Christ Preparing our Hearts 38

Come to Christ, a poor lost and undone wretch, hopeless and helpless; as to an only, able and merciful Savior. Cry out as one sinking under the waves and boisterous tempests of sin. Master save or else I perish. If Thou wilt, thou can. Say with Thomas, My Lord and my God! My Christ and my Savior! (Unknown)

Away with unprofitable controversies: spend your thoughts rather upon this momentous question, “Am I sound, or am I rotten at heart?” “Am I a new creature, or the old disguised in borrowed clothing?” Let it be your prayer that you may not be given up to a heedless and vain spirit, and then have religious duties for a show to beguile and hush your conscience…Deceive not yourself with names and notions; they cannot change your heart. If you are still impenitent, if you have not been renewed and sanctified by the Spirit of God, it matters little by what name you are called, or how warmly you advocate the distinguishing doctrines of the Gospel; you are in the sight of God a guilty, perishing sinner. (John Flavel)

When Christ calls the weary and heavy-laden to Himself in Matthew 11, He is essentially calling the lost and undone wretch. He is calling the hopeless and the helpless. He is calling those who are utterly undone and have lost all hope in themselves. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior and He will teach people that in their hearts. He will convict them of their sin as against Him and He will convict them or their sinful nature and what that means. As has been said before, men are not sinners because they sin, but they sin because they are sinners. Men are profoundly lost and profoundly blind and unable to help themselves. They are dead in sin and by nature they are children of wrath.

The person that Christ has taught in the inward man that the doctrine of depravity is not just some objective intellectual truth but is true of “me” in the heart, that person understands that s/he must be made a new creature in Christ Jesus. As long as people think that these are just truths we need to understand, they will not have the deep conviction that this is something that must happen to them. This is the type of person that begins to understand that the issue is not just a truth that must be known, but that this is a vital reality. I must be made a new creature by the grace of God or I will perish. The person taught of Christ will no longer be satisfied with a study of doctrine, though indeed that is needful, that now understands that Christ must teach the heart and lead it to a desperate state of knowing that the true state of the heart is vital.

The soul that Christ teaches no longer studies from a totally objective and intellectual level, that soul longs to know the truth about the very nature of its own soul. It wants to know if it is a new creature or if it has disguised itself with religious activities and religious beliefs. It examines itself to know (as Paul said to do in II Cor 13:5) if Christ is in it or not. When Christ awakens the soul to where it begins to search itself and begins to see the eternal importance as opposed to something of this life that soul will begin or continue an earnest seeking to know of its true state before God. Oh how this awakened person will feel the weight of sin as the conviction of the Spirit works. Oh how this person will feel the utter lack of righteousness as the Spirit opens the eyes to that. Oh how that person will feel the weight of eternal wrath when the Spirit teaches him or her that. Now the world is seen for what it is, a vain and empty deception.

The awakened soul will begin to be made aware by the work of Christ that names and doctrines and the thinking of men have deceived it. The soul will grow less and less satisfied with preaching that focuses on anything but spiritual realities and wants preaching that focuses on driving the soul away from self and away from what self can do to Christ alone. The soul that has been brought to see the vanity, emptiness, and deception of names and doctrines that are not brought into a spiritual focus and application to the soul will be nauseated when it sees how blinded it was by those things. The very same truth that was used as religion to blind the soul is now a truth that brings conviction to the soul and brings thirst to it for the true Christ. Even the doctrines of Christ can be used to blind a soul to its own state as knowledge puffs up. Oh how this awakened soul wants to know Christ and if indeed it has Christ. Nothing else will satisfy this soul now.

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