THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 – “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. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Jeremiah says, the heart is wicked but Ezekiel says God will give us a brand new one. So Christians can stop talking as though their heart is wicked because the very nature of being a Christian means we have a brand new heart and God’s very own Spirit within to “cause” us to do what He has for us to do.

In the New Covenant God says, “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts…” (Jeremiah 31:33 & Hebrews 8:10)

Christ in you is the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27).
Christ is your life! (Colossians 3:4).
You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The real you, the you God made you to be “in Christ” wants what your Father, God wants. When a Christian moves over into selfishness and even sin, they are operating as someone they’re not! This is what the Apostle Paul discovered when he said, “If I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Romans 7:20). So we see that Paul, the real Paul, who he is in Christ, wants to do what’s right but can find no ability in himself to do it so he finally sees there is someone else that is the real source of his sin problem.

In Ephesians 2:2 we find out fallen man’s real trouble is that he is being operated by “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working “in” the sons of disobedience.” In John’s first letter he names this spirit the “spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). He tells us the people of the world or, those without Christ have a “he” in them and we, Christians, have The “He” in us. So there is always someone else living in us. No matter what, we are never just “I” as if operating independently. We are always in union with another!

Now we come to the reason for the Cross. Jesus was made like us in that He was a flesh being, a vessel/temple, for the Spirit to live in. We know that He did this without fail, or sin, therefore He was the exact image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15&19) and He went to the Cross to die the death of us sinners (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus, as a vessel, took the “spirit of error” into Him, and died. Death separates spirit from body, so when He died and was buried, the disobedient spirit, the spirit of error, came out of Him. We too by faith have been crucified, buried and raised with Him in order for the disobedient; “spirit of error” to come out of us too! You “were” an “idol temple” but now you are the “Temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Through our being co-crucified, buried and raised in Christ, we have been freed once and for all from the “spirit of error” the one operating in the sons of disobedience.

To summarize: through the Cross, God has removed your heart of stone, given you a new heart, given you God’s very own Holy Spirit in place of the spirit of error, forgiven you, made you righteous, transformed you from an idol temple into the temple of the Living God, made you into a brand new creature in Christ and restored to you the “hope of glory!”

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YOUR LIFE IS HIDDEN WITH CHRIST

LIGHT SHALL SHINE OUT OF DARKNESS

The first few verses of the Bible tell us God created the heavens and earth but things were in disarray. We’re told “the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the waters.” The question is what happened to cause this darkness? The words formless and void mean confusion and indistinguishable ruin, in other words, chaos.

If you look at these verses through the lens of what we discover elsewhere in the scriptures, a bit of clarity may come. For instance, we know according to Isaiah 14 Lucifer thought he could exalt himself and make himself “like” God. In other words, he saw himself as “Independent” of God. Could it be Lucifer’s rebellion found him exiled to roam to and fro on planet earth? If this is true and Lucifer, also known as Satan, was living on earth with the mindset of being independent of God, it only makes sense the result would be chaotic darkness, right?

With this in mind I want you to think back to what your life looked like prior to coming to Christ. I don’t know about you but mine was pretty dark and chaotic. The Apostle Paul tells us, “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Sometimes I see people whose lives are full of rebellion, chaos and darkness. For me to live in their circumstances would suck the life out of me and yet they seem to be at home there. Then I remember how my life must have looked to those looking on from the outside. When all you’ve ever known is chaos you tend to find it comfortable. So our job is to be the light. We can’t be the one’s to sort out the disarray but we can shine a little light in. This is why sharing your testimony is so important. Some people have only known me since I’ve been born again and really don’t understand how miraculous the transformation has been. I’ve discovered most people can’t relate to us in those areas where we seem to have it all together, but they can find a bit of traction in those areas where we have blown it.

The key I’ve discovered is to learn how to see yourself as joined to Christ. If the reason for the chaos in your life is because you see yourselves as “independent”, the answer must be union. Once you start to see Christ is your life, you will start to see light shining out of the darkness and order replace the chaos.

Louie