Monday, May 11, 2009

The Nature of Man's Will and Heart

Christians know that man’s will is predisposed to evil because man is a fallen, sinful creature. Man’s will is not separate from man’s nature. If man has a fallen nature, then he has a fallen will. And man’s will is free to act according to its nature. Since man’s fallen nature is in rebellion against God, so, too, the will of man is in rebellion against God. This is why we hear the Holy Scriptures declare:

Romans 3:10-12 10 “as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."

According to the Scriptures above, no man seeks for God – it is not his nature. As the Scripture states, it is man’s nature to turn aside from God. Left to himself, lost man will never choose Christ as his personal Savior. Even Satan cannot force man to turn away from Christ Jesus. The Evil One can tempt man to reject Jesus, but he cannot make him reject Jesus. Satan knows he doesn’t have to make man reject Jesus. Man is left to freely choose Christ, but because of man’s fallen nature, man will always reject Christ. Man cannot say, “The devil made me do it,” when it comes to turning aside from Jesus’ offer of salvation. Man is responsible for his own decisions and his own actions.

Man does not choose his desires, man chooses according to his desires. Where do the desires of man originate; they originate in the heart of man. This statement is validated by an observation made by the LORD concerning man:

“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5 ESV)

The average man, when given the choice between a plate of salad and a plate of French fries, will choose the French fries over the salad every time. He may say in his mind, “I desire the salad because I know that it is better for me; yet, he will still choose the French fries. Why? Because his heart wasn’t in it. It was not the desire of his heart – no matter what logic or reason his mind was presenting to him at the time. The same thing occurs when it comes to man rejecting sin and asking God to forgive him of his sins.

Man will acknowledge his sinfulness, but that doesn’t keep him from sinning. He may mentally desire to change his ways, his habits, etc. and reform himself, but he will never be successful at it. Why? Because it is NOT the desire of his heart to change. And when it comes to the heart, man cannot change it! He cannot change his heart because that change is not the true desire of his heart. As a hog loves slop, man loves his sin. His will is enslaved by the desires of his heart. Speaking of his human nature, the Apostle Paul wrote:

15 “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
(Rom 7:15-19 ESV)

Paul was confessing that, even with a changed heart, though he has the new desire to not want to sin, apart from the grace of God, he will continue to sin. For by grace through the enabling faith that Christ provides you, can a person live the Christian life.

Man cannot change his heart, only Christ can. By the grace of God, man must repent of his sin and Jesus Christ will give him a new heart that will beat for God.

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