A NEW HEART
INTRO: While sitting in hospital room with approximately 10 people waiting for the same procedure, one remarked that his situation was bit different. Angiogram was the procedure all or most were having including this man. However, he, being 71 and looking 60, told of how guilty he felt. This visit was just a routine yearly assessment to see that his new-to-him heart was still functioning properly. His story was that at about 60 years of age there was no hope of him living except if he received a transplant. And he did. A 43 year old man donated his heart and this man became the recipient. A second chance!
His guilt was due to the fact that another, a younger man, had to die in order for him to live.
Sometimes when I sing a song, I feel emotional because of the words that the melody is carrying to me. Even a secular song about a man growing old and feeble, wishing it could have been different, but it is now too late. Listen, "The muscles in his arms just like his run down farm, soon withered up and slowly disappeared. One hard working man, two hard working hands were giving up after al these years. His aging eyes grew dim and the lady that worshipped him, sat crying on a chair beside his bed..."
But think about being new physical life because of someone else. But more, The One who said, "It is better to enter life without sight, or crippled than to have a great physical body and enter hell," and, to a man whose legs were crippled, "your sins are forgiven..." is the same God who promised Israel a new heart. Listen, "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God."- Ezek. 36:26-28
The only way this could happen is if there was a sacrifice sufficient for the situation. And the only time this came to pass was through Jesus and in His church. No Israelite ever received this promise except through the same one who supplies our new hearts.
I) VIEWING THIS FROM "BEFORE"
A) Before We Knew God Loved Us
1) There never was a time He didn't, but a time we didn't have that knowledge.
2) "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way..."- Isa. 53:6
B) Before We Knew The Price Had Already Been Paid
1) "... and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”
2) That means God used grace- Rom. 6:23- no cost!
C) Before We Understood The Meaning Of Atonement
1) "To atone for" means to pay the price for. That was the Jesus factor
2) But God was not moved by our helplessness. It was for Jesus!- Rom.3:23; Jno. 15:25-no cause!
3) ILLUST: We trample the blood of the Son of God if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only explanation for the forgiveness of God and for the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the atonement which He has worked out for us. It does not matter who or what we are; there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because He died. It is not earned, but accepted. All the pleading which deliberately refuses to recognize the Cross is of no avail; it is battering at a door other than the one that Jesus has opened. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement is a propitiation whereby God, through the death of Jesus, makes an unholy man holy.
II) VIEWING THIS FROM "AFTER"
A) Our Physical Hearts Takes A Lickin' And Keep On Tickin'
1) Even with poor health habits,they keep pumping life-blood
2) 35 million times/year and 2.5 billion times /an average life.
B) The New Heart Is Not Limited By Years
1) It is an eternal heart. This life is of the eternal variety- John 10:10; I John 5:13
2) The "Great Physician" keeps us healthy long after our transplant- Rom. 5:1-10
(a) The "life of Jesus" refers to his present help. Heb. 7:25
(b) We still need to visit Him for regular routine spiritual angiograms
(c) We must eat proper spiritual food and engage in healthy habits
(d) Walking with the Lord is great spiritual exercise for our new heart.
C) Our View Should Be Free From Guilt
1) Recall the one negative thing we heard was "I feel guilty”
(a) Perhaps our friend who had received a younger man's heart meant:
(i) He felt indebtedness. This is natural- Rom. 1:14
(ii) Or that he daily experienced gratitude. Thanksgiving- the right attitude.
(iii) Perhaps he was thinking how blessed he was and is now humbled by it.
(b) All the above would apply to our new heart but not guilt.
2) "Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and ... the Lord makes his life a guilt offering..."- Isa. 53:10
(a) We know for certain that "the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" :
(i) Sets us free from sin's penalty, practice and guilt
(ii) "All to Jesus I surrender" includes the guilt.
(b) If you have guilt, it is because you did something wrong....again.
(i) Jesus can take that away too.... I John 2:2
(ii) ILLUST: In the land of Goshen God required that blood be placed on the doorpost as a means of saving the life of all the firstborn. Only those who truly believed that God could save them would do this. "The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt." -Ex. 12:13. Note that God was not looking for perfection but blood. In the N.T. it is said, "Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed."-I Cor. 5:7. That is why we can read and heed another verse to give us confidence, "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”
GRIMSBY, AUG. 2/09