Summary: Fallen man, created by God, pure and holy, has willfully and wickedly rebelled against God, and lost his first estate, but he is to be the subject of a new creation through the power of God's Holy Spirit.
How's Your Heart
"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."—Ezekiel 36:26.
I want to begin by revealing a wonder of God’s love.
When God makes one of His creatures, and that creature has a fall from the condition in which he was created, He causes them, as a rule, to bear the penalty of their transgression, and to stay in the place into which they are fallen.
But here He makes an exception; man, fallen man, created by God, pure and holy, has willfully and wickedly rebelled against God, and lost his first estate, but he is to be the subject of a new creation through the power of God's Holy Spirit.
Here is the wonder of God’s love!
What is a man compared to an angel?
Would you say he is little and insignificant?
Here’s what the Bible says about one particular group of angels, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
God showed them no mercy.
He made them pure and holy, and they should have stayed that way, but instead they willfully rebelled.
He cast them out of heaven for ever; and He didn’t offer a single promise of mercy.
He has delivered them to eternal torment in the place prepared for the devil and his angels.
But here’s the wonder of it; the God who destroyed the angels stoops from His highest throne in glory, and speaks to His creature man, and says to him, "You have fallen just like the angels did; you have made a big mistake and gone astray, but I’m not going to just throw you away. Instead, I am going to do something for you,—not for your sake, but for my own name's sake. I am going to undo the wrong you have done; I will take away that heart which has rebelled against me. I made you, but you have unmade yourself, therefore, I will make you over again. I will take away your stony heart, and give you a new heart, and I will put a new Spirit within you."
Isn’t this a wonder of God’s grace; that mighty angels would be cast into the fire for ever, and yet God has made a covenant with man that he will renew and restore him?
And now folks, I will attempt to show two things with this message.
First of all, I want to show why the NEW HEART IS NECESSARY, and then I’ll show the work that God does when He gives the NEW HEART.
And after that I will make a few personal remarks.
I’ll begin with WHY THE NEW HEART IS NECESSARY.
I hope that the Holy Spirit will show us how sinful we really are in God’s eyes, and that we would crave mercy from Him, since both things are necessary if we are going to be saved.
Did you notice that in our text God does not promise us that He will improve our nature, or that he will mend our broken hearts?
No, the promise is that he will give us brand new hearts.
Human nature is too far gone ever to be mended.
It is not like a house that needs a little repair, with a few shingles blown off the roof, and a couple of windows cracked.
But, it is rotten through and through, and there is not a single board in it which has not been eaten by termites; and it’s ready to fall down.
God doesn’t attempt to fix it; he doesn’t shore up the walls, and re-paint the door; he doesn’t try to beautify it, but instead, he decides to tear the whole thing down, and that he will build a new one.
It is too far gone, to be fixed.
Perhaps it could be fixed, if it only needed a little repair.
But that’s not the case; the whole house needs to be repaired.
The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is weak.
From the sole of the foot, to the crown of the head, it has been wounded and bruised.
That’s why the Lord doesn’t attempt to repair it; but instead He says, "I will give you a new heart, and a right spirit will I put within you; I will take away the heart of stone, I will not try to soften it, I will let it be as stony as ever it was, but I will take it away, and I will give you a new heart, and it shall be a heart of flesh."