Human heart default mode

By Dave Henning / April 3, 2023

“The default mode of the human heart is to maintain control of one’s life by earning one’s own salvation.  The idea of free grace, unmerited, is both insulting and unnatural to the self-absorbed human being.”- Timothy Keller

“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread all our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”- Micah 7:19 (NIV)

“God buries our sins in the depths of the sea and then puts up a sign that reads, ‘No fishing.’ “- Corrie ten Boom

Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 9 of Forgive as he underscores our need to act after we initially accept the fact of God’s forgiveness and acceptance.  We need to spend the rest of our lives deepening our understanding and refreshing our experience of God’s forgiveness.  Furthermore, Pastor Keller lists two ways to do this:

  1. Look up, study, and meditate regularly on texts in the Bible that directly teach about God’s forgiveness.
  2. Continue to probe deeper in the study of doctrines that form the basis for God’s forgiveness.  These doctrines include the doctrines of substitution and justification.

Above all, when we believe in Jesus, that belief unites us with Him both legally and vitally, in His life and death.  In addition, the apostle Paul speaks over 160 times in the New Testament of our being ‘in Christ’ or ‘in Him’.  Thus, this concept dominated Paul’s understanding.  And it must dominate ours.

Inn 1861, Charles Hodge delivered a sermon to the students of Princeton Theological Seminary.  In the sermon, Hodge compared our advocate, Jesus, to the relationship between a defense attorney and his/her client.  Hodge stated:

“Whatever your attorney does is imputed to you.  The former [the advocate] personates the latter [the client], puts himself in the client’s place.  It is, while it lasts, the most intimate relation. . . .  This is the relation in which Christ as our advocate stands to us.  He, not we, is seen, heard, and regarded. . . .  Christ thus assumes our position.”

When we realize the reason Jesus died is because of the sins we do daily, we’ll want nothing to do with those sins.

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you counter the default mode of the human heart?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Hidden roots – hidden ways”

About the author

Dave Henning

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