To live requires a new heart. Adam and Eve lost life and found death on the day they ate from The Tree of Knowledge. Ever since then, we have all inherited their death and dying. And what the Bible makes clear is that this is not just about physical dying. It’s about the death of the spirit too, and thus the soul.
Our desire is twisted now. We are a stiff necked people, full of rebellion. That is what we learn from the Israelites in the wilderness. But God gives them the cure:
Deuteronomy 6:4-6. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
Simple right? Just love God with all your heart. And make sure this commandment stays on your heart all the time. Piece of cake.
Except that all of human history tells us that it’s not. No one can love God with all their heart all of the time. It’s an impossible law to keep. So what is God’s next solution?
Deuteronomy 10: 12-16. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.
Ah yes, if I circumcise my heart, that is, cut away all of the stubborn, twisted, rebellious desires, then I will love God with all of my heart. Now, that sounds reasonable- definitely something we can all do. Right?
Wrong. Although this idea sounds good, it would still be us seizing control of our own moral goodness (like everything else in the Law). We’re right where we started, eating from the Tree of Knowledge.
So now what? If I can’t love God with my whole heart and can’t correct my own heart, what other option do we have?
Deuteronomy 30:6. And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
God will do it for us! He will circumcise our hearts. He will change our desires. How? By giving us the victorious life of Christ by the power of the Spirit.
To Live is Christ. And we can only live when God circumcises our hearts. Because we can only love when God circumcises our hearts. The circumcision of the heart occurs by the life of Christ living inside of us.
Colossians 2:11. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
When all of our deepest desires are met in Christ, then all of our deepest desires turn toward Christ. In this way his indwelling life and love purify my heart of all of it’s stubborn, twisted, and rebellious desires. And that makes living possible.