Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 5, 2018

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you … and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 7:9-13.

“He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.  For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’;  and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’;  but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother;  thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down;  and you do many things such as that.”  Mark 7:9-13.

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It is easy for us to think we are obeying the commandment of God by our preaching, teaching, and confession, but it is difficult to obey the commandment of God from our heart in ways that please God.

Today’s Scripture reminds us of yesterday’s Scripture.

““And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.”  Mark 7:6.

For example, it is easy to say nice things to our parents and about our parents to others and think we have honored them and fulfilled the commandment of God, but it is difficult to support them in their hour of need when they are elderly, poor, less attractive, less interesting, less helpful, and suffering from incapacity of mind and body.

We need God’s grace and His Spirit.

First, we need God’s “Irresistible Grace”, the “I” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  In other words, we need God to soften our hard heart.  

Article 11.  But when God accomplishes his good pleasure in the elect, or works in them true conversion, he not only causes the gospel to be externally preached to them, and powerfully illumines their minds by his Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God;  but by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, pervades the inmost recesses of the man;  he opens the closed, and softens the hardened heart, and circumcises that which was uncircumcised, infuses new qualities into the will, which though heretofore dead, he quickens;  from being evil, disobedient and refractory, he renders it good, obedient, and pliable;  actuates and strengthens it, that like a good tree, it may bring forth the fruits of good actions.  THIRD AND FOURTH HEADS OF DOCTRINE Of the Corruption of Man, His Conversion to God, and the Manner Thereof of Canons of Dordt.

Second, we need God’s Spirit.

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  Galatians 5:14.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.”  Galatians 5:16-18.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23.

Other doctrine depends on its own wisdom and will to obey the commandments of God in ways that please God.

But, Reformed Doctrine depends on God to give us a new heart and to put a new spirit within us and to cause us to please God.

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;  and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel 36:26-27.


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