September 9, 2023
Ezekiel 36:26, New Living Translation
"And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart."
A person needs a heart transplant because the heart they have isn't functioning properly and is causing problems for the individual. A heart transplant is done when the heart is damaged beyond the point of repair and must be replaced for life to continue. They can't run or do activities or live life to the fullest with the unhealthy heart they have. They need it replaced with a healthy, functioning heart so they can live a full life.
Is that how it is with us, spiritually speaking? We are all born with the sin nature in our hearts and need a spiritual heart transplant so we can live the life the Lord has for us. So, we can run the race He has laid out for us and not grow tired from a weak heart.
Just as the heart is a vital physical organ, it is also a vital spiritual organ. We are warned to “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT). The good news is that when we are in the right relationship with God, “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NLT).
Jesus revealed where sin resides in man when He said, “From within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things come from within man and defile man.” (Mark 7:21-23, NLT). By this statement, Jesus did not mean that sin resides in our physical heart; otherwise we would need a physical heart transplant to be freed from sin. Jesus meant that sin dwells in man’s unregenerate heart since everyone is born with a heart of sin (a sinful nature). The Bible says this was our spiritual condition before we were born again of God’s Spirit (Psalm 51:5).
God’s solution to save us from the power of sin and certain spiritual death was to perform a divine heart transplant. God used His Son’s sacrificial death on the cross to spiritually remove our terminally sin-sick heart and replace it with His Son’s divine heart when we were born again. In this divine operation of the cross God completely delivered us from all sin, so that His Son could live in us by His Spirit.
Now that we have Christ’s new heart in us, we do not have to keep practicing sin. For through His death, Jesus once and forever dealt with the sin that was within us, by destroying and removing our sinful nature. Since we have been born again of God’s Spirit, how should we now live? Each day, we remember Christ’s command to deny ourselves, carry our own cross and lay down our nature for His sake and the gospel’s sake (Mark 8:34-35). In this way, we prove by our actions that we are dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Does this mean that we will never sin again? Of course not! Whenever we sin, we continue to ask and receive God’s forgiveness for our sins. But now that sin is no longer our master, we are able by the Spirit to “put to death” our old sinful way of thinking and acting and “put on” Christ’s way of thinking and acting (Romans 8:12-13; Ephesians 4:22-24). By our faith in the truth of the cross of Christ and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we are being transformed into Christ’s image.
We not only receive a new heart but a new spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in believers to empower them to understand scripture and to be obedient to God. These actions will keep their new heart healthy.
Our new hearts also have a unique feature designed to keep them healthy, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” (Jeremiah 31:33, NLT). Psalm 119:11 (NLT) says, “I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
God loves us too much to leave us in our fallen condition. Jesus provided for our salvation by paying the penalty for our sins through His death and resurrection. When we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus we receive a new heart – we experience a spiritual heart transplant.
Remember, your new heart requires ongoing spiritual care. The prescription for maintaining your heart is ongoing prayer and Bible study. You also require regular follow-up visits with your spiritual healthcare provider– your church. There is no waiting list for a donor heart – get yours!