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The Heart of the Problem

Apr 17, 2024    Don Willeman

Transcript:


Hello this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

 

If what Jesus tells us is true, then the heart of our problem is the problem of the human heart.

 

Jesus warns that our basic problem is not merely external or being in this group vs. that group. Rather, in Mark 7, he gathers all the people and tells them this:


20 … “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

 

This reminds me of that powerful statement by the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as he’s trying to make sense of his experience in the Soviet gulag, the labor camp he was unjustly condemned to:


“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”


~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

 

Indeed, the heart of the problem is a problem of the heart. And to destroy a piece of our heart, indeed, to be given a whole new heart, is exactly what we need, and it is exactly what God has promised us in Jesus Christ.

 

Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

 

And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?”(Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”


~Mark 7:14-23 (ESV)

 

“I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 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.”


~Ezekiel 36:24-28 (ESV)