Vol.XIII No.II Pg.6
April 1976

Is Thy Heart Right?

Robert F. Turner

The heart makes a difference In Num. 15:22-3l some sins are called unwitting and some presumptuous or done with a high hand. This doesnt mean any sin is excused; but our text shows that God will forgive the unwitting sin, while he calls the other blasphemy and says that soul shall be cut off I suspect the account of the man stoned to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath (vs. 32-36) is a case history of high-handed sin. The difference seems to be in the attitude or heart of the sinner.

Solomon recognized the need for a perfect heart in order that obedience be acceptable (1 Kings. 8:57-61) although he later turned away his heart from God (11:1-11). On the other hand, Davids heart was perfect with God although he sinned (15:3-5). This does not condone sin (2 Sam. 12:) but shows the divine consideration given to mans desire to do rightly. (Cf. 1 Kings. 15:11-14).

In the New Testament we are told one must deny himself in order to follow Christ (Matt. 16:24). Jesus made a distinction in deliberate neglect of the Lords will, and of unwitting sin (Lu. 12:47-48). Paul says, He is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God (Rom. 2:29). Without the heart worship is in vain (Matt. 15:7-9).

Desire alone is not enough. Pauls desire to keep law proved his consent that it was good (Rom. 7:16), but because of the weakness of his flesh, and consequent sin, under legal justice alone he was undone. He needed the forgiveness made possible by the blood of Christ. But his will, heart, mind, spirit played a vital role in receiving the blessing in Christ. The spirit of the early part of Rom. 8: is Pauls spirit, not the Holy Spirit.

Read carefully 7:21-f. and note the different terms applied to the same thing. Vs. 21, I would do good; 22, I delight in the law. . . . after the inward man; 23, warring against the law of my mind; 25, with the mind I serve the law of God; 8:1, no condemnation to them who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit (see 8:4). For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit, (mind) the things of the spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom. 8:5-6).

The justification (or, no condemnation) in Jesus Christ is available only to those who sincerely desire (and walk) in keeping with the directions of the Spirit of God. Forgiveness for their failures is offered on the condition that they give their heart (and endeavor) to Him.

But If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses law died without mercy (Heb. 10:26-f). Presumptuous high handed sin is no more excused now than in the past. Is your heart right before God?