Summary: Salvation, sanctification, and service are all a matter of the heart
IT’S A MATTER OF THE HEART
Introduction: The Bible tells us that the heart is the seat of all actions of life. Joe Stowell in Fan The Flame says that “The Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. It has been described as "the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity," "the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will," and "the center of a person. The place to which God turns." (J. Stowell, Fan The Flame, Moody, 1986, p. 13.) This morning I want you to examine your heart as we consider that salvation, sanctification, and service are all a matter of the heart.
I. Salvation is a matter of the heart.
A. The Heart of Man is the source of man’s lostness.
1. Jeremiah 17:9 “"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?”
2. Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. "Eat and drink!" he says to you, but his heart is not with you.”
3. Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
4. Scientists have discovered that every snowflake has a tiny piece of dust at its core. Yes, every snowflake has a "dirty heart"
B. The Heart of Faith not the Head is the vehicle of Salvation.
1. Romans 10:9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
2. Jeremiah 29:13 “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
3. Mark 7:6 “He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ’This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.”
4. Biblical Christianity is far more than head knowledge of Jesus. True Christianity is an unsaved human being saved from the source and penalty of sin forever. Many people who think they are saved are not. Why? Because they have never receive Jesus into their hearts by faith. They believe in their heads, but not in their hearts. They are missing heaven by 18 inches (the distance from one’s heart to one’s brain).
II. Sanctification is a matter of the heart.
A. Outward separation is not sanctification but contamination
1. Matthew 23:25-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
2. There is the story of the man who came down from the North Carolina mountains. He was all dressed up and carrying his Bible. A friend saw him and asked, "Elias, what’s happening? Where are you going all dressed up like that?" Elias said, "I’ve been hearing about New Orleans. I hear that there is a lot of free-runnin’ liquor and a lot of gamblin’ and a lot of real good naughty shows." The friend looked him over and said, "But Elias, why are you carrying your Bible under your arm?" And Elias replied, "Well, if it’s as good as they say it is, I might stay over until Sunday."
3. Isaiah 29:13 “Therefore the Lord said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,”
4. He made free use of Christian vocabulary. He talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions, which would become the pillars of the new government. He assumed the earnestness of a man weighed down by historic responsibility. He handed out pious stories to the press, especially to the church papers. He showed his tattered Bible and declared that he drew the strength for his great work from it as scores of pious people welcomed him as a man sent from God. Indeed, Adolf Hitler was a master of outward religiosity—with no inward reality! -Today in the Word, June 3, 1989
B. True sanctification begins inside out.