Jeremiah 17:9 - We Really Do Need A Savior!
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:
Jer 17:9 (KJV)
An important verse describing the natural condition of man.
No man can of himself understand his errors. "The heart is
deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jer.
17:9. The lips may express a poverty of soul that the heart does not
acknowledge. While speaking to God of poverty of spirit, the heart may be
swelling with the conceit of its own superior humility and exalted
righteousness. In one way only can a true knowledge of self be obtained. We
must behold Christ. It is ignorance of Him that makes men so uplifted
in their own righteousness. When we contemplate His purity and
excellence, we shall see our own weakness and poverty and defects as they
really are. We shall see ourselves lost and hopeless, clad in garments
of self-righteousness, like every other sinner. We shall see that
if we are ever saved, it will not be through our own goodness, but
through God's infinite grace.
The prayer of the publican was heard because it showed
dependence reaching forth to lay hold upon Omnipotence. Self to the
publican appeared nothing but shame. Thus it must be seen by all who seek
God. By faith--faith that renounces all self-trust--the needy
suppliant is to lay hold upon infinite power.
No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and
entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We
can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the
language of the soul will be, Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it.
It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee.
Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me,
fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich
current of Thy love can flow through my soul.
It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this
renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to
be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of
ourselves. Therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the
heart after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin
and humbling of the soul before Him. Only by constant renunciation
of self and dependence on Christ can we walk safely. COL159-160