In the heart renewed by the Divine Spirit, love is the ruling principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, and ennobles the affections.
Through the influence of the Spirit, enmity against God is changed into faith and love, and pride into humility. The soul perceives the beauty of truth, and Christ is honored in excellence and perfection of character.
In the renewed heart there is hatred of sin and determined resistance against it.
Conversely, in the unregenerate heart there is love of sin, and a disposition to cherish and excuse it.
The heart must be renewed by divine grace. If not, it will be in vain to seek for purity of life.
The one who attempts to build up a noble, virtuous character independent of the grace of Christ is building his house upon the sand. Matthew 7:26.
In the storms of temptation it will surely be overthrown.
The Scriptures describes the heart metaphorically where the following take place:
- thoughts, actions, secrets, intents, cares of life, self esteem, keeping the word, dwelling place of the Spirit.
- speak, love, serve, thrust, fear, think, believe, forgive, commune, understand, obey, cherish, doubt, imagine, trouble, sorrow, rejoice, lie, conceive, decide, purpose, strife, worship, ponder, reason, desire, pray, sing, comfort, cry, establish, harden, deceive, sanctify, condemn, boast, meditate, despise, consider, work iniquity, turn away, exalt.
- holiness, pure, lust, evil, grace, meekness, pride, hardness, true, gladness, peace, right, blindness, perverse, wax gross, foolish, perfect, impenitent, wise, steadfast, anguish, wicked, unbelief, covetous, upright, rebellious.
The Bible authors use the term heart as a figure of speech to explain:
- state of being
- character traits and personal attributes
- moral values and standards
- love and emotions
- decision making process.
This list is not exhaustive.
There are 884 Bible results for “heart” from King James Version according to BibleGateway
All is changed in the purified heart
This transformation of character is the testimony to the world of an indwelling Christ.
Weak and erring men and women show to the world that the redeeming power of God can cause the faulty character to develop into symmetry and abundant fruitfulness.
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3:3.
The basis of every right action existing and operating in the renewed heart secures obedience without external or selfish motives.
The spirit of truth and a good conscience are sufficient to inspire and regulate the motives and conduct of those who learn of Christ and are like Him.
Those who have never learned their duty from God, and acquainted themselves with His purposes concerning them, are not reliable in times of severe conflict with the powers of darkness.
They are swayed by external and present appearances.
Therefore, they should not seek to strengthen themselves in the performance of duty by any other consideration than a love to obey every requirement of God as found in His Word and dictated by an enlightened conscience.
The power of Christ alone can work the transformation in heart and mind that all must experience who would partake with Him of the new life in the kingdom of heaven.
Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.
The religion that comes from God is the only religion that can lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the Divine Spirit.
This will purify the heart and renew the mind, and give us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us willing obedience to all His requirements. This is a true worship.
The character is transformed by divine work. For the Lord said:
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. Ezekiel 36:26.
This is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether.
I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Galatians 2:20.
How shall we know that we are in Christ?
We may know it by the character of our fruit. The fruit borne on the Christian tree is holiness of heart. Furthermore it is a wholeness to Christ. Thus Christians will:
- have God constantly in their thoughts
- love those for whom Christ has died
- follow Christ in the path of self-denial
- their life will be ascribe with the love of Jesus
- delight more in contemplation of the love of God than in anything the world can offer.
There can be only love, thankfulness and praise when the heart is renewed by the Divine Spirit. Thus consecration to God is maintained, because Jesus is within – the hope of glory.
If we are one with Christ, we shall be Christlike. This is the great power of God. And yet we are commanded:
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good-pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13.
Jesus laid before Nicodemus the conditions of conversion.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.
Perplexed and wondering, Nicodemus said: How can these things be?
Jesus said – Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? A teacher, one of the wise men, stumbled at the doctrine of conversion!
Nicodemus was not willing to admit the truth, because he could not understand all that was connected with the operation of the power of God.
He was looking to forms and ceremonies as more essential to religion than the deep moving of the Spirit of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7.
If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16.
We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matthew 22:37,39.
The entire Law of God is fulfilled in those who love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. This is the revelation of God through Jesus Christ to the world.
Furthermore, it is Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14.
The work Christianity is designed to achieve in the world is not to depreciate the law of God. Moreover, not to detract from its sacred dignity in the slightest degree.
It is to write that law in the mind and heart.
When the law of God is thus implanted in the soul of the believer, he or she is approaching eternal life through the merits of Jesus.
This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3.
I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:26.
The object of the gospel is met when this great end is achieved.
By nature the heart is evil
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one. Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7.
The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old life. It is a full transformation of the entire being – mind, spirit and character. It is done through beholding the Infinite Love.
Thus the child of God yields to the divine influence and receives the mind of Christ. Everyone is to stand before God with an individual faith, and experience.
Furthermore, knowing for himself or herself that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. From this time on Christ is all and in all.
The change in human heart is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Savior, working to rescue souls. This is God’s witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son.
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4;23, 24.
The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is continuous. There is a death to sin and self, and a new life altogether. It is necessary for the perfection of Christian character.
Our daily lives are determining our destiny. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.
Those who haven’t acquainted themselves with God’s purposes concerning them, are not reliable in times of conflict with the powers of darkness.
Therefore, they should through love seek to obey every requirement of God as found in His Word and dictated by their enlightened conscience.
The kingdom of God
The kingdom of God begins in the heart. It does not come with an outward show. Look not here or there for manifestations of earthly power to mark its coming.
The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:20, 21.
Except an individual being born again, he or she can not understand the character of the heavenly kingdom, or discern its spiritual nature.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.
In other words, what we all need is an inward transformation. Furthermore, we need to have a new heart.
God’s will is to purify and refine the defiled soul. Then He will implant in the heart His own righteousness, peace and health, and mankind will become complete in Him.
This is the kingdom of God within you
If Christ rules in your heart, you will be:
- crucifying the flesh with the affections and lusts
- keeping your feet from going into forbidden paths
- saved from yielding to temptation
- hoping to be kept pure, spotless, and undefiled till the last
- willing to make any sacrifice to place eternal life within the reach of others
- gaining strength of principle and ability to stand faithful
- established in God.
Thus, what grace has begun, glory will crown in the kingdom of God.
Christ dwells in the heart by faith
Christ had spoken an eternal truth regarding the relation between Himself and His followers. He knew the character of those who claimed to be His disciples. Moreover, His Word tested their faith.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love;… And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19.
He declared that they were to believe and act upon His teaching. All who received Him would partake of His nature and be conformed to His character.
This involved the renunciation of their cherished ambitions. It required the complete surrender of themselves to Jesus.
By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering and thirsting people.
They will find that Christ is a personal Savior. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus.
If this is your experience, you will certainly represent to the world the fact that you are complete in Him.
I no longer live but Christ lives in me
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20.
Apostle Paul showed us that his sufficiency was not in himself. He spoke of himself as always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:10.
Self was hidden and Christ was revealed and exalted.
Through the power of the righteousness of Christ you will depart from all iniquity. There must be a living connection of your soul with your Redeemer.
Thus through the channel of communication you grow in grace and knowledge of God.
Moreover, the most important knowledge to be gained is a knowledge from experience of what it means to be born again.
Our first need is humility of heart, a teachable spirit, and a new heart.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:5, 6.
When the work of the Spirit of God is felt upon the heart, we shall see many earnestly seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
A new birth from above
As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12.
The Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The heart and mind are created anew and thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of God.
Christ knocks at the door of your heart, asking to sub with you. He longs to renew your heart, filling it with a love for all that is pure and true.
Moreover, raising you to newness of life in Him.
It is the active principle of love, the life of Christ in you imparted by the Holy Spirit, that alone will make you fruitful unto good works.
Holy Spirit’s transforming influence will establish a living connection between earth and heaven.
The operations of the divine Spirit will burn away the dross of selfishness and reveal a love which is tried in the fire, a love that maketh rich.
He who has these riches is in close sympathy with Christ who so loved us that He gave His life for our redemption.
Transformed in the image of Christ
As we discern the perfection of our Savior’s character we shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of His purity.
We will be changed into Christ likeness by beholding Him. There will be a hungering and thirsting of our souls to be made like him whom we adore.
The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of Him to others, and represent Him to the world.
Our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20.
True Christians’ fellowship is with the Father and His Son seeking God for:
- and eternal life.
Thus through this close intercourse with God their souls become transformed. By beholding we are changed into the divine image.
A divine element combines with the human when the soul reaches out after God and the longing heart can say: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. Psalm 62:5.
Conversely, it is unmistakable evidence that we haven’t had a view of the beauty and excellence of Christ if we do not see our own moral deformity.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Through the power of Christ, men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness.
Humans that have borne the likeness of Satan have become transformed into the image of God.
A change done by the Word is one of the deepest mysteries of the Word. We cannot understand it. We can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures – it is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27.
Submit to be molded
God desires to purify the hearts of His children from their iniquities. Moreover, to lift them up from their state of misery and degradation, and write upon them His Divine superscription.
It is the sin and unbelief of humanity that oppose the work that God would do for them. Though Jesus died for the whole world, people refuse to be fashioned after the Divine pattern.
They will not yield themselves to Christ to be molded after the heavenly model.
As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; Which were born, not of blood, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12, 13.
God’s Spirit infuses spiritual life into the soul:
- quickening its energies for good
- cleansing from moral defilement
- giving fitness for His kingdom.
We will stand complete in Christ if we submit to be molded by His Spirit. In Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him. Colossians 2:9, 10.
The Spirit conforms the renewed soul to the model – Jesus Christ. Thus enmity against God is changed into faith and love, and pride into humility.
The soul perceives the beauty of truth and Christ is honored in excellence and perfection of character.
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. Ezekiel 36:27.
Every individual must submit to the Lord before he or she can be made a vessel unto honor, to be filled with the renewing, sanctifying grace of Christ.
Renewed in the spirit of our mind
Humans were created in the image of God. They were in perfect harmony with the nature and the Law of God. The principles of righteousness were written upon their hearts.
Sin separated them from their Maker. They no longer reflected the divine image. Their hearts were at war with the principles of God’s law.
The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7.
Therefore, it is the work of conversion and sanctification to reconcile humans to God by bringing them into accord with the principles of His Law.
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that through the merits of Christ mankind can be restored to harmony with their Maker. Their hearts must be renewed by divine grace.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Philippians 2:5, 6.
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:23, 24.
Thus the transforming process which can come alone through divine power changes your’s:
- discernment, judgment and views
- tendencies and propensities
- plans, intentions and purposes
- principles and course of action.
Moreover your will is submitted to a renewed conscience aroused by the working of the Holy Spirit.
Without this Heaven would be no place of joy to you with all opposed to your natural and cultivated traits of character.
For the mind renewed by the Holy Spirit, divine beauty and celestial light shine from the sacred page, feeding upon the rich truths and promises contained in the Word of God.
God is leading out peculiar people
They will accomplish His purposes and will yield their will to His will. Moreover, Christ will dwell in their hearts and the soul temple of God will be holy. God is leading out and establishing them upon the one great platform of faith – the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus.
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 1 Peter 2:9.
God requires of His people now the same distinction from the world in customs, habits and principles, as of ancient Israel.
The warnings given to the Hebrews against assimilating with the heathen were not more explicit than are those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and customs of the world today.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15.
The friendship of the world is enmity with God; whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4.
While we pray, Lead us not into temptation, we are to shun temptation as far as possible.
God requires His chosen people to be elevated, refined and sanctified – partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4.
Jesus will transform your character if you consent. Moreover, He is able to take you who are dead in trespasses and change you, restoring to your soul His lost image.
The converting power of God can transform inherited and cultivated tendencies. For the religion of Jesus is uplifting. Born again means a transformation, a new birth in Christ.
Thus, those who believe in Him are changed from being rebels against the law of God into obedient servants and subjects of His kingdom.
They are regenerated and sanctified through the truth as it is in Jesus.
David’s prayer should be the petition of every soul:
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10.
And having become partakers of the heavenly gift, we are to go on unto perfection, being kept by the power of God through faith. 1 Peter 1:5.
- AA 551; GC88 508; PP 460; PK 233; SC 57; 2T 487; DA 407; 2T 95 – The Ellen G. White Estate
- King James Bible Version (KJV
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