Today I want to talk about heart transplants. The first human heart transplant was on December 3, 1967, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. A 25 year old woman died in an accident and her heart was transplanted into 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky, making him the recipient of the first human heart transplant. He lived 18 days, while the heart beat normally. He died of double pneumonia. Since then there have been many heart transplants, with patients living for longer periods with better anti-rejection medications.
80% now live 2 years, 70% live for 5 years, and 50% live 10 years or more.
But today, I want to discuss how we can go from having a heart of stone to having a heart of flesh. God performed the very first heart transplant in Biblical times and He is still doing the same today for those who believe!
Ezekiel 36:26 – “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
A heart of flesh.
He said he will take away the stony heart out of our flesh, and give us a new heart of flesh. And with this new heart of flesh, He will also put a new spirit within us. He was in the business of heart transplants back in Biblical times; and He still is today!
I looked up “stony heart”. It means unfeeling or cruel. If we have a heart that is unfeeling or cruel; we need our God to perform a heart transplant.
Only God can really know what is inside our hearts.
And this is what he says about the condition of the human heart before salvation:
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.
We can’t judge another person’s heart; because “man looks on the outward appearance and God looks on the heart. (1st Samuel 16:7) We can’t even know the true condition of our own heart. Only God knows our heart. And he says it is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked!
Now that we’ve established our need of a new improved heart of flesh; let’s discuss the differences between the old stony heart and the new heart of flesh. Let’s compare a stone to the flesh on our hand.
Stone – Dead (not living), non-porous, hard, imovable.
Flesh – Living, porous, soft, moveable
If you look at a stone, I think you will agree that it is not alive. It is non-porous. Which means that it can’t take anything in, or allow anything out. If you push on the stone, you will also agree that it is hard to the touch. Then take your finger and move it across the stone. The whole stone will move; but it will not allow you to move it’s surface or shape it.
Now let’s compare with the flesh on our hand. It is alive. It has pores, which allow it to take in things such as hand cream, etc. The pores also allow the body to get rid of impurities and perspire. When you touch your flesh; it is soft. If you apply light pressure with your finger, and move it, the skin will move with it. So flesh is living, soft, pliable or moveable, and porous.
When we allow God to perform a heart transplant on us, He takes out the heart of stone. He removes the heart that is hard, and immovable, that can’t take anything into it or give anything out of it, the dead (in sin) heart. And He replaces it with a new heart of flesh. This new heart is living and breathing, it is soft and pliable. It is a heart that can receive the Word and the His Spirit; and share God’s love and the Good News from the abundance of the Holy Spirit within.
The Lord tells us in Joel 2:13 – And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.
In Biblical times, there was a ritual that people observed when they were hurting, mourning or in deep distress about something. They would “rend” or tear their garments. In the above verse, God is telling them that instead of rending their garments, they should rend (or tear) their heart instead. He desires that they open their heart before Him; and turn to Him. For God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. When we come to Him with an open, repentant heart; He is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1st John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
How do we get a new heart of flesh.
Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
We need to confess our sins, ask forgiveness, and believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and that God raised Him from the dead. Then we will be saved. God will give us a new heart and a new spirit as He promised.
What can we expect now that we are saved and God has given us a new heart?
We will receive the power to believe:
Roman’s 10:9, (read above)
We will receive the Holy Spirit:
Ephesians 3:16 – 19 – (16) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19)And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
We will receive power from the Holy Spirit:
2 Samuel 22:23 – “God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.”
We will be able to love God fully:
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
We will be equipped to better obey God:
Ezekiel 11:20 – That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Ephesians 6:6 – Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
We will be able to understand the word of God.
We are not able to understand the word of God apart from the Holy Spirit. Spiritual things can only be discerned by the spirit. Before we are saved, we understand the things of the flesh, or things of man; but we can’t comprehend the things of the spirit. We must receive the Holy Spirit, which we do receive when God completes our heart transplant. Then we can understand the deep things of God!
1st Corinthians 2:10 – 13 (10) “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
We will be in a better position to be purified and sanctified by God:
We can’t purify and sanctify ourselves. It is a work of the Lord within us. He is the author (he writes faith on our hearts) and the finisher (he works out our salvation, growing us and forming us to be more like Him) until our life here is finished. Then we receive a new body, that will never die, and go to Heaven to be with Him eternally.
1st Peter 1:9 – Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
James 4:8 – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
1st Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Through the Holy Spirit we receive peace and have joy:
Philippians. 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:8 – Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
In conclusion, God is the only one who can truly know the thoughts and intents of the heart. Therefore, we need to accept His conclusion that our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”. The next conclusion we must come to is: if God is right (and we know He is), then we need a heart transplant. We need to have the heart of stone, or stony heart (unfeeling and cruel) removed, and we are in need of a new heart of flesh.
We can confess our sins, ask forgiveness, and believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and He died on the cross to save us from our sins; and that God raised Him from the dead. Then you will be saved!
The Lord will replace that hard heart of stone with a new living, breathing heart of flesh. A heart that his love and Holy Spirit can flow into and through. A new heart of flesh, that can be devoted and surrendered to Him. A heart through which He can impart to us His love, peace, understanding and hope through the Holy Spirit. A soft heart that He can mould to obey His Word; and through which He can purify and sanctify us. A new heart of flesh, through which the Holy Spirit can live and breathe, and have it’s being.
Psalms 139: 23 & 24 – (23) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I am so glad that God has promised to take that sin diseased, hard heart of stone out of us and replace it with a new heart of flesh, so that we might have life and life more abundantly!
John 10:10 – “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Thank you so much for reading. If you have any questions or comments dealing with the contents of this post, please feel free to use the comment section below. I love comments and I will answer as soon as possible. Your thoughts and feelings are important to me.
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