The Hearts Of Men
1 Corinthians 2:14: But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The problem with natural men is a heart problem. The problem with the hearts of men is spoken of in both Testaments. It is not a new problem. If a natural man is to become a child of God he needs to become a different sort of man for whom the heart problem has been solved. A natural man might have a superior intellect but it will be misdirected and spiritually upside-down until the Lord does a work on his heart. A man*s heart is who he is. His heart will have a greater impact upon who he is and who he becomes than his mind. God changes the heart of a repentant sinner at the moment of salvation. That change is the work of God alone. God changes a heart from one devoid of faith to one that is full of faith.
Romans 10:9-10: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Changing the mind is a more gradual process, a growth process, a life-long process. It is another process that is the work of God, but this time it happens with the cooperation of the man.
Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
God has created us in such a fashion that the things we see or don*t see with our hearts are more important than the things we see with our eyes. The unregenerate natural man cannot see them. Our minds and eyes can only see the things of this world until God enables our hearts to get a glimpse of His eternal kingdom.
John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The heart needs a change:
Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
A deceitful and desperately wicked heart is certainly different from a pure heart.
Matthew 5:8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Ecclesiastes 9:3: This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
Jeremiah 7:24: But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
Jeremiah 11:8: Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.
Jeremiah 18:12: And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
Matthew 12:34-35: O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Matthew 15:19: For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Hebrews 3:12: Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
The changed heart:
Hebrews 10:22: Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Psalms 24:3-4: Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
James 4:8: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Acts 15:7-9: And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Ezekiel 18:31: Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Christ within makes the changes
Ephesians 3:17: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Psalms 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Ezekiel 11:19: And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
Ezekiel 36:26: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
We must receive Him into our hearts knowing that He alone has the power to make us the children of God and trusting Him to make the necessary changes.
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galatians 6:15: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.