The following list of words are used by God to describe the state of man. Jeremiah 17:9 says, concerning the human heart (See Endnote #1), that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” The Hebrew word translated “desperately,” means in the literal “incurable.” With the human heart being incurably wicked is it any wonder that the following synonyms are all negative.
Man, by nature is:
& Unclean (Isaiah 64:6)
& Vial (Job 40:4)
& Unable to Help Himself (John 15:5)
& In Bondage (II Peter 2:19)
& No Soundness in Him (Isaiah 1:6)
& Full of Vanity (Psalms 39:5)
& Full of Foolishness (Psalms 22:15)
& Destitute of Freedom (Isaiah 61:1)
& Destitute of Goodness (Romans 7:18)
& Destitute of Righteousness (Isaiah 64:6)
& Destitute of Wisdom (Romans 3:11)
& Destitute of Strength (Romans 5:6)
& Destitute of Power (Isaiah 40:29)
& Bond slave to Many Kinds of Lust (Titus 3:3)
& Cannot Cease From Sin (II Peter 2:17)
& Under Dominion of Sin (John 8:34)
& Fulfills the Lust of his Father the Devil (John 8:44)
& Walks According to the Prince of the Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2)
& Can be Taken Captive by Satan at his Will (II Timothy 2:26)
& Completely Dominated by Satan (Colossians 1:13) (See Endnote #2)
There are many in the church today who would respond to this list by saying, “yes, this is the way we were before Christ but what does the Scripture say concerning us now, especially seen in light of 2 Corinthians 5:17, which states:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
What we need to consider is the most important aspect of this passage is the word “in.”
This is how we are in Christ, yet as we are still in the flesh on this earth, we are subject not only to the law of the Spirit, but to the law of the flesh, until we leave this earthly Tabernacle (John 1:14).
This is where Paul explains to us the conflict that the believer lives in day by day as he refers to in Romans 7:14-25, which states:
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
The Immature Christian Mindset
For those that would distort God’s Word either intentionally or not unintentionally, the verbs used in this passage are all present tense, meaning that he, Paul is describing his current condition (a verb in present tense is Continuous Action – it Never stops) as a born-again believer – a continuous state while alive on earth, not in the past tense prior to being a new creature in Christ, his ongoing state where: “sin that dwelleth in me,” never stops.
Where we must focus is in the last two sentences of this passage, specially concerning the word “through“, because it is through Jesus Christ that we can serve God’s law in our mind, meaning that the Holy Spirit convicts us of violating God’s law, and we chose to obey moment by moment, while at the same time understanding Paul’s use of the word “but,” where he describes that in the flesh, we are still subject to the sin nature wherein we will sin at some point in our day.
This passage is meant for mature believers wherein the previous six chapters of Romans is Paul’s Gospel concerning Christianity, and his presumption at this point is that he is not dealing with baby believers, those that would seek to continue to sin, while being children of God.
That’s why many believers have a hard time with this position, and misunderstand and think that this is a license to sin. If you want to know if a man is carnal or not, look at how he approaches this passage. For those that think this gives license to sin, they display an immature understanding of the Gospel as Paul presents it.
Over and over again, throughout his letters, Paul addresses how sin is not what the mature believer attempts to get away with, to find excuses to sin; this is what the baby believer does, in spite of their spiritual side. And if this is not clear, 1 John 1:8-10 states:
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
In verse 8, again the verb (Greek: echo), which is a “primary verb” is translated into the English: “we have” is in the present tense, and in the full grammatical breakdown is:
Present Tense: Continuous Action – Never stops ~ The person never stops doing the sin.
Active Voice: The Subject Causes the Action (Object Receives Action) ~ The person does the sin, chooses it.
Indicative Mood: Mood of Certainty – A Reality ~ A fact, there are no exceptions, everyone keeps on sinning.
First-person: Applies to the Speaker (“I” – “We”)
Plural number: Applies to All ~ It applies to everyone
And in verse 10, the verb (Greek: hamartano), is translated into the English: “sinned” is in the perfect tense, and in the full grammatical breakdown is:
Perfect Tense: Completed in the Past, with Results in the Present ~ The person started in sin and lives in sin now.
Active Voice: Subject Causes the Action (Object Receives Action) ~ The person does the sin, chooses it.
Indicative Mood: Mood of Certainty – A Reality ~ A fact, there are no exceptions, everyone keeps on sinning..
First-person: Applies to the Speaker (“I” – “We”) ~ This is to you and I
Plural number: Applies to All ~ It applies to everyone
As you can see the Holy Spirit leaves us no wiggle room, we all have sinned, do sin, and will sin!
The Mature Christian Mindset
Paul and John address our flesh as a curse that we must live with wherein we make day by day choices in our mind to serve God’s law – this is what the mature believer understands about the dual nature we now reside in, only and immature believers attempt to find out how little he must do to be a Christian, how much sin he can get away with in order to still get into heaven. As we grow in Christ and understand the depravity and consequences of sin, we should seek to run away from it, we are to “flee” from sin (1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Cor. 10:14; and also James 4:7), understanding that as Paul says it’s always within us, to desire and do.
The Power of Sin
The reason we must understand our own sinfulness is so we can better understand how to deal with it, why we need to keep repenting, and stay on our knees in humility before God; and why pride is so hated by God; but there is one other (and there are other reasons, but I must keep this short) reason we must understand how strong sin is; in order to answer the greatest question levied again the God of Christianity.
The question is:
Why would a righteous God Crucify his Own Son who is innocent of any sin?
You see rather we recognize it or not this is the question that God answers throughout the ages in what He does. You see what we do not see or think about perhaps is the concept that how can a Holy Perfect God, be both just and merciful, because these two qualities are opposite of each other.
A just judge cannot show mercy to the defendant, a merciful judge cannot display justice in his verdict. Yet God found a way to be both. Justice concerning the law by demanding that punishment is rendered, while also displaying mercy and that can we found by the guilty would because another paid the price for those that actually committed the crime.
Adam, What a Jerk
I used to think, “it’s not fair that because of one man, Adam; all mankind are condemned.” Yet, God in is justice made it so all mankind could be saved by one man, Jesus; who would die for us and pay for our sin. This is what the Holy Spirit was saying in 1 Corinthians 15:22, which states:
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (also see: 1 Cor. 15:45, 47)
This is why Jesus, of the seven things that He said on the cross (see Endnote #3) stated:
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46)
Jesus was not asking about why God would forsake him (Remember, the plan of salvation, wherein Christ died for the sins of the world was conceived of before the foundation of the world as seen in 1 Peter 1:19-20, which states: “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” – See Psalms 2, which is a three-way conversation of the Trinity concerning the plan of salvation. Also see Psalm 22, which appears to be an Old Testament description of the crucifixion that Christ would go through century’s later.), we must understand there is no punctuation in the Greek, the question mark is added by the translators that took this to be a question. Within this grammar, Jesus is making a statement in the form of a question, in order to make His point.
We must also remember that after Jesus stated this, that there was a centurion at his feet, which stated:
“Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man“ (Luke 23:47).
Think about it, why did God have Abraham play out the sacrificing of his son, perhaps on the same hill of Golgotha (Meaning: “the Place of the Skull,” translated into the Latin and Anglicized into the English: “Calvary.” – Also, some believe that it was 2000 years to the day from the time of Abraham’s sacrifice, to the day that Jesus was sacrificed by His Father ), as the ultimate proof of Abraham’s faith.
Abraham, What a Faither
We seem to gloss over the true impact of what God was asking Abraham to do. God had already declared an abomination of sacrificing children to the deities of pagans; therefore why would God seem to violate His own law. And how much harder would it be for Abraham to follow God’s command to sacrifice his son, knowing this fact.
Abraham acted and responded in faith to God, even at the cost of his own son, yet believe in and faith that he would be resurrected if that’s what God need to do due to fulfill his previous promises concerning his lineage (How many believers today, if told by God to sacrifice their child would question the command, or completely defy it, claiming God was a hypocrite).
It was a shadow of that which was to come. Have you ever really thought about it? Isaac walked up the hill to his own sacrifice, carrying the wood that he would be sacrificed on his back. There were two witnesses that came with them to the mount, who Abraham had told that they would be back, both of them (Gen. 22:5).
The promise of Abraham’s seed was made through Isaac only, indicating that Abraham believed that God would resurrect his son to fulfill God’s promise. When Isaac, in his 30s (33?), asked where was the sacrifice (Gen. 22:7), and in the literal Hebrew Abraham stated: “God will provide himself for the sacrifice,” which God did do 2000 years later when his own Son was led to that mountain and was crucified for the sins of the world. In fact and in fact, Abraham named that mountain: “In the mount of Jehovah it will be seen” (Gen. 22:14). But what will be seen? The most amazing act ever performed, that of God Himself sacrificing His Own Son. This is the pivotal point of history, and the greatest display of love ever shown.
Though the Scripture declares that all three persons of the Trinity were involved in the crucifixion of Christ (John 10:18; as they were all involved in the resurrection is well), ultimately it was God the Father who was responsible (“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” ~ Rom. 8:32; John 19:11).
The answer to the question of the ages concerning the God of Christianity, “Why would He kill His own Son,” is because of His love for us, and because the power of sin is so strong and evil that to nullify it, took the greatest act of love in sacrifice, something mere humans could never fully understand, but could love a God like this in return.
“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7)
1. The Correct Meaning of the Biblical Word Translated into the English word “Heart.“
Have you ever found yourself asking what the Bible means when it uses the word “heart” in many scriptures, such as:
“Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear.“ (Gen. 17:17)
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psa. 119:11)
“The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” (Pro. 15:14)
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:10)
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15)
The reason this sounds unusual to us in reading our English translations of the Bible is because to us the “heart” is the seat of the emotions, and emotions are feelings which are never thoughts or reasoning, which are both capacities of the mind. The reason for this misunderstanding is the difference between what the Hebrew and Greek languages mean when they use the word “heart” in the Bible and what the word heart has come to mean in 21st-century America. Thus the following explanation.
Heart & Mind ~
The word “heart,” as it is used in the Bible, does not mean the same as the English word heart. Both in the Hebrew (leb ~ H3820, lebab ~ H3824, and labab ~ H3823, and other derivatives it is used over 860 times), and Greek (kardia ~ G2588, is used over 170 times) languages, the word “heart” is specific & refers to the complete inner man, and never solely concerning the emotions, as it does in the English understanding of the word. The word first & most primarily refers to the:
1) Mind; which is the primary aspect, then the
2) Emotions; and lastly the
3) “Seat of the Will,” discretion, where choices are made between what the mind thinks and the feelings and desires of the emotions.
It is unbiblical to treat the word “heart” as synonymous with emotions, as the word is used primarily of the rational thinking mind which is what we serve God with. To allow emotions to primarily make decisions is unbiblical and leaves an individual to soulish folly. Decisions and directions are always to be determined with a rational mind where discretion, according to God’s Word and Will are in control. To allow the emotions, which are primarily controlled by the sinful fallen nature of man, to control us is against all Biblical admonitions. This is why we are told to have the “mind of Christ,” with the Holy Spirit making sure that there is no ambiguity concerning the place of rational thought in the life of the believer.
This is not to say that the emotions are to be completely set aside, it is the emotions that bring joy to life, and greater meaning when used and felt correctly. Otherwise, without emotions life would be dull and we would function more like robots that might men. It is with the emotions that worship and gratitude, as well as love and compassion many times flow. Yet, the emotions are not meant to create rationality. Emotions always functions as a response to something else and never meant to be the activating event.
2. The Scripture references concerning sin were provided by Koininia Ministries.
3. The 7 Things Jesus Said From the Cross
1. “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
2. “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son” (John 19:26)
3. “Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” (John 19:27)
4. “And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
5. “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, `into Your hands I commend My spirit.’ ” And having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46)
6. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” (Matt. 27:46)
7. “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, it is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30)
Looks as if I’m in the “IN” crowd, in Christ yet still in the flesh, but by definition do have a heart, hey great post.
Yes, Rockman, you have an INnocent heart because your INlighted and INfilled by the Holy Spirit which makes you IN touch with our Savior. You are also a little INsane, which is another reason why you are my best friend, birds of a feather and all that. bb