Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Heart and Life: Notes and Gospel Reflection on Proverb 4:23


Text

With all preservation, watch over your heart, because from it [flow] the springs of life. (Prov 4:23)

Cross-Reference

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:45 NASB)

5Ws

Who? This is a general command, and yet the contents of the heart, expressed through speech, reveal two kinds of people: the good and the evil.

What? The heart—the faculty of the soul which is the seat of our desires—“the springs of life;” “treasure” (and a portion of that treasure), which is good or evil; speech.

When? The springs of life are always flowing and are particularly evident when we speak.

Where? The condition of our heart is particularly evident when we open our mouths to speak to others.

Why? Our heart, reflected by our speech, sets the whole course of our life, even into eternity.

How? We choose according to our greatest desire.

So what? These are verses of absolute good or absolute evil: of eternal life or eternal death.

2 Tim 3:16

Teaching: these passages teach us concerning the necessary God-created connection between heart, speech, and life.

Correcting: these passages correct us when we falter in vigilance concerning our hearts.

Rebuking: these passages rebuke us if we imagine that we can reform our lives or our speech without a fundamental change of heart.

Training in righteousness: these passages help train us to watch over our hearts for our own good, for the benefit of others, and for God’s glory.

Gospel Reflection

Due to the sin of Adam, our hearts have been radically corrupted, bent against God. Our vigilance and deeds in reforming our hearts—if we do begin to realize the adverse effects our corrupted hearts have on our lives—our will and works are utterly insufficient. We need the power of the Holy Spirit. We need redemption for our hearts. As our hearts are, by nature, in rebellion against God, we stand condemned as traitors against our Sovereign. We need the legal obstacle to our redemption—our condemnation under the justice of God
—removed.

Christ died, taking our condemnation in our place. But we must have more than forgiveness from the penalty of our sin; we must have redemption from the power of sin. Our hearts must be set free from the prison of sin. We must have our hearts cleansed from the pollution of sin. And as the old hymn celebrates:

[Christ] breaks the power of cancelled sin, 
He sets the prisoner free,
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

Having died for our sins, Jesus rose again on the third day, demonstrating that He was victorious over sin, death, and Hell. He now lives forever, offering salvation from sin and eternal life to all who believe in Him. He offers the power of the Holy Spirit, that we might guard our hearts, living lives that honor Him. By His grace and for His glory, dear reader, watch over your heart.

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