Carnality (Part 3) – Heart: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.Romans 1:18-32 (NKJV)
The heart is the locus (scene, venue) of feelings and intuitions. The term “heart,” as used in the Word of God is a very broad term. It may be used to refer to any part of the total personality of man, which includes the mind, emotions, and the will.
The heart is the origination or center of true thoughts, ideas, desires, and the human will. Jesus taught that the heart is the seat of all that eventually becomes our behaviour, conduct, and attitude. From the parable of the Sower, we deduce that the product of human life and experiences stem from the heart.
The heart is the place where inner judgments, morality, and courage are conceived. Then these inner judgments, morality, and courage are formulated for behaviour and conduct.
The heart is referred to in Scripture as the seat of the intellectual capacity, or the mind.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.2 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV)
In this passage, we see that while the light has shined in the heart, this shining has brought us the knowledge of God’s glory. Yet, we also see that the heart is the one to have received this revelation of the knowledge of God. This is to show that the terms “heart” and “mind” may be interchangeable.
This is also true in 1 Corinthians 2:9-11.
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man. The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.1 Corinthians 2:9-11 (NKJV)
Here “the heart of man” referred to in this Scripture is that part of the personality that receives knowledge, for with the heart we know the things that are freely given to us by God. Thus, in broad sense, the term “heart” is first used as the mind of the personality.
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NKJV)
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.1 Peter 1:22 (NKJV)
In these passages, the term “heart” is used of the seat of the affections/feelings/desires of all kinds in the personality of man where emotion and love is expressed.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)
The heart as used in this passage refers to as the seat of the will.
The affections control the whole man in his/her actions. What a man knows, he loves or hates; and what he hates or loves results in an action of the will. Therefore, the seat of human affection may be used of the total person. This then means, when you talk about the realm of the emotions, it denotes the encompassment of the whole being.
When God created man in His own image, He gave man a heart so that man could exercise his capacity to love.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.Genesis 2:21-24 (NKJV)
In the last statement within the Scriptural passage is the divine principle in marriage, where we deduce that Adam’s heart was responding to Eve, and Eve in turn responded to his affection. Man was able to use the capacity to love which God had given him when God gave Eve to Adam to love. When Adam fell, not only was his mind darkened but his emotional capacity exercised through his heart become degraded.
Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.Romans 1:21 (NKJV)
Here, due to blindness of the mind, the natural man could not receive, appropriate, and respond to divine revelation given to him by God, which led to them becoming vain(empty) in their thought processes with the eventual darkened heart. Verse 21 refers to the emotional capacity, which was to receive the revealed truth. The 1st description of the natural heart of the carnal man is that it is foolish; not that it’s marked by a low IQ, but one who leaves God out of his conscious.
The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.Psalms 14:1
The fool is the man who does not consider God in his life. Paul’s reference to “their foolish hearts” denotes a heart that deliberately leaves God out. Such a man is perfectly and passionately willing to continue void of God’s presence, void of feeling God’s love.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.Romans 1:22-23 (NKJV)
Although man did not become demented, meaning that he was not deprived of his reasoning process (given that man reasoned that he was responsible to some deity), he declined to worship the Lord God Who had revealed Himself.
Instead, man made/manufactured deities made unto corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things, attesting to his low function of reasoning process. Looking at verse 24, we see a double characterization of the heart as lustful and unclean. The insatiable desires of the lustful heart do not include a desire for God, a desire of godliness. Rather, this degraded heart has insatiable debauched lusts. This kind of heart is the seat of vile affections.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV)
Although God ordained that both husband and wife should express their God-given capacity to love, in both verse 26 and 27, the Apostle shows that due to the fall and because of the degradation of the natural heart, men and women fell short of exercising their capacity of affection as divinely intended.
Instead, they invented perverted/depraved ways of manifesting the capacity of emotion in the most degraded forms and practices. This explains the overt prevalence of homosexuality and sodomy in the contemporary society owing to the genesis of the degradation of man’s emotional capacity.
Being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers.Romans 1:29 (NKJV)
Romans 1:29 – Here are examples of all manner of perverse vices listed by Paul. The fact that there is public complacency concerning the open manifestation of such forms of degradation is further evidence to the filthiness of the human heart.
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.Romans 2:5 (NKJV)
The state of the heart described in this Scripture is “hard” and “impenitent.” The word “hardness” when used in reference to the heart is a translation of the word, which means, “calloused”. That which is calloused is not sensitive to external stimulation, whether pain or joy/comfort. In other words, a calloused/indurated person is emotionally hardened, or deadened to feelings or morals.
The hardness of the natural heart of carnal man is such that it is not subject to any stimulation pertaining to righteousness resulting to penitence despite the declaration of God’s word, revealing His righteousness and judgment, which will be poured upon sinners as, preached; the sinner is not affected/moved at all.
The sinner is never convicted of the enormity of his sin, and he can complacently continue in his degradation, perversion, and immorality, because the heart is characterized by hardness and impenitence.
Despite all endeavour to reach out to people with the Gospel, testifying to them about the revelation of God’s word, they brush it aside because they are insensitive to external stimulation as pertains to righteousness, which would result to penitence. Their resisting the truth of God builds up the callous, making their hearts harder and impenitent.
Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.Ephesians 4:18 (NKJV)
The heart in this passage is in a state of blindness. This means the blinded man’s heart is short of capacity to exercise sight. Only Christ can perform miracles for the blinded man’s heart to be enlightened to see.
Preaching the Gospel does not involve one’s endeavour to remove blindfolds due to sin in people’s hearts, but trusting the power of God’s to back His word to perform the divine surgical act of delivering His people from the state of being blind for them to perceive Christ and receive eternal life.
Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;Hebrews 3:10-12 (NKJV)
The natural heart is an evil heart. When men follow the natural propensity of their hearts, they err and follow ways, which are far from God’s ways.
Christ refuted the Pharisaic erroneous philosophy of man’s defilement being an external issue, by asserting that defilement is internal, clearly delineating what proceeds from an evil heart. Christ, being God, knew what was hidden within man’s heart, thus not requiring human opinion to determine the same.
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.James 1:26 (NKJV)
The heart of the natural man is given to deception; it is deceived. A deceived heart sets a false standard and then convinces itself that it measures up to the standard it has adopted. This kind of heart deludes itself that it has attained to God’s righteousness, thereby presuming to be holy like God. The sinner deceives himself that in his sinful state he can be acceptable to God by the work of his own hands.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)
…undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…Romans 1:31 (NKJV)
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,2 Timothy 3:2 (NKJV)
The natural man’s heart is void of natural affection. What Paul implies is when he talks of the heart being void of natural affection is that due to its degradation because of the fall, the heart cannot perform the function for which God ordained its capacity of emotion for man at creation.
All men are void of natural affection, that is, the exercise of the capacity of love Godward. Take note of the fact that: the primary function of emotional capacity was to love God, not love wife, children, home, country, etc. It is on the authentic emotional capacity to love God on the strength of the revelation of His love for humanity that man is divinely empowered to love wife, children, country, etc.