Eternal Covenant Chapter 10

Preaching the Word of God

God’s Heart …Chapter 10…God’s Covenant

The Lord said I will give you a new heart and a new spirit. I will take away the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit in you and cause you to walk in ways and keep my commandments

This promise of a new heart (spiritual) was figurative and not literal. The new spirit that was promised was the Holy Spirit. Much of the Bible and especially the Old Testament is interpreted in a Spiritual sense in the New Testament. The New Testament tells us that the Old Testament Law is a shadow of good things to come. Elsewhere it states that many of the things that happened to Israel happened as examples for us the church.

Paul tells Timothy that from his childhood he had been taught that Holy Scriptures (Old Testament) were able to make him wise unto salvation through faith in Christ. Paul goes on to say that all Scripture is inspired by God and is good for doctrine, correction, reproof, and instruction for Godly living. Through the Word of God, a person is directed unto good works for God.

In our study of the covenant revelations, we have seen God fulfilling His promise of developing a people that would be loyal to Him. He said you will be my people, I will be your God, and I will dwell with you. We got a glimpse of this when God dwelt with the nation of Israel in the form of the Cloud and Fire. In the next lesson, we will see the ultimate fulfillment of this promise as He comes to live with the believers for eternity in the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem.

As we have studied each of His covenant revelations, we saw that this promise is accompanied by requirements that man must fulfill to receive His blessings otherwise we receive His curses. Jesus stated these requirements in the simplest terms when He said the greatest commandment was to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Even though this is stated in simple terms it is not a simple thing to accomplish.

The Old Testament is full of Israel’s failure to accomplish this requirement. Isaiah chapter five gives us a glimpse of God’s judgment due to their repeated failures. Paul tells us that the Old Testament Law was a schoolmaster to point us to Christ. Hebrews tells us that it was a shadow of good things to come, Jesus Christ. The Bible shows us that the promise to Abraham that through His seed all nations would be blessed was not plural, but singular, Christ.

Elsewhere it tells us that true circumcision was not of the flesh, but of the heart and that a true Jew was one of faith and not necessarily a physical descendent of Abraham. All of these scriptures are pointing out the fact that these events were shadows of good things to come, fulfilled in Christ.

As God said, He will put a new heart, a new spirit, a circumcised heart in the believer. As God told Samuel when choosing David that He looks at a man’s heart, while a man looks at the exterior. He looks for a person who has a heart for God like David, one who does God’s will.

As we study the life of David, we see that there is a three-stage progression in developing the type of hearth that God requires. They are;

  1. Contrite Heart – (2) Changed (circumcised) Heart – (3) Clean Heart (pure)

A Contrite Heart

Jesus tells us that a person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be filled with blessings. In Psalms 51 we see in David’s life what this hunger and thirst look like. David says that God desires a broken and contrite heart. David demonstrates this characteristic when he asks for mercy and for God to blot out his sins. David acknowledged his sins before God and asks for God’s forgiveness.

This plea to God comes after David had committed adultery and murder. In the parable of the “Pharisee and the publican” we see the publican coming to God with a broken and contrite heart. God says the publican goes hone justified instead of the self-righteous Pharisee. God looks at the heart, but the man looks at the external.

The law had condemned David and he cried out to God for mercy. The publican cried out for mercy, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.” They both had contrite hearts. They both went home justified with a changed heart. A heart right with God.

The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life. Law condemns because all have sinned. Jesus says you must be “born again” to be saved, to receive a new heart one that has been circumcised by the Holy Spirit.

Do we want to go home justified? If so, we must cry out for mercy and acknowledge that we are sinners. Cry out to God today and receive a new heart, a changed, and a circumcised heart.

Changed Heart

A changed heart seeks to do the will of God. This new heart that God gives us wants to walk in God’s statutes, obedient to His Word. Paul says it a different way in Galatians where he states if we walk in the Spirit of God we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

We are responsible to walk in the Spirit. God says we must die to the flesh. This is an act of our will. In Colossians, Paul says we are to put off the old nature and put on the new nature. We are to get rid of our evil actions such as anger, rage, slander, and dirty language. This appears to be an act of the will much like choosing what clothes to wear.

This new nature is continually being renewed as we learn more and more about Christ, who created the new nature within us. We take on His nature as we are being transformed into His image. The fruit of the Spirit discussed in Galatians contains Christ-like attributes such as love, joy, peace, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

A changed heart is a heart that has been circumcised by the Holy Spirit and made clean. Circumcision cuts away things of the flesh and leaves a clean heart controlled by the Holy Spirit. We end up with a new (different) heart. One that is obedient to God’s Word. To circumcise our hearts was not a new concept. God told Israel in Deuteronomy to circumcise therefore their heart and be no longer rebellious. A few verses earlier God had said to Israel, what does the LORD require of you, but to fear the LORD, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

This process illustrates that we must empty a container before we can fill it with new material. In other words, we must empty our lives of our sinful nature, before we can be filled with our new nature. This is an act of our will.

Romans chapter six is a practical chapter that reminds us that we must know that we died with Jesus, must reckon in our hearts that we were raised with Him, and we must yield our bodies to His Spirit and walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in the newness of life.

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

A circumcised heart results in a clean heart. In Romans, we find that a true Jew is not one born of Jewish parents or one that has gone through the Jewish ceremony of circumcision. A true Jew is one whose heart has been circumcised and made right with God. True circumcision is not a cutting of the body but a change of heart produced by being “born again” of God’s Spirit.

Clean Heart

Jesus says blessed is on who has a pure (clean) heart he shall see God. David says blessed is one whose sins are forgiven. In Psalms 51 and 32 we see the process of how one’s heart is changed from a contrite heart to a clean heart.

In Psalm 24 we find for a person to come into the presence of God he must have a clean heart. The process of faith, of being “born again” of the Spirit is just another way of stating the fact that when a person receives salvation they receive a new heart. One that desires the things of God

The Lord said I will give you a new heart and a new spirit. I will take away the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit in you and cause you to walk in ways and keep my commandments. God has said that He will give us a new heart that desires His ways. However, we must ask for this new heart. The Bible says He desires none to be lost. That all come to repentance.

We must be like the publican. We must be convicted of our sins and cry out for mercy. God’s Word says that if we will confess our sins He will forgive us.

A new heart has been cleansed by being washed in the blood of the Lamb! It is our responsibility. He offers a new heart by grace and we must accept it by faith. Then we are to do the “good works” that He has established for us.

 

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