Before I write about the law being written on our hearts, I wanted to just say something...
These are my thoughts that appear on my blog. My blog is a place I come to, to share. I'm not saying I have it all right, because God knows that I don't! However, since it's my blog, I enjoy sharing the thoughts of my mind and heart and hope that others may also enjoy reading them.
So let's get back to the next question in the 'but...' series.
But...Isn't the law written our our hearts?
Yes! The law is written on our hearts...
That is not something new.
THE LAW HAS ALWAYS BEEN WRITTEN ON OUR HEARTS!!!
I don't know about you, but I was always under the impression that Jesus (Yeshua) came to write God's law on our hearts. But not all the laws from the Old Testament laws (as I would have referred to them) just two; love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself. I always thought that this was the revolutionary thing about Jesus; that He did away with all the old commandments and established a new style of obedience.
The problem with that is the following...
1. The Word of God (which we believe is true and everlasting) says in Deuteronomy 11:1 says, "Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands ALWAYS."
Malachi 3:6 reminds us that God does not change. He is eternal and His nature has been revealed to us; it does not change depending on feelings or circumstances. Who He was in the beginning, is who He is right now!
2. For Jesus to say that He came to 'do away with the law' would have been a massive contradiction. Who gave the commandments, statutes, decrees and precepts in the first place? I once upon a time would have said God the Father but John1 tells us that 'In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God'. God the Father and Jesus the son (the Living Word, the Living Torah) are one. He didn't come to do away with something that He gave and establised for all time, in the first place!
3. Jesus said that not until heaven and earth pass away that the smallest stroke of the law would be done away with (Matt 5:17-22). He said flat out that He did NOT COME TO ABOLISH the law but to fulfil it (in Aramiac literally meaning to fill it up to the full measure; to interpret it correctly). So whatever He has declared to be law/torah from the beginning to the end, will remain. That means ALL of the Torah, all of His instructions!
4. Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and loving your neighbour as yourself ARE TORAH INSTRUCTIONS! Jesus didn't give these as new commands, He was summing up the whole Torah into two categories; everything in Torah can fall under either of these headings. That doesn't mean that because you can sum them up in that, that all of the others are done away with (we know that because that's exactly what Jesus said He had NOT come to do!) You can read Jesus QUOTING the Torah in Mark 12:29 and He is quoting DIRECTLY FROM DEUTERONOMY 6:4-6 and also from Leviticus 19:18.
What did our God say about the instructions which He lovingly gave to His children?
Here are some of the things He said about them:
"Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult (or 'burdensome for you' in another translation) for you or beyond your reach. It is not heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven and get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it? Nor is it beyond the sea so you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea and get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word (torah) is very near you; it is in your MOUTH and IN YOUR HEART SO YOU MAY OBEY IT". (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)
"Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law (torah) IN YOUR HEARTS: do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults". (Isaiah 51:7)
"These commands that I give you today are to be UPON YOUR HEARTS". (Deuterononmy 6:6)
"Fix these words of mine IN YOUR HEARTS and minds..." (Deuteronomy 11:18)
"The LORD (Yehovah) will again delight in you and make your prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the LORD your God (Yehovah your Elohim) and keep his commands and decrees that are written in thie Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God (Yehovah your Elohim) with ALL YOUR HEART and with all your soul". (Deuteronomy 30:10)
Notice where the law is? It is in our hearts! He put it there!!!
So in the beginning when God gave the law, He wrote it on our hearts (see the first reference above). It says that it was in our heart SO THAT WE MAY OBEY IT.
The problem was that we (humankind) didn't want to listen or obey. Often the Bible refers to people who 'hardened their hearts' which means they do not want to listen to or obey God. Jesus quotes scripture from Isaiah when he speaks of those who listen but do not hear! He quotes,
" For this people's hearts have become hardened; they hardly hear with their ears and they have closed their eyes..." (quoted by Yeshua (Jesus) in Matthew 13:15 and originally from Isaiah 6:9-10).
The problem with our hearts is that they became stony and did not desire to obey and follow him. All the people of the earth did this....
"The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant" (Isaiah 24:5)
How does the Bible define a stony heart? Check out Zechariah 7:11-12 with me...
"But they would not give attention, turning their backs and stopping their ears from hearing; And they made their hearts like the hardest stone, so that they might not give ear to the law and the words which the Lord of armies had said by the earlier prophets: and there came great wrath from the Lord of armies".
What did God promise to do? He told us He would take away the stony heart (the disobedient, stubborn heart) from within us and replace it with a heart of flesh!
"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezekiel 11:19-20).
This is his promise to those of Israel who have been scattered aboard - that's us! We are apart of Israel (having been grafted in - see Romans 11 and also the previous post I did HERE). The first time I read this passage from Ezekiel in it's context, i couldn't believe it! It actually says that the purpose of giving us an undivided heart of flesh is so that we will FOLLOW HIS DECREES AND BE CAREFUL TO KEEP HIS LAWS!
And He gives us the Holy Spirit in order for us to be able to follow His ways! This is what is said a little further on in Ezekiel...
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God". (Ezekiel 36:26-28)
Yes! He IS our God and according to His Word which He gave us, He says that the reason He gives us the Spirit and a new soft heart is so that we can obey Him by keeping His decrees and laws!!!
And yet, there is still more to come! See according to His Word, we have the Spirit as a 'DEPOSIT' right now...
"Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He annointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit IN OUR HEARTS as a DEPOSIT, guranteeing WHAT IS TO COME". (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
and again this is echoed in chapter 5 of the same letter...
"Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a DEPOSIT guaranteeing WHAT IS TO COME'. (2 Corinthians 5:5)
There is a fullness of this gift of the Holy Spirit that has not yet been given to us. We can also tell this by simply reading Jeremiah 31:31-34 (which is reiterrated by the writer of Hebrews in chapters 8 & 10).
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
We've always been under the impression that this was all fulfilled in Jesus. But we see that this particular passage of scripture is talking about a time still to come. We can see that because it says, "No longer will a man teach his neighbour, because they will all know me". This obviously hasn't happened as yet because churches still run 'outreach evangelical' style programs to teach people about who God is. Yet this scripture says that a day is coming when that won't be necessary since ALL will know him. We have the deposit and seal now of the Spirit but still await the fullness of it! Praise Him!
So, I guess, the conclusion I have come to about the law being written on our hearts is that this has always been God's desire for me; that I would walk in His ways with a soft, willing heart. Now, thanks to Yeshua, I have the deposit of the Spirit inside of me leading me to follow and obey Him and I await for a time to come when the fullness of this will be reached on a global level.
I'll finish off with what I began with; this is my blog, these are my reflections on this journey so far.
Would you like to share your thoughts?
Love Lusi x