Christ Preparing our Hearts 27

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

Search and try your hearts, whether you are in the faith, and your hearts sound in the faith, and your hearts sound in God’s statutes. Ask seriously, have I the love that is sincere, the faith that is sound, soul-saving, sin-killing, and life reforming? Am I sure, my face and heart are really set Zion-ward and heaven-ward? II Corinthians 13:5

Since the soul is far more valuable than the whole world, it should be examined with that in mind. Sinners must not allow their pride, self, and deceptions to keep them from examining their own hearts and their faith, but instead should do so. Since there are only two places to spend eternity in, sinners should live in light of that eternity and seek the Lord Jesus to work in their hearts to prepare those hearts for Himself. But it is so hard, people say, to examine my heart as I only want to hear the positive things. Oh dear soul, you need to take a long and hard look at your soul. Paul told us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith and to see if Christ does indeed and in reality live in us. Oh if only people would see just how valuable their own souls are to them they would eagerly seek the Lord to show them their true spiritual condition. If only people would see just how valuable their own souls are to them, they would see just how little value the entire world should have to them.

The modern religious person will simply ask self if s/he believes and of course s/he does believe in some way, but that is far different from asking the soul if it has been born from above and truly has faith. It is one thing to simply have a belief about Christ, but it is quite another to have true faith. It is a dangerous thing to think that Scripture (in our English translation) means the same thing by “belief” as we do in the modern day. We know from the book of James that faith (translated as “belief” in many places) without works is dead. We should also know that it is a dangerous thing to ask our own hearts if we love God and others if we are using the modern culture as our way of defining love. It is easy to deceive our own hearts and have others deceive us when we use words that the English Bible uses and yet use a different meaning than the Bible uses.

It appears that it is common for people to think that they love God, yet in an age where people are taught that God loves each and every person it is not surprising for people to think that they love God. After all, Scripture teaches us that even sinners love those who love themselves (Mat 5:46). Even the tax collectors loved those who loved them. But how many people truly love God when things begin to turn against their worldly interests? How many people love God when they have a bad medical report? How many love God when there is a death of someone in the family? How many love God when they lost all of their financial security? How many love God when God appears to be against them in His providence and brings hard things into their lives? In other words, it is understandable when people profess to love God when things are going well in this life, but that is no proof that people have the love of God in them.

For those who are truly interested in knowing if they are converted or not, they need to search the Scriptures to find out what biblical faith is, what biblical love is, and what it means to really kill sin. Killing sin is not the same thing as suppressing the desires to do a certain action; being afraid that one will get caught doing an action, and becoming too busy to do the action. Killing sin is when God brings a trial to a person and the person is tested beyond his or her strength and has to die to all hope in self and the strength of self. Killing sin is not just stopping the sin, but it is dying to the love of that sin and being brought to a sense of being dead to that sin.

All of these things fall under Christ the Mediator and His offices. It is Christ who must prepare the heart by teaching the heart just how valuable it is to the person. It is Christ who must prepare the heart by teaching it about the true nature of Himself and what true faith is. It is Christ who must prepare the heart to kill sin by working death to self in the soul. It is Christ who must teach the person that all that comes from the strength of self is pride and self and that the person must look to grace alone. It is not coming up with faith that saves the soul, it is Christ alone by grace alone that saves the soul and grants faith to the soul. It is not loving God or others than saves our souls, it is Christ alone by grace alone that saves the soul and then abides in the soul giving it true love. The heart must be broken from thinking that it can break itself and it must look to Christ alone for that breaking and true faith.

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