Heart Issues 1
When the Bible speaks of our hearts it rarely refers to the muscle in our chest that pumps blood around our bodies. The only passage I recall where the Bible speaks about a physical heart is regarding a wicked man named Nabal. He seems to have had a heart attack.
1 Samuel 25:37: But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, (Nabal had sinned against David) that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
There are some comparisons we might make between our physical hearts and our spiritual hearts. When our physical hearts die our bodies die. Our physical hearts need to be alive in order to pump life-giving blood throughout our bodies. Our spiritual hearts must be alive in order to supply our lives with spiritual life. Our hearts must be made alive by God and alive unto God.
Romans 6:11: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The moment we receive Christ into our hearts He puts within us eternally continuing life.
1 John 5:11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Ephesians 3:17a: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; . . .
This eternally continuing life is intended to change the way we live from sinning to doing what pleases the Lord. The Bible teaches about hearts without Christ and hearts He has entered and lives in.
Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Matthew 5:8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Before we receive Christ all of our hearts are wicked and deceitful. They obviously need to be forgiven. And in addition to being forgiven they need to somehow stop being wicked and deceitful. They need to be purified. That is one of the things the Lord does for us when we receive Christ. We cannot purify our own hearts, that is the work of God and God alone.
Jeremiah 13:23: Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
Acts 15:8: And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them (Gentiles) witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; (Jews) 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
One of the most instructive passages I find about the changes God makes in our hearts:
Luke 6:45: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
The difference between the good man and the evil man is that the good man has received Christ into his heart. Along with Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of believers and there is a life-long battle between their flesh and the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
1 Thessalonians 5:19: Quench not the Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Salvation is the work of God on the heart of a man and when God goes to work on the heart of a man His work will impact the thinking, the speech and the actions of that man. He wants them to go and sin no more. (John 8:11b) When their flesh wins a battle and they sin He wants to forgive that too.
1 John 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: