Freedom From the Difficulties of the Depraved Heart
The Lord is near the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. That’s a beautiful promise, isn’t it? Who among us can say we have never suffered brokenness? Who among us has never been wounded or inflicted damage on others?
Wounds create more wounds, don’t they? So often the abused become abusers. The scorned become scornful. The judged become judgmental. The neglected become neglectful. It is a never-ending cycle of depravity and hypocrisy.
The deep wounds we carry can only be truly healed when we submit all to the Lord. When we understand that he is strong enough to carry us and powerful enough to heal our wounds, we begin a transformation from the inside-out.
If we try to be “good Christians” from the outside-in, we might find some measure of relief. However, most often if the actual root of our brokenness is not healed, we just end up trading one set of sins for another—and often, we end up worse off on the inside than we were before.
For example, if we have deep-set insecurities that stem back to our childhood, we might struggle with things like drug addition and promiscuity. Some might be able to lay these things aside, but if the inner issues of fear, self-hate, and emptiness are not filled with the healing of Jesus, then it’s likely that another set of sins will follow that bear the same root as the other.
Instead of drugs and sex, the person who is still fearful, full of self-loathing, and unable to be satisfied could turn to things like self-righteousness, doing good to be seen of others, accusing others falsely, or over-indulging in more acceptable things like food or sports. In any case, these are still a means to the same end as the sins cast off — a way to fill a void within our hearts.
In many cases, the “state of the man is made worse” when this happens because we become trapped in sins that are more illusive or hidden from the outside world, and we become “white-washed tombs filled with dead man’s bones.” We bring shame to Jesus and to fellow Christians because of our self-righteous attitudes towards certain sins while we ignore or justify our own.
We see this all too often among Christians today. We try to “make clean the outside of the cup” by stopping the sins we are able to stop. However, if our inner struggles are not dealt with, we just end up trading one set of sins for another set of the same sort, making us hypocrites and often leading us towards a path of self-delusion and our consciences become “seared with a hot iron.”
Depravity will lead to more depravity unless our hearts are filled with the knowledge of Jesus Christ, regardless of how much we clean up our act and honor God with our lips.
Christians, we have to believe that Jesus came to bind up our wounds and free the captives. He did not come so we would trade one set of wounds for another or one prison for another.
Instead of seeking first the kingdom of God, we often trade the laws of God for the laws of man. Our lack of faith in the promises of Jesus leads us to a form of righteousness that is as “filthy rags” instead of having the laws of the kingdom “written in our hearts” as was promised by the prophets of the Old Covenant and brought to us by Jesus–the minister of the New Covenant.
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31:33).
What does this mean? This means having a change of nature thereby freeing us from the deep-set wounds of the past as Jesus works on the inner-self, “renewing our minds.” Trauma causes our brains to form patterns, and these patterns often lead to what we call “sin.” Who can just change their brains? Who can change their natures or heal every wound and damaging behavior? Jesus can, and in so doing, your “heart” which is your nature is changed also.
That is the application of the gospel to our daily lives. This isn’t “another gospel” or an abolishing of the gospel as we commonly hear taught. This is declaring the fullness of the good news. This is the forgiveness by Jesus’ crucifixion AND the healing power of his resurrection! This is life abundant!
The truth is plain and evident in the New Testament when we lay aside our traditions and the way we have been conditioned to read and interpret the bible. We’ve all heard about how Jesus transforms lives, and this is true. It is promised to us as the evidence of our salvation. We are to be the light of the earth that shows this world the glory of God. Are we doing this, or are we captives that honor God in word only?
All too often in our attempts by our own power, we just end up trading chains for chains, oppression for oppression.
Legalism is a trap. Jesus is power of true freedom.
In Jesus, there is hope for the depraved heart. There is freedom for the captives to sin. There is an amazing inside-out, full-person healing that can only come from the one who created us, who knows us, who lived among us, who died for us, and who was raised to show the power of healing and life promised to us.
Jesus came to “preach good tidings unto the meek; bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”
What do you suppose this means?
if the son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. — John 8:36
Believe it and be free! This isn’t just “good news,” it is the best news and the most important news. There is none like Jesus! We are not captives to this world. We are children of the promise, and we should be living like it.
Has the salt lost its savor? Are the lights going out? If we have faith, we should continue and know that the work of our salvation will be completed in us according to the abundant grace of Jesus, and nothing will stand in the way — least of all ourselves. By the working of the Holy Spirit in us, we will walk after the present-day and future-coming kingdom of God. We will be free indeed!
Why Is Jesus the only way to God?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. — John 14:6
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