Symptoms of the Heart – Part 4

A friend of mine recently had a conversation with a young man regarding the college basketball coach, Rick Pitino, and the negative media attention he has received concerning allegations that have recently been brought against him. Maybe you have asked yourself, “How could he do such a thing?” After all, people of influence are held to a higher standard; they are expected to conquer the very desires that defeat us. And so the greater question would be: “How could anyone do such a thing?” But the answer is clear; the Bible tells us that all people are affected by sin and selfishly motivated to fulfill their own desires. No one is exempt from the power of lust and self-fulfillment; no one can conquer it on their own.

Many have said, “But I’m not like that, I don’t do such things.” Just because we are able to do some things good viewed from a human perspective, does not mean we are free of sin. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Humans tend to look upon the outward acts and judge them as good; however, God sees the condition of our hearts. Owing to the natural tendency of the flesh, all men are under the control of sin, and are therefore, controlled by their selfish, sinful desires. Isaiah writes, “The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint” (Isaiah 1:5). It is due to the nature of sin that the Bible says, “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12).

The Bible speaks very clearly about the depravity of mankind by alluding to the spiritual nature inherent to us all. In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet writes, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Left for man to decide, morality would become nothing more than the cultural norm defined by lawmakers; but to a righteous and Holy God, morality is set by higher standards. Anything contrary to God’s law is sinful.

Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, and wickedness as well as deceit” (Mark 7:21). These symptoms of the unregenerate heart reflect a condition that man alone is unable to overcome. It is for these very reasons that Jesus Christ was sent into the world to prevail over sin through his death and resurrection. Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

What, then, can anyone do to overcome the problem of an unlawful, sin-filled heart? The answer can only be found in Jesus Christ. The first thing you must do is recognize the symptoms of your own heart and own up to your sin. Apart from the grace of God, the spiritual state and condition of your life is hopeless; the fact is that those very sins are what prevents you from having eternal life with Christ. Second, you must confess your sin to God and ask Him to forgive you in Jesus’ name. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10). Third, by placing your faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ, whom died for the forgiveness of sin, and by asking him to help you turn away from your sin once and for all, you can be saved.

If you’re not sure about your salvation or want to know how to have a personal relationship with Christ, contact michael@michaelwaits.com

Article by Michael Waits

@michaelwaits

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