Hearts Bent Toward Sin

Jeremiah 17:1-3 ESV

“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their Asherim, beside every green tree and on the high hills, on the mountains in the open country.”

God’s People Today

God’s people today are all of us who believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith. We have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old lives were crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

Therefore, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and which ends in eternal life with God. As those who are “in Christ” we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to our sinful flesh but according to God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14).

Now we have many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ who never were crucified with Christ in death to sin and so they were not raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. They just made a profession of faith in Christ or they repeated a prayer after someone else but they bought into the lie which says we don’t have to repent of our sins and we don’t have to obey the Lord, and so nothing ever really changed in their hearts.

And then we have those who did enter into a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ but who sometime later, when life got hard for them, ran from God instead of to the Lord, and they returned to living in sin and for self and so they are in need of repentance and renewed walks of faith in Jesus Christ. So this passage could apply to them as well as to those making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ but who never turned away from their sins.

The Sin Engraved on Human Hearts

Now, because of the first man Adam’s sin against God we have all been born into sin in the image of Adam. We all are born with sin natures and we are separate from God and we are incapable in ourselves to be acceptable to God and to be righteous in his sight. For we, in our flesh, can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation, regardless of how nice we might be, and regardless of how many good deeds that we do in our flesh.

But when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, he frees us from our slavery to sin and he makes us new in him, created to be like God in true holiness and righteousness. He doesn’t just forgive us our sins, but he frees us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. He then gives us his nature. But we still have the propensity to sin and we are still tempted to sin. So sin is still possible.

And so we do have a multitude of professers of faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, who are still enslaved to sin or who have returned to living in deliberate and habitual sin against God and against other humans. And their sin is indeed engraved on their hearts, for they stubbornly hold on to their sin and they will not let go no matter what. Even if you show them what the Scriptures teach, they will keep on in their deliberate sins.

And this goes to those Scriptures which talk about sin coming from what is stored up in our hearts. So, if we are storing up in our hearts the trash of this world and all that is worldly and fleshly, and that which is immoral and filled with hate, envy, bitterness, and spite, etc., that is what is going to come out in our attitudes and in our actions in things like sexual immorality, adultery, lying, cheating, hate, and slander, etc. (Lu 6:45; Matt 15:17-20).

[Rom 3:21-26; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-14; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20]

Jeremiah 17:5-6,10 ESV

“Thus says the Lord:
‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.’”

“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Trust in the Flesh of Man

Many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are putting their trust in other human beings in place of or over and above putting their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. And they are putting their faith and trust in teachings which are not biblical although they may come from the Scriptures taught out of context and then twisted to say something the Scriptures do not teach. And so many of them are following after lies and not after the truth.

And so they are accepting a gospel message which is not the gospel that Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught, but which is a half-truth (lie) gospel created in the minds of humans in order to appeal to human flesh. For it makes no demands for death to sin or for walks of obedience to our Lord Jesus. They do not honor God with their lives but they honor their own fleshly and sinful appetites, instead. Their sins are engraved on their hearts.

So their hearts are not turned to the Lord, although they will profess that they are, for they feel at liberty to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin against God and other humans without conscience and with the belief that they also will not face any consequences for their habitual and deliberate sin against the Lord and against their fellow humans. But what they are believing is a lie and it will come back to bite them in the end.

Please know this is not just Old Testament teaching. Paul wrote that God will render to each one according to his works (Romans 2:6-11), and he wrote that we will all reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8). And when Jesus returns, he will bring his recompense (reward) with him and he will repay each one for what he has done (Revelation 22:12-15). And many who profess Jesus as Lord are going to hear him say, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23).

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Rom 1:18-32; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev 21:8,27]

Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Amen and Amen! We need to be people of God who are committed to following Jesus Christ with our lives, who are dying daily to sin and to self and who are following our Lord in obedience to his ways, in practice. We need to be those who are honoring our Lord with our lives and who desire him, to do his will, and who do not desire to stray from the Lord and to go our own way, instead. And it will go well with us now and in the end.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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