While visiting with a few ladies recently, one of them said, “The Bible says our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked.” I knew she was quoting Jeremiah 17:9 and I could not stay silent. In love I responded that people sometimes quote that verse referring to all people, including Christians, but this was written before Jesus came and gave His life for us. It is true that before Christ, we were sinners and our hearts were not right, but once Jesus takes up residence in our lives, we are no longer “sinners” and no longer have deceitful hearts.
Hear me out, please! I did not say we no longer sin. We do. We still miss the mark, but we are not “sinners.” I challenge you to find a scripture that calls us sinners once we are born again. In fact, we are referred to as “saints.” When Paul wrote several of the letters to the churches, he began with “to the saints.” Even to the church at Corinth which was a mess, Paul stressed they were “saints by calling.” (I Corinthians 1:2) They were allowing immorality, quarreling about which leader they should follow, and were not using spiritual gifts correctly and were comparing themselves with each other. But despite their sins and failures, Paul never called them sinners. He referred to them as saints.
How can that be? Because it’s all about our position before God, not our behavior. Of course, if we are believers, our heart’s desire should be to live for Jesus and please Him. but sainthood has to do with our standing with God. In the same way we are no longer sinners, we no longer have deceitful hearts. II Corinthians 5:17 says, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” What new things? A new heart and a new spirit!
Ezekiel 36:26 says when the new covenant comes, “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. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Our heart is now good! There will be times we make mistakes and fail, but our heart is still good. It’s our soul – our mind, will, and emotions – that are the problem. Ephesians 3:7 says Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. He cannot dwell where there is evil according to Psalms 5:4.
If we want to live a life of victory, we must have the revelation that we are no longer sinners, but saints. We must not allow the lies of the enemy that try to convince us that we have an evil heart because we are not perfect. To have confidence before God, we must realize that our heart is good. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I John 3:21 says, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”
We can come boldly to the throne of grace with no condemnation because of our position in Christ and because we have a new heart and a new spirit. We are in right-standing with God! Don’t let anyone deceive you by saying your heart is wicked. Your heart is good. Jesus dwells there!