The Hardened Heart 01

Many Christians feel that the term “hardness of heart” is negative. They, therefore, are turned off by any minister who mentions it. I believe this is a lack of understanding regarding what the term references.

Most of us would never believe that our hearts could be “hardened.” After all, we have been made “new creations” in Christ Jesus, so how could the term apply to us? Questions like this arise from our lack of understanding regarding what the “heart” actually is.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

(Hebrews 4:12)

We see here that the Word of God separates the “soul” and “spirit.” Most Christians believe the two are equal, but why does the verse separate them if this is true? 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Your thoughts did not change when you became a Christian, and your physical body looked the same. Why would Paul say that “all things are become new?” Our spirits are made new when we invite Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, but our bodies and mind are not.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

(Romans 12:1 – 2)

Paul’s audience in these verses was the Roman Christians. His intended audience had already been “saved,” and he tells them to “present” their bodies and “renew” their minds. Their spirits had been “recreated,” but they still had work to do on their minds and bodies.

I can give you more examples, but here we can see the three parts of our beings. We are “spirit,” have a “soul,” and live in a “body.” The spirit changes when a person invites Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, not the soul or body. 

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

(1 John 4:17)

We talk about the spirit and soul when we speak of the heart. Our spirit is identical to Jesus but not our soul. Our soul becomes “hardened,” creating a barrier that blocks the life within our spirit from flowing outward into our physical bodies and from ministering to the people God calls us to. 

I know it may offend some people, but we all have a hardened heart in some area or another. We previously looked at the first two verses of Romans 12. In the second verse, Paul cautions us about allowing our minds to become “conformed” to the world around us. The Greek word from which this word means assuming a similar outward form (expression) by following the same pattern (model, mold).”

The term “hardness of heart” refers to areas of our soul that are “conformed.” Some of these have not yet been “transformed” by the Word of God. Other areas may have been affected at one time by the Word, but then we allowed them to become affected by allowing ourselves to become distracted.

There are more distractions today than at any other time in history. Our television subscriptions include hundreds of channels to choose from, and we receive near real-time news feeds. Some of us have favorite sporting teams that we religiously follow and others favorite movies. We have phones that can access our television programs, news feeds, sporting events, or movies. 

10 Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

(Psalm 46:10)

The concept of being still is foreign to most Christians. Think about how you would feel if your phone died and you lost your cable and internet feeds. How long would any of us be able to sit quietly if this happened without feeling uncomfortable? 

It will not be possible for us to succeed in following the plan of God without first transforming our minds with the Word of God. Doing so will require us to disconnect and spend time quietly fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit while meditating on Scripture. 

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