The Christian’s Heart And God’s Heart

heartA few weeks ago, I posted how believers in Christ are  (if not becoming) the Ten Commandments. Mankind, of and by themselves, cannot keep the Ten Commandments exactly as found in Exodus 20 and elsewhere in the Old Testament (click on the word, elsewhere, here). But with Christians, it is different. Why? Because of Jesus Christ who is in us, we have become the Ten Commandments. These were just my thoughts on the subject and not meant to be a cast-in-stone (pun intended) doctrinal treatise.

I especially explained how the law of God is now written on our hearts rather than just codified outwardly for us to keep. Please read  Jeremiah 31:33, Romans 2:15, Hebrews 8:10, and Hebrews 10:16.

In this post, I want to focus more on the heart – the spiritual heart. Why did God want to write His laws on our hearts? Why not in our stomachs? Why not in our lungs?

First of all, what is the heart? I believe it may also mean the mind. If you read Hebrews 8:10 and Hebrews 10:16  above, you can easily see that the heart and the mind are the same thing. In the first verse (Hebrews 8:10), God is quoted as wanting to put His laws in our minds and write them on our hearts. The second verse (Hebrews 10:16) has it as God putting His laws in our hearts and writing them on the minds. So which one is it that God writes His law on? Answer: Both are the same.

But I may be wrong here. Instead of the mind mentioned in Hebrews 10:16, why didn’t God use the brain to write His laws? I do not know. I need to study more on this. But I want to go over what I understand so far.

When Jesus Christ walked on this earth, He was not teaching against the Ten Commandments. He was teaching how the law, before He died on the cross, should have been kept – the intent of the law.

I used to believe that He changed it by amplifying it. For example, in Matthew 5,  Jesus said that instead of, “Thou shalt not kill (murder),” it should be, “thou shalt not be angry with your brother. You should not call your brother a fool.” He was saying, in effect, not to hate your brother. But, there is really nothing new here. Why?

Not hating your neighbor is found in Leviticus 19:11!

Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

And, instead of, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Jesus said you should not even look at a woman with lust (Matthew 5:27-28). Is lust in the Old Testament law?

Well, the sixth commandment goes hand in hand with “not coveting your neighbor’s wife” – the tenth commandment.

Again, these are just my blog thoughts on this.

Same Heart Yet New Heart?
Did you notice something? The words hate, lust and covet are words of passion – coming from the mind and therefore, the heart – the seat of emotion, so to speak.  Notice Jesus’ words in Matthew 15:19:

For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Evil thoughts (what the mind does) come out of the heart.  Is it any wonder that God would write these laws right where the source of sin comes from?

Here is another thought. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says:

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come

For those of you who are very familiar with the Bible, other translations have the words, “new creation” as: ” a new creature,” “a new person,”  “a new being,”  and  “a brand new person.”

So then, do we Christians as this “new creation” have our original, human hearts? Yes, we do. But it is now hearts fortified with God’s way of living. God’s way is now written on it.[1]

treeAdam and Eve’s Heart
What were Adam and Eve’s hearts like – spiritually speaking? Well, after they were created and before their encounter with Satan, their hearts were pure. They were flesh and blood beings not knowing evil!  And God was telling them to eat His special food in the Garden of Eden – food meant for immortality. God did not have to give them any other commandments except not to eat of the forbidden fruit. They did not know how to do wrong. Why tell them, “Thou shalt not do such and such” if they did not know of the evil they were not to do?

It was after they ate of the forbidden fruit that their hearts changed. God said that they had become one of them (God) – knowing both good and evil (Genesis 3:22). They were then removed from eating any food in the garden that nourished them for eternal life. They became fallen creatures meaning that, from then on, they were to have a temporary (living for a few years and then die) and overall, a mostly temporal (worldly, profane, nonreligious, materialistic, lustful, etc.) existence.

Sacred HeartThe Heart of God
Growing up as a Catholic, I remember seeing portraits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus  (similar to the one you see on your right) everywhere. There was one in my parents’ home. All of my relatives had one somewhere in their households.

Question: Does God have a heart?

The Bible states that God does indeed have one. I am sure many of you Christians, if you have been one for long, have heard a sermon or two about seeking after God’s own heart.

The Bible mentions King David of ancient Israel as being “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14;  Acts 13:22).  By the way, David was just a kid and not yet anointed king of Israel when God said this about him. How was young David going after God’s own heart?

God’s heart would be a good subject to study over the holidays, don’t you think? Here are some questions to get you started:

1) Is the heart of God basically the mind of God? What is He passionate about? What does He treasure?

2) Spiritually speaking, do you have two hearts – yours and God’s or are there more?

3) For most of you Christians who believe in the Trinity, are there three hearts alongside your spiritual heart within you? Or do they share one heart?

4) For those of you Christians who do not believe in a Trinity, are there two hearts (the Father and the Son’s) alongside your spiritual heart within you? Or do they share one heart?

Reasons for A New Heart
Remember, a Christian’s new heart consists of his own heart (his passions, his desires, his dreams, etc.) and also the inscription of God’s laws, His way of life, and His desires.

Why do Christians have this newly, renovated [2] spiritual heart? Four reasons:

1) Because it is also a hearing heart. Most of us now, more than ever before conversion, can hear God’s voice leading us. It is tuned to the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, and the Father.

John 10:1-5

2) In order to develop the character of Jesus Christ

Service (John 13:1-5), Love (Ephesians 5:1-2), compassion (Ephesians 4:32), etc.

3) In order to become like God

Romans 8:1-39

4) In order to have a close relationship with God

Galatians 4:6

Heart To Heartpodium
In one of the churches that I previously was a member, there was a program provided for the members (I believe it still has it) that educators would consider a public speaking course. The outlined syllabus consisted of twelve speeches that were to be given before an audience – mostly of fellow students – which, if you  successfully completed them, you graduated from the program and went on to a different level.

I nervously enjoyed giving speeches as a member. But, because of it, I was trained more as a speaker than as a writer of blogs – go figure!

Anyway, the last assigned speech of the course was a “Heart to Heart” speech. It was designed with the goal of letting others know more of the real you. Its goal was to have your audience get to know you in a more intimate way. The speaker in this lesson would talk about his dreams, inhibitions, failures, successes, trials, you name it. I still remember mine. Perhaps in a future blog I will post it when appropriate.

Similarly, with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in us and with God’s way of life living and written on our hearts, we can always be having heart-to-heart  interactions between Him and us – back and forth, back and forth, back and forth – like heartbeats. That is the reason, during worship services, singing and extolling praises and prayers to God are powerful moments for the Christian.

Why The Heart And Not The Stomach Or The Lungs
The purpose of the human heart is to pump life-giving blood throughout the body. Our livers purify the blood. Our lungs remove the carbon dioxide and add the oxygen to the blood. Our stomachs collect and break food down into digestible nutrients. But the heart pumps precious blood through all of our organs.

Symbolically speaking, with our new hearts and the heart of God within us, as we eat and drink of the body and blood of Christ (John 6:52-56), eternal life is “pumped” through us new creatures – the children of the living God – forever and ever.

Over the holidays, and especially over Thanksgiving Day – for those of you who celebrate this holiday – give thanks to our Creator who gave you a heart that is not only now seeking, but is actually in touch, with the heart of the living God.

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1) & 2) I no longer believe that we Christians still have the old heart we had prior to accepting Jesus Christ. We, at conversion, have received a new heart. (See post, Christians Have A New Heart! Old Heart Gone! December 3, 2014).

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