Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – Part 14
What has Christ done for sin? Contd.
Hearts that are committed to doing evil run the grave risk of becoming hardened. Those who persistently refuse to listen to God’s Word and to obey what He commands, and instead follow the wicked desires of their hearts, will find that God will eventually harden their hearts, so that they lose all sensitivity to His Word and to the desires of the Holy Spirit (see Ex 7:3; Heb 3:8). The primary example of this in the Bible is Pharaoh’s heart at the time of the exodus (see Ex 7:3; 13, 22-23; 8:15, 32; 9:12; 10:1; 11:10; 14:17). Paul saw the same general principle operative in the Roman Empire (cf. Rom 1:24, 26, 28) and predicted that it would also occur during the days of the antichrist (2 Thes 2:11-12). The writer of Hebrew filled his letter with warnings to believers not to harden their hearts (e.g., Heb 3:8-12). Anyone who continues to reject God’s Word will eventually have a hardened heart.
The Regenerated Heart. God’s answer to the sinfulness of the human heart is regeneration, which comes to all who repent of their sins, turn to God, and place a personal faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
• Regeneration is a matter of the heart. Those who repent from their heart of all sin and confess in their heart that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9) are born again and receive a new heart from God (cf. Ps 51:10; Ezek 11:19).
• Within the hearts of those who experience spiritual birth, God creates a desire to love Him and to obey Him. (See article on Regeneration already discussed) Repeatedly, God emphasised to His people the necessity of a love that comes from the heart (see Deut 4:29; 6:6). Such love for and devotion to God cannot be separated from obedience to His Word (cf. Ps 119:34, 69, 112). Jesus taught that love for God with the whole heart and love for one’s neighbour summarise God’s entire law (Mat 22:37-40).
• Love from the heart is the essential ingredient in obedience. All too often, God’s people tried to substitute obedience with mere outward religious forms (such as feast days, offerings and sacrifices) for genuine love from the heart (see Is 1:10-17; Amos 5:21-26; Mic 6:6-8; see Deut 10:12). Outward observance without an inner desire to serve God is hypocritical religion and is severely condemned by our Lord (see Mat 23:13-28; see Luke 21:1-4).
• Many other spiritual activities take place in the hearts of regenerated believers. They praise God with all their heart (Ps 9:1), meditate in their heart (Ps 19:14, cry out to God from the heart (Ps 84:2), seek God with all their heart (Ps 119:2, 10), hide God’s Word in their heart (Ps 119:11; see Deut 6:6), trust in the Lord with all their heart (Prov 3:5), experience God’s love poured out into their heart (Rom 5:5) and sing to God in their heart (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).
The Old Covenant and the New Covenant: An overview
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” (Heb 8:6)
Heb 8-10 describes numerous aspects of the old covenant, such as the worship regulations and sacrificial ritual in the tabernacle. It discusses the various rooms and furniture of this OT worship centre. The author’s purpose is twofold: (1) to contrast the high priest’s service in the earthly sanctuary under the old covenant with Christ’s ministry as high priest in the heavenly sanctuary under the new covenant.
Email:email@example.com www.thebiblicalwomanhood.com Mobile: +234 803 344 6614; +234 808 123 7987
No comments yet