Has your heart been redeemed by a new covenant?
Without the regenerate work of Christ, my heart was sick. Scripture is pretty clear on that point. Jeremiah 17:9 tells me “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”
I realized this summer through my reading that this was how I felt about myself. I didn’t trust my heart because I believed its nature was still evil. That means I’m still living with a Mosaic covenant belief about my heart. Jesus came bringing good news; that of transformation of the heart. There’s a new and better covenant, described in the book of Hebrews. There are four key texts in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which testify to the nature of this new covenant. They are written in the language of covenant. We’ll look at one of those.
For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
As followers of Jesus, reborn from above, we understand that we have a new spirit within us. Somehow, we’ve missed that we were also given a new heart. That heart is good because it came from God. God is the giver of good gifts. If you have received a new spirit, it’s time to begin believing you’ve received a good heart!
That’s a spiritual reality. The question remains, why don’t I yet manifest this new heart in its fullness?
There seems to be a key later in the passage:
“On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by. They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the LORD, have spoken and will do it.”
The issue which remains seems to be that of iniquity. Interestingly, the words iniquity and inequity (unequal) have the same basic meaning. In the English language, both mean morally unfair. In the ten commandments (Exodus 20), it is not sin, which is passed down to the third and fourth generations, but iniquity. The context of the penalty of iniquity is the command to not make any images (idols). The heart behind this command is that we would not give our hearts to something which cannot satisfy. The image that is formed will be something that is served. The scripture shows us that iniquity and idolatry are linked together. In the Hebrew language, iniquity is represented by the word Avown’ [H5771]. Avown means to twist, to pervert, to be bent, or to be bowed down. To get a fuller understanding of this word, Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 make great studies.
Things we serve are modeled to our children. If the parents love and serve material things, the children will have a predisposition to love and serve material things.
One of the spiritual tools I have been trained in and taught to use is a Father’s blessing. It’s the idea that every spirit has a longing to be blessed by their earthly fathers and their heavenly father. The same holds true for mothers and their role in blessings. It’s also about redeeming what’s been lost through what has been served.
I recently have been astounded by what Paul Cox and his ministry (Aslan’s Place) have uncovered regarding Deuteronomy 28. I had been searching for a deeper truth of the cross of Jesus. Deuteronomy 28 describes in detail, more than most can bear regarding blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience to Mosaic law.
Scripture teaches that Jeshua (Jesus) became a curse for us as part of his atoning work on the cross. Which curses? All the curses for our disobedience towards Mosaic law fell upon him (Isaiah 53) . It is also important to note that we are also to be walking in the blessings of His obedience and righteousness through the work of His cross. When we have our eyes opened to what Jesus has done for us, it awakens our spirit to a deeper understanding of what has taken place on the cross. The cross serves as a message of transformation both in redeeming the curses in our bloodlines according to Mosaic law as well as receiving the blessings through His bloodline (see Galatians 5 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14). We love much when we recognize we have been forgiven much. The same applies towards receiving and the giving of blessings.
The word idol which goes closely along with iniquity is represented by the Hebew word Gillowl’ [H1544], which means log (as in round), something rolled, a trust, a commitment, to wallow, run down, on account of circumstances, and balls of dung (nice, huh).
Looking back at Ezekiel, the text suggests allowing the Lord to cleanse us from iniquity (inequity). The first application is towards acknowledging and confessing the things we have served or are serving. This also includes allowing the Lord to show us iniquity in our family bloodlines to confess and take to the cross. Study Deuteronomy 28 carefully and look for the presence of curses and blessings in your own life, your children, and your ancestors. It’s time to live in a fuller expression of freedom due to what has already been paid for. As we allow the Lord to cultivate the hard ground of our hearts, it can become a place that God delights in (Eden means pleasure) and inhabits. This is the testimony of Jesus, the transformation of the heart.