crux of the matter is not what we do but, how we perceive what He has done.
Allow me to elaborate. Jesus said the pure in heart shall see God. So how do we cleanse our hearts?
By continuing to follow Jesus. 1 John 1:7 ~ “7… if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
It’s not doing good that cleanses our hearts but “walking in the Light” or “abiding in Christ” and Jesus blood continues to cleanse us! It’s not about our performance but about what He has done and continues to perform!
Hebrews 9:14 and 10:22 clarify that it’s the work of Jesus’ blood that cleanses our heart and conscience as we cooperate in faith! We don’t have a new 12 step plan for obtaining a clean heart; we have one command in the New Covenant and that is simply “Love!”
18Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God…” 1 John 3
We do not follow our heart but we assure our hearts by abiding in love. God’s command is always “(continue to) Follow me”, “follow the Spirit“, “walk in the light“, “walk in love“, “follow the way of love” and they are all saying the same thing ~ Abide in God.
Let’s not get so wrapped up in pursuing God that we forget the simplicity and purity of abiding in Christ. God is more eager to lead us than we are to follow.