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Recently there was a big debate that splashed across the news between the scientist - Bill Nye, and the creationist – Ken Ham. This was watched by millions of people, and from what I read concerning it, it changed few minds. The question comes up from many who claim to be Christian – does it really matter whether one believes in the literal creation account of the Bible, or whether one believes in evolution? Many will add an addendum that...
On the eve of the anniversary of the Roe versus Wade (January 1973) decision whereby the supreme court of the United States made abortion legal, I recently looked at the web site “choice matters,” a pro choice web site, which included a list of arguments why legal abortion should be a right for all women. Although most of these arguments are lengthy, I have extracted the key and most prominent arguments and taken the lead sentences and or summarized...
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 14:09
Why do we say our hearts are deceitful as Christians when we have been given a new heart?
The natural condition of man is stated in Jeremiah 17:9 as “more deceitful than all else” – “desperately sick” – “who can understand it”. This addresses the magnitude of the natural condition of the spiritual corruption and inability of man where his will, desires, morals, and central decision processes take place. It means that man is incapable of making decisions of a righteous nature that are pleasing to God. This is called “total depravity” in theological terms. It is expanded on in Romans 1:18-3:18 with special emphasis on Romans 3:9-18, and is a critical doctrine found throughout the Bible, and is essential for understanding man’s real and natural condition.
Ephesians 2:1-4 also addresses total depravity, but goes on to discuss the new birth. Paul says God “made us alive” in vs. 5 – the “us” here is those who are in Christ. In vs. 10 He says that we have been remade “for good works.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 describes the new birth as “new creatures,” and that “old things passed away, new things have come.” We are also told the true Christian “walks in the light” (Eph 5:8; 1 John 1:7). These and many other passages would indicate the deceitful nature of the heart, at least for those who are recipients of the new birth, has been eliminated. The heart of those saved is no longer described as deceitful.
There is no doubt the new birth has brought about a radical change. The true Christian now listens to the voice of God (John 10: 27-29), has the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24), and will not ultimately be tricked (Mat 24:24; 1 John 2:27). As a true Christian our hearts are not deceitful as stated in Jeremiah 17:9 because it has been recreated by God.
Where the deceitfulness of the heart is spoken of from the pulpit of GBC, it is referring to the natural condition of people before the new birth has taken place, or before there has been saving faith. It is either a reference to those presently unsaved, or to a Christian’s unsaved past.
Although true Christians no longer have a deceitful heart, they do continue to have an inadequate heart (understanding). This is because with every Christian there is a growth process. The new Christian is a baby in Christ when first saved, and goes through a growth process called sanctification. Salvation does not bring with it all knowledge. It brings with it the ability to learn and embrace the things of God. No Christian will be completely transformed until they are glorified. The bottom line is the battle goes on for the Christian because they are still in the world and struggle with the same issues as before, only now with a heart and mind that can accept the truth. Therefore, you will see even mature Christians, such as the Apostle Paul make these statements, “not that I have already obtained, or already become perfect” (Phil 3:12), “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith” (Rom 12:3), and as 1 Cor. 1:31 states “let him who boast, boast in the Lord.” All of these display the attitude of leaning exclusively on Christ. The Christian does not trust himself, He trusts in God and God’s Word. He does not look within himself to his own heart (even though it has been renewed), but looks to the Word of God for confidence. In this sense, although the heart of the believer has been changed, he still does trust his own heart, but looks to the Lord in His Word (John 17:17). It is not so much that the heart is deceitful in the Christian, as it is that the heart is inadequate. We need the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16), and so that is the focus of the Christian in his new birth.
-Pastor Jim Bryant
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 12:53