The Bible makes it crystal-clear that the heart of every man born into this sinful world is indeed deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The DARBY translation puts it this way, “The heart is deceitful above all things and incurable; who can know it?” When people ask me how I know the Bible is the Word of God, I sometimes point to verses like this and say, “It must have been God who wrote this about the human race, for if man was the author of the Bible he wouldn’t be so hard on himself.” God tells it like it is my friend. Like a physician He has taken x-rays of us and has discovered that we have major “heart trouble.” Listen to what He says of our hearts in Ephesians 4:18, “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” The Lord Jesus had this to say of the heart in Matthew 15:18-19, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” This is NOT a pretty picture, but it’s the truth. God sees our hearts as the source of every sin we commit and as we saw from Jeremiah 17:9, it’s “incurable.” This simply means there is nothing we can do to cure the malady of sin in the heart. And if we can’t cure it, we certainly can’t trust it.

But there is good news; for what we can’t do, God can! By His matchless grace He offers us a “new heart.” The Lord Jesus spoke of this to Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He went on to say in verses 5-6, “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” The New Birth is God’s cure for sinful man! Later, in verse 10, the Lord Jesus said, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” Nicodemus should have known that men needed a new heart through a new birth, for God had revealed this in Ezekiel 36:25-26 which reads, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 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.” In love for your soul I would ask you, “Have you been born again and received a new heart?” Jesus went on to tell Nicodemus what it cost God to give us a new heart and what we must do to receive it. Verses 14-16 declare, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosover believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It cost God His only begotten Son to provide a new heart for us and to receive that new heart one must simply believe that Christ gave His life on the cross to give us eternal life.

A word of caution is in order. Though the New Birth provides us with a new heart that loves God and desires to please Him, we still have the old, sinful heart within us until we get to glory. It is only through abiding in Christ through His Word and prayer that our new heart will be nourished and manifested. Our old heart is still “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” and it is ever ready to rear its ugly head. We are told, in Philippians 3:3, to “have no confidence in the flesh.” So, we can never trust it! But we can trust God to give us the victory over the flesh, for Galatians 5:16 promises us, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Praise be unto God for this! (159.9) (DO)