A New Heart – Gospel in Life

A New Heart

Tim Keller |  September 16, 2007

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  • Sanctification
Deuteronomy 30:1-10
RS 197-2

Deuteronomy 30:1–10

Moses’ last speech in Deuteronomy discusses how the people were scattered and cursed, but also offers a solution through coming back to God, following His rules, and loving Him. This way leads to healing, bringing people together, and blessings under God’s joy. The speech invites us to think deeply about this problem, how to solve it, and how to embrace the solution.

1. What’s the problem?

We, as humans, struggle with living according to God’s laws, as seen in the book of Deuteronomy, which promises a life of honesty and kindness if followed. Even though we know how we should live, we can’t seem to do it, a problem all of us have. This shows that psychology and therapy can’t give us a new heart or help us forgive, indicating that we need a solution that goes beyond our own efforts.

2. What’s the solution?

According to the Bible, our heart is the center of who we are. It influences not just our feelings but also our thoughts and actions. It’s where our deepest commitments are, shaping our decisions and viewpoints. A changed heart is one that loves and serves God because we want to, making our deepest wishes align with our moral duties. This is often called a new heart or having God’s rules written on our hearts by His Spirit.

3. How do you know if you have it?

The signs of a heart truly changed by God are love, obedience, and a life that is transformed in a way that isn’t just about religious knowledge but about a deep spiritual relationship with God. As Jonathan Edwards teaches, a truly changed heart loves and obeys God for His own sake, not for personal benefits. This is like shifting from studying Mozart for an exam to listening to his music because you enjoy it. The power of experiencing God’s love, the importance of personal growth and real changes in behavior, and the slow process of spiritual growth are all emphasized. The challenge is to reflect on your own transformation, similar to how John Wesley described his heart being strangely warmed when he turned to God.

4. If you don’t have it, how can you receive it?

Instead of trying to get a new heart for self-improvement, we should understand the holy process God used to give us a new spirit. This happened through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, which represented the ultimate punishment for our wrongdoings and allowed us to be reunited with God. Getting this new heart isn’t something we achieve on our own, but a divine change. We can nurture this change by thinking about Jesus’ sacrifice.



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