Jeremiah 17:9 - Oh How We Need Jesus!

Jeremiah 17:9 - Oh How We Need Jesus!

Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)  The human heart is most deceitful and 
desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 

An important verse describing the natural condition of man. 
[Ryrie SB] 

  When God created human beings in his own image, there was no 
sin in the human heart. However, God made humans free to choose 
whether to obey or disobey. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, sin entered the 
heart of the human race. As the first humans fell into sin, they 
condemned all those yet to be born to come into this world with a 
stubborn, sinful nature.  
  Humanity has fallen a long way from the perfection of the 
Garden of Eden--so far that God considers the human heart to be 
"deceitful" and "desperately wicked." Even those who are saved and made new 
in Christ have hearts that are still inclined toward sinning. 
Thankfully, believers are no longer in complete bondage to sin. We can 
choose not to sin, and when we fall we can count on God's forgiveness 
and the arms of Jesus to lift, us up once again.  
  If you have been saved, but don't be surprised at the strong 
pull of sin. The battle with sin will continue until your death--or 
until Jesus comes back. If you fall, however, confess your sin and let 
Christ help you get up, dust off, and keep going. [The One Year Bible 
for New Believers re Jer.17:9] 

  Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a 
well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His 
thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobedience, his powers 
were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature 
became so weakened through transgression that it was impossible for 
him, in his own strength, to resist the power of evil. He was made 
captive by Satan, and would have remained so forever had not God 
specially interposed. It was the tempter's purpose to thwart the divine 
plan in man's creation, and fill the earth with woe and desolation. 
And he would point to all this evil as the result of God's work in 
creating man.   
  In his sinless state, man held joyful communion with Him "in 
whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 
2:3. But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and 
he sought to hide from the presence of God. Such is still the 
condition of the unrenewed heart. It is not in harmony with God, and finds 
no joy in communion with Him. The sinner could not be happy in 
God's presence; he would shrink from the companionship of holy beings. 
Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him. 
The spirit of unselfish love that reigns there --every heart 
responding to the heart of Infinite Love --would touch no answering chord 
in his soul. His thoughts, his interests, his motives, would be 
alien to those that actuate the sinless dwellers there. He would be a 
discordant note in the melody of heaven. Heaven would be to him a place of 
torture; he would long to be hidden from Him who is its light, and the 
center of its joy. It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that 
excludes the wicked from heaven; they are shut out by their own unfitness 
for its companionship. The glory of God would be to them a consuming 
fire. They would welcome destruction, that they might be hidden from 
the face of Him who died to redeem them.   
  It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit 
of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot 
change them. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." 
"The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the 
law of God, neither indeed can be." Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, 
culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper 
sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward 
correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot 
purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, 
a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to 
holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless 
faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.  {SC17,18} 

  Americans are obsessed with before and after pictures. A 
little dab of jell gives an elderly man a surprisingly youthful 
appearance, while a simple makeover miraculously transforms a plane-Jane 
into a stunning beauty. A portly man tries the latest fad diet and 
sheds multiple unwanted pounds. I too have a before and after picture, 
greater and more enduring than these. In 1990, I experienced a change so 
radical, that it can only be explained in one way. Life began again for 
me. In despair, I sat in a treatment center, strung out on alcohol 
and cocaine. I earnestly sought divine intervention, and Jesus came 
to my rescue. As I reflect on this metamorphosis, wells of joy 
flood my soul. 
  Day after day, I look into the hardened and hurting faces of 
men who need change. Mere physical or mental change cannot produce 
lasting effects. This change must take place inside, in the heart of the 
man. The Bible tells us that the heart of man is desperately wicked. 
As a minister at the prison, I spend little time on the symptoms of 
this heart disease. Instead, I try to move to the root of the 
problem, SIN. Sin has separated us from God, and has led us down a road 
of destruction. When we accept Christ as our Substitute for sin, 
Savior from Sin, and Strength to overcome sin, we can finally be what 
God intends us to be. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, 
old things are passed away, behold, all things are became new. 
Chaplain Steve Plemmons