Is The Christian Heart God or Bad?
My heart is wicked. My heart is evil. My heart is sinful. You’ve heard it all, but what’s your heart really like, according to scripture?
Too often people take all bible verses about the heart and throw them into a pot, only to serve them up as though they all applied equally to the unbeliever and the believer. Today we are going to figure out the truth about the Christian heart as we separate verses about the heart of the saved and the unsaved. First, let’s look at the unbelievers heart and the verses that actually only apply to them alone.
[Romans 1:24] 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their HEARTS to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
This verse is not about Christians but rather the condition of all humans at birth up until a time when they might later become believers and receive new hearts. These hearts are impure.
[2 Peter 2:14] 14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a HEART trained in greed, accursed children;
This is again is talking about the condition of the unbelievers heart. But again it’s a verse that is often preached as a message to the believers in Christ, but as we will soon see the believer’s heart is pure, though they still sin, the struggle does not come from the heart, but rather from a different source.
[Ephesians 4:18] 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their HEART;
Did you notice these people are EXCLUDED from the life of God? Why? It was because of the hardness of their heart to believe. Believe in what? Believe in Jesus. So the issue is the heart.
[Romans 2:5] 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant HEART you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
This is not about someone who is struggling with sin. This person is storing up wrath. Again it’s an unbelieving heart. And finally in Acts 7 we see an Apostle speaking to some super religious people but still are not born again believers.
[Acts 7:51] 51 “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in HEART and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
So in Acts 7 we all they look at is the law they refuse to place their faith in Christ, which if they would God would remove their evil hearts and give them a NEW HEART, which is a promise that we see in Ezekiel
[Ezekiel 36:26] 26 Moreover, I will give you a NEW HEART and put a new spirit within you; and I will REMOVE the HEART of stone from your flesh and give you a HEART of flesh.
On that note let’s look at how the bible describes the heart of the believer.
Consider this weird request. You have wicked heart, and it’s also an evil heart, but you need to live out a godly life. You need to avoid sin and give thanks to God. This would be asking you to do and be something that you are not. God can call us to live upright lives because it’s who we are, not who we will eventually be. You see, Christians are not evil people trying to good, but rather we are holy and righteous people trying to fight evil. In other words at your very core you are new. You have a new Spirit and a new heart. What we need is to renew our minds and believe who we really are in Christ.
God tells us to live from the heart and give from the heart, and that would not be good advice from God if our hearts were evil. We can’t trust an evil heart. Can we trust our hearts? Let’s see….
[Hebrews 8:10] “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them on their HEARTS. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.
So we see Gods desires are written on our hearts. Not let’s look closer at the heart of a believer.
[Romans 2:29] 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the HEART, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
So we see a description of believers heart being an inward change, or a circumcision of the old and a replacement with the new. The obedience we have that really pleases God is from our new heart. In other words we are not fully obedient from the flesh, but we are completely obedient from our new hearts.
[Romans 6:17] 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the HEART to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
Let’s be clear. By GRACE you have become obedient, and it’s not from your perfect or near perfect outward behavior, but rather it’s coming from your new being. You “became obedient from the heart” as we saw in Romans 6:17. What does this mean? It means that when you sin you are going AGAINST your heart. Your new heart does NOT want to sin. You are new. You are different. This is why in Romans 7:17 that Paul can honestly say “So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it”. Part of Paul is struggling with a desire to sin, but the new him has no desire to do it. So when he fails, and we all do, he realizes it’s not his desires and that they are coming from an external source. The tempter. Call it a license to sin if you want, but it’s only when we believe that we are new and that those desires don’t originate from us that we will be able to avoid sin as we live out who we think we really are.
And about that new heart that God have us – did you know He put something of His in it? He put His love in our hearts.
[Romans 5:5] 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the LOVE OF GOD has been poured out within OUR HEARTS through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Love is written on your heart. How can we turn and say we have an evil heart?
[2 Corinthians 1:22] who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit IN OUR HEARTS as a pledge.
So His Spirit is also IN our hearts. And again I have to ask, if His Spirit is IN our hearts then how can we have a sinful evil heart?
[Galatians 4:6] 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son INTO our HEARTS, crying, “Abba! Father!”
So our hearts bear witness to God as to who we are. Our hearts confirm our sonship.
If we have new hearts that we can trust then God can rightfully ask us to do what’s in our heart, even to the pint of how we should give.
[2 Corinthians 9:7] Each one must DO just as he has purposed in his HEART, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
If you had an evil heart why would God call you to do what you have purposed in your heart? The answer is you can trust your heart. You can live from your heart. Why? Because you were born again and your new heart is good.
[1 Timothy 1:5] 5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a PURE HEART and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
By nature our HEART is pure. If you had an evil heart how could God ask you to flee from lust? How could He ask you to avoid any sin? That would be like asking you do something that totally goes against everything you are.
This next verse in 1 John should really give us confidence of the condition of our new hearts.
[1 John 3:21] 21 Beloved, if our HEART does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
The takeaway is you have become obedient from the heart, you can trust your heart and live from it, and it all because your old heart has been removed and God has replaced it with a pure heart!
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar grew up in church and observed that countless people would go to church and then just stop. The church always referred to them as ‘fake Christians’ or ‘backsliders’ but Mike discovered the problem was deeper. The problem was the church message. The message was 90% behavior improvement and how bad you are, with a pinch of who you are in Christ, It was like every sermon was being preached to the church of Corinth. It’s in the Baptist church, Catholic, Pentecost, and most every other church. After discovering the true gospel message and how we are made right with God because of what ‘Jesus did’ (not what ‘we do’) Mike set out to free believers from behavior improvement programs and bring them back to Jesus. The Result – Jesus Without Religion was launched.