“……God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
Recently I heard a church leader at a church I attended quote the scripture Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” I didn’t think much of it at the time… it’s not a scripture I quote over myself so I let it go in one ear and out the other so to speak. Then I heard a couple of people in the same church begin parroting that same scripture. When I heard it for the 3rd time later that week during a prayer meeting, I thought to myself “my heart is not deceitful and desperately wicked” and Holy Spirit spoke Romans 5:5 to my heart… “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Jeremiah 17:9 in a few translations says our hearts are wicked beyond cure or incurable! Sometimes we quote things out of context from the Old Testament… without the revelation of the blood of Jesus and what His death, burial and resurrection purchased for us. We forget to put on our Jesus glasses while we read the Old Testament. This keeps us sin conscious instead of son conscious….. or righteousness conscious. And it heaps condemnation upon us. And condemnation is a life killer!
So let’s look at Jeremiah 17:9 in context.
Jeremiah 17 is talking about a people who had turned away from God and had fallen into idolatry. Verse 4 says that God will make them a slave to their enemies. And verse 5 says “cursed is he who trusts in man and makes mere flesh his strength, and turns his thoughts from the Lord.”
In Deuteronomy 28 being a slave to our enemies is listed under the curse of the Law. Galatians 3:13 tells us that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law… being made a curse for us. So, Jeremiah 17:9 can’t possibly apply to us as born again believers.
Also, Hebrews 10:22 says that our hearts have been made clean from an evil conscience. Yes, at one time my heart was deceitful and desperately wicked… but once I became born again, the blood of Jesus cleansed my heart and made me holy, righteous and blameless in His sight.
Instead of confessing Jeremiah 17:9 over ourselves, let’s look at a few of the things the New Covenant says about our hearts once we made Jesus our Lord. And let’s start confessing these things instead…..
- our hearts are pure as a result of being born again (Matt 5:8; 2 Tim 2:22; and 1 Peter 1:22 – in this scripture Peter connects the reality of having a pure heart with the new birth in the very next verse: “…since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God… )
- our hearts are full of good treasure (Luke 6:45)
- our hearts have rivers of living water flowing from them (John 7:38-39)
- our hearts have been cleansed (Acts 15:9)
- our hearts are filled with the love of God (Romans 5:5)
- our hearts listen… we have hearing hearts (Rom 6:17)
- God’s light shines in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6)
- the Spirit of God’s Son dwells in our hearts (Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 3:17)
- our hearts are guarded by the peace of God (Philippians 4:7)
- our hearts have God’s laws written on them (Hebrews 8:10)
- our hearts have been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22)
- our hearts are continually strengthened by grace (Hebrews 13:9)
Ezekiel 36:26–27 is a prophetic promise of God giving us a NEW heart… and Jesus fulfilled that prophecy for us through His death, burial, and resurrection.
By confessing that we still have hearts that are wicked and incurable is to say that the blood was not enough. God makes it clear in this passage that we don’t have both an old and a new heart, but only a new heart. The old heart of stone has been removed, and all that remains is the new heart.
Jesus told us to “take heed how we hear” and “he who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying.” Let’s make sure that when we hear Scripture quoted that we don’t just parrot it but that we hear it with the revelation of what Jesus purchased.