On the need for a heart transplant

By Mark McIntyre

Heart-of-StoneThe heart of stone

It would seem to me that the depravity of man should not be in question given our track record for violence, greed, selfishness and prejudice.

The problem is that as a result of the rebellion in the garden, we have been damaged. This damage affects our thoughts and emotions. As a result, we cannot respond to God properly without his grace being poured out to change us.

If you acknowledge this as true, then the functional question then becomes “what can be done about it?”

In two places in the prophetic book that bears his name, Ezekiel diagnoses our problem by telling the nation of Israel that they had hearts of stone:

“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel 11:19, NASB)

“Moreover, 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.” (Ezekiel 36:26, NASB)

If we are honest, we will admit that apart from the work of God in our lives, we possess hearts of stone that cannot respond properly to God or to others.

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Behavior modification doesn’t work

Too much of the preaching I have heard over the years boils down to behavior modification, pray more, read more, give more, complain less . . . etc. To tell someone what to do without giving them the tools to do it is foolishness.

Real change cannot take place without the Grace of God working in us to transform our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. Apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ being operative in my life, I have little hope for real, sustained change…

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