Why You Will Never Give Your Heart to Jesus
The human heart is the seat of emotion. My dog dies, and it breaks my heart. In the Bible, the heart is also the seat of our very being. It is not just emotion, but there is also an intellect there. One is said to follow his heart. Together, the heart and mind make up the soul.
In man-centered theology, the objective is to replace Christ, as the subject of our thoughts and emotions, and to replace Him with the self. Obviously, this is an aberration, even a perversion. This interest in self, rather than Christ, is a product of the devil’s deception.
Satan has been there from the beginning, tempting men and women to replace Christ as Lord, with self, “You shall be like God (Gen 3:5).” His presence, as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), is to persuade men to take control of their destiny and to make it happen for themselves.
When a person is made aware of Jesus, the devil is quick to introduce false doctrine, in order for his deception to continue. Whereas the Bible instructs us to fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2), the devil instructs one to fix his eyes on self.
In his work of deception, the devil uses the language of the Bible and theology (Mt 4:1–11; Lk 4:1–13). He is shrewd to make sure words are defined in a different way than the Bible employs them. For example, let us consider the word “faith.” The Bible teaches that faith is a gift of God (Eph 2:8–9), granted to those who receive God’s gracious Spirit (Jn 7:39; Phil 1:29), in the measured allotment of His choosing (Rom 12:3). Not all have faith (2 Thess 3:2), because not all are of God (Jn 8:47), or belong to Christ (Jn 10:26; 1 Cor 3:23), nor can they receive His Spirit (Jn 14:17).
The devil twists the meaning of the word “faith” so that people believe they are in control of it. This is true of the word “heart” too.
The devil convinces people that they are masters of their own soul. He persuades them to believe they have control of their own hearts and minds. He deceives them into thinking they have the power to give their hearts to Jesus.
The soul of the natural man is dead to God from conception (Ps 51:5; Eph 2:1–3). He has zero capacity to comprehend the things of God (Jn 1:5; 1 Cor 2:14). His heart is wicked and deceitful (Jer 17:9). It only intends to do evil all the time (Gen 6:5). That is a very strange gift for a man to give to the holy God. The truth is man can give nothing to God, except filthy rags (Is 64:6). God obviously does not accept your dirty heart.
The Bible is not a self-help book. It is the revelation of God to man — that is only cherished by those who have been given His Spirit to believe it. What we believe is what God’s Word tells us about the Trinity and all the works of God that show us our salvation. If the Bible says anything about people, it is that some sinners receive mercy and grace, and others do not receive them.
Mercy and grace are shown to those who have the Spirit of God’s Son. In this revelation, God makes known what He has done to transplant the sinner’s heart of stone, with a heart of flesh (Ezek 11:19; 36:26). It is never one giving his or her heart to God. It is God giving the object of His love (e. g. elect, redeemed)…a new heart. He fills that heart with His light and love (Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 4:6), by His Spirit’s presence (2 Cor 5:5).
God’s Word shows us the requirement, the standard for pleasing God by obedience. An honest soul will not hide the obvious failure to obey. We must always repent of our self-judgment of acceptability with God. No man is ever acceptable to God, save for Jesus Christ. Then the matter is not performance, but whether one has become the recipient of God’s mercy and grace. This is God’s decision to bestow, not man’s choice.
Christians must always avoid man-centered theology because it leads people astray. It always places emphasis on the sinner’s, or even the believer’s work, to have favor with God. Nobody gives anything to God…who created and owns everything.
One may object, “Well, I bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.” Ok, then answer a simple question, “Did you worship God before He gave you His Spirit?” Your honest answer, of course, is “No.” Then, what is the catalyst for you giving honor and glory to God, today? It is the Spirit of God, who indwells you (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Jas 4:5). If He does, then your testimony is not, “I am giving my heart to Jesus,” but “Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20).”
All that we have is from God (Rom 11:36). It belongs to Him (Ps 24:1). He is the owner of everything, considering that He is the Creator of everything (Col 1:16). He is Lord of all (Acts 10:36; 17:24), and the giver of every good and perfect gift (Jas 1:17). If that is true, then, why are you taking credit for giving your heart (a truly rotten gift) to Jesus? You are sorely mistaken.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 29, 2022