“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”
The “heart of Man”; what is the meaning of this phrase “the heart of man”?
Many believe that “THE HEART” conveys the vital source of one’s emotions and feelings over against “THE HEAD” or the intellectual processes. However, this definition of “the heart” is discordant with the biblical definition as in this verse in the book of Jeremiah – “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…”
According to many other places in the Scriptures, the heart represents the core nature of one’s life. The heart is the center or focus of all his or her desires, motives, and moral choices.
We all should know and understand the truth concerning Mankind as it suffered the terrible consequences of the Sin and Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; that is, the imputation of the sin of Adam and the condemnation of God upon the whole Human Race. We read in God’s Word – “by the offence of one (i.e. Adam’s) judgment came upon all men to condemnation” (Romans 5:18A)
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, we read in Romans 3:23. And also, we read in Romans 3:10-12 “As it is written, There is no righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.”
The “Heart of Man” is deceitful and desperately wicked, this is the reality of the darkness and wickedness of Man’s HEART, as there is no light in him (i.e., Mankind) as GOD is Light. Jesus said in the Gospel of John – “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:19-20
Before God destroyed the ancient world with a great flood during the days of Noah, what did God say in the Book of Genesis concerning “The HEART of Man”? – GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his HEART was only evil continually” Genesis 6:5
Jesus Christ again also described to us in His Word concerning the nature of the depraved heart of man in the Gospel of Mark, “For from within, out of the HEART of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” Mark 7:21-23
The Nature of Man is totally corrupted and depraved toward God as Mankind effortlessly is deceived and deluded, as they walk in the vanity of their mind, as their understanding is darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness and the hardness of their heart; and by no process of their religion and morality (the works and merits of man), philosophy, psychology, education or culture can he be refined and made fit for the Kingdom of God.
The reality of the imputation of Adam’s sin upon the whole Human Race is that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”; and all are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) with respect to God, in their sins and trespasses. “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calls upon thy Name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us and hath consumed us because of our iniquities” Isaiah 64:6-7
THE GLORY AND THE POWER OF JEHOVAH GOD IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God” 1Corinthians 1:18
The Gospel is the revelation of God’s power to save His Elect from their sins (Ephesians 1:3-7) as it is given to Mankind as – THE WORD OF GOD. The preaching of the True Gospel leaves sinners with no hope of salvation but that, which is found ONLY in the Person and accomplished work of Christ. We read this in 2 Corinthians 4:5-7, “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
The Natural Man who is spiritually dead to the things of God and walking in darkness cannot accept and receive the True Gospel proclaimed unto them, for the Truth is “foolishness” unto them. Natural Man in his religious pride and self-righteousness believes with all sincerity, (because it seems right to him- Proverbs 14:12) that there are things they can bring about or work out to please God in meriting forgiveness of sins and to rid their hearts of guilt. “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one” Psalm 14:2-3
Therefore, with Man it is impossible but with God, all things are possible, that is, it is Jehova God who justifies the ungodly by His work and power of regeneration and granting unto his Elect-People repentance from dead works and idolatry and granting unto them faith to believe in the Person and perfect work of Jesus Christ who satisfied the demands of God’s Holy Law on behalf of His People, thereby imputing Christ’s Righteousness unto them. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “you must be born of God” (John 1:12-13; John 3:3-5) i.e., you must be regenerated, you must be given by God a new Heart, a new Spirit, created anew as a NEW CREATION in CHRIST JESUS (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is the power of God in the preaching of the Gospel, this is the Glory of the Knowledge and Wisdom of God in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
“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. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
“For He has made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
The True Gospel reveals that as its foundation, it is based solely upon the true merits of Jesus Christ – “who knew no sin”. Jesus Christ is the Eternal God who would become incarnate according to the Scripture (Isaiah 9:6), who would obey the Law of God perfectly according to the Scripture (Isaiah 42:4), who would as our substitute give His life as the spot-less Passover Lamb to atone for the sins of His Elect-People according to God’s Everlasting Covenant (Isaiah 53:10); “Now the God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21
Christ was born for the sole purpose of Jehova God to “save His people from their sins” – the sins of His Elect-People would be imputed unto Christ – “who knew no sin” – became sin for us. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. It is in Jesus Christ that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace. Ephesians 1:7
It was Jesus Christ the Righteous who was delivered to God as an offering for our offenses and was raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25). It is in our souls that we as true-believers are raised with Christ as He was raised victoriously from the dead, that is, we have experienced the resurrection, the new birth, even so, we walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus, holy, blameless and irreproachable in the Sight of Almighty God. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1
This is the remedy for the awful predicament of Man, that is, that God commands all to “repent and believe the Gospel” (Acts 17:30; Mark 1:15). God demands that we all must turn from our idolatry and dead works. That is, repent from ever believing that salvation is conditioned on the sinner, by whatever we think we can do or must do. Salvation is not based on what man can do or must do, but it is based on what Christ did, even from before the foundation of the world. Therefore, God commands that we believe the Gospel and trust in “the Righteousness of Christ”, the Righteousness which of GOD by faith. For it is God alone who can save His people by His power according to the Covenant of Grace. He alone must change and prepare their hearts and cause their ears to hear the True Gospel. It is God alone who must change their wicked and deceitful hearts and give them a new heart (Regeneration), and give them His Holy Spirit (Baptism of the Holy Spirit), so that they may believe the Truth by faith, for in this Gospel the Righteousness of God is revealed. The Righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17; 3:22). As Jesus said in the Gospel, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6. This Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the Power and Glory of God manifested unto us in the Person and work of Jesus Christ; it is the Power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. He alone, to whom must be given the Honor and Glory forever, and ever. Amen.