NOTE: Just had cataract surgery, so I’m posting a couple of older sermons until my eye adjusts a bit.
[SW105] 08/31/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“A Holy Heart”
–A heart wholly (completely) His, one He has not only entered into but reigns within, so we are containers for His Holy Spirit, tents in which the presence of the Lord dwells (see John 14:23).
–His love fills our hearts and overflows to the world around us. (Romans 5:5)
–His power and presence shine from us, though we ourselves are not aware of it. (He sometimes lets us know through those who see it, to encourage us.) (Philippians 2:15)
–Our hearts are pure [2513, clean, clear], and we see [stare at, discern clearly, attend to, experience, behold] God. (Matthew 5:8)
–We become His witnesses (Acts 1:8
HOW A HOLY HEART HAPPENS:
It is not achieved by us, but by God.
Haggai 2:12 ‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered, “No.”
Being touched externally by holiness (see examples below) does not make you holy/pure in heart:
–sensing God’s holy presence, a holy hush
–receiving an encouraging touch from God, a stirring in your heart
–being healed by Jesus of disease, or delivered from a demon
Haggai 2:13 Then Haggai said, “ If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.”
–And if you are only outwardly holy (following the rules with unchanged hearts), touching the unholy will defile you. The result?
–You try to externally avoid the sinful (do not taste, do not touch) but you are yet a slave to sin and you fail in your attempts to avoid it.
–Even the attempt to avoid sin in our own power is itself sinful, because you are trying to earn your way to heaven by avoiding sin. Your own works will not get us to heaven — only God’s work can do that!
–You become like the Pharisees, avoiding people you see as “impure” so their impurity won’t rub off on you. Thus you sin, again attempting to get to heaven by your own means, and blocking others from entering.
But here is the Lord’s promise to His wayward people who TURN back to Him, thus proving Himself holy:
Ezekiel 36:24 “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “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. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
–Obeying rules does not make you holy, but when God gives you a new heart and a new spirit, you become holy and you obey Him. Do you see the difference?
Obeying rules is outward and external; you are trying to work our own salvation. But when He has given you a new heart, your obedience happens “naturally” because the Lord’s Spirit now rules and reigns.
THE WATCHMAN’S WARNING
Jesus says this: What proceeds from your mouth reveals your heart — whether it is holy or not holy, His or not His (Matthew 15:10-20), whether you are following rules externally or whether He has given us a new heart, whether we give God lip service (Matthew 15:8) or have a new heart that enables us to live what we speak.
Jesus says that many in His church follow Him outwardly, but their hearts are far from Him. He sets the plumb line today (Amos 7:8).
Christian, if you will agree with Him about your heart, He will change your heart and fill you with His Spirit.
Oh, beloved! I pray the prayers Paul prayed did for the churches at Thessalonica and Ephesus:
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
Paul prays this for those who are presently living and who know Christ . . . it is possible to be filled with His Holy Spirit and live with a holy heart, here and now! He will do it, when you ask Him.
Listen to Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus:
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
–You will have a holy heart that is wholly (completely) His, He will not only enter into you but reign in you, making you a container for His Holy Spirit, a tent in which the presence of the Lord dwells (see John 14:23).
–His love will fill your heart and overflow to the world around you. (Romans 5:5)
–His power and presence will shine from you, though you yourself will not be aware of it. (But He sometimes will let you know through those who see it, to encourage you.) (Philippians 2:15)
–Your hearts will be made pure [2513, clean, clear], and you will see [stare at, discern clearly, attend to, experience, behold] God. (Matthew 5:8)
–When you stand before Him one day, He will know you. You will not be a foolish virgin (Matthew 25:12).
Beloved, do not be like the man with one talent who hid it:
Matthew 25:26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
Matthew 25:29 “ For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [a new heart from God], even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
You do not have a hard Master,
but one who came down
(so you do not have to bring Christ down to hear His words)
and died and rose again
(so you don’t have to bring Him up from the dead to hear His words),
But His words are in your mouth, if you have eaten them today,
and in your heart (see Romans 10:6-8).
So . . . believe His words and obey them!
You have received Christ as Savior . . . now receive Him as Lord by yielding to Him completely.
You will be filled with the Holy Spirit, you will have a holy heart, you will multiply what He has given you, and when you stand before Him, you will hear Him say,
Matthew 25:21 “. . . ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”
Beloved, our salvation from our past sins is sure. But equally sure is the Lord’s command for a holy heart, and we must obey Him!