By Larry Ray Hafley
The Bible mentions various kinds of heart conditions. Have you examined your own heart? Have you had a spiritual check-up lately? Note the sundry states of heart:
(1) Foolish (Rom. 1:21). Atheists are fools (Psa. 53:1). Men wax worse and worse when God is cast out of the heart (Rom. 1:18-32).
(2) Evil (Heb. 3:12). Even “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,” may depart from God “in an evil heart of unbelief” (Heb. 3:1, 12). Baptist doctors say this type of heart condition with its attendant result is impossible.
(3) Impenitent (Rom. 2:5). One’s heart may become so hardened that it is “past feeling,” insensitive, so that one “cannot cease from sin” (Eph. 4:19; 2 Pet. 2:14). Smug self-righteousness may lead to this state (Lk. 18:9-14).
(4) Deceived (Jas. 1:26). This condition is self induced. It may also occur when one is disobedient and refuses to hear the instruction of God (Jer. 17:9, 23). As the text says, it makes the patient’s religion vain.
(5) Discouraged (Num. 32:9). A discouraged heart is a defeated heart. It ceases to trust in God. It becomes full of fear, doubt and worry (cf. Num. 13; 14). Discouragement can run through a congregation like measles through a kindergarten. Hence, it must be treated immediately (1 Thess. 5:11,14; Heb. 10:24; 12:12).
(6) Blind (Eph. 4:18). The blinded heart is hardened, petrified (cf. Rom. 2:5). The devil blinds the mind, the heart, of men (2 Cor. 4:4). Prejudice and the desire to fulfili one’s own lust often lead to this status of heart (2 Pet. 2:10; 3:3).
(7) Uncircumcised (Acts 7:51). Circumcision cuts away excess skin that laps over and obscures. In a figure, one’s heart may have scales or layers of fat that impede its ability to receive the word of the Holy Spirit.
(8) Troubled (Jn. 14:1). When one is puzzled, or when he does not comprehend the truth, his heart may become troubled or afraid (Jn. 14:27). The prescription for this condition is found in Philippians 4:4-8.
(9) Overcharged (Lk. 21:34). The heart may be burdened, pressed down, with drunkenness and worldly cares. In such a state, one is in a spiritual stupor, unaware, unwatchful, unmindful of death and eternity.
(10) Enlarged (2 Cor. 6:11). This heart is wide, open, receptive. It overlooks slights and mistreatment by others and seeks for brotherly fellowship with all men (1 Cor. 13:4-7; Rom. 12:18; 14:19; Heb. 12:14).
(11) Applied (Prov. 23:12; Psa. 90:12). To be clothed with wisdom, one’s heart must be focused, purposed toward instruction in righteousness. Spiritual wisdom cannot be acquired by accident or happenstance. It is the direct result of a singularly devoted mind.
(12) Pure (Matt. 5:8; Jas. 4:8; 1 Pet. 1:22). The heart is purified by faith in obeying the truth (Acts 15:9; 1 Pet. 1:22). Deeds reflect the character of the heart (Matt. 12:34; 15:18).
(13) Honest and Good (Lk. 8:15). Calvinism contends that one cannot have an “honest and good heart” before conversion. This text refutes that. One may be “devout,” yet unsaved (Acts 2:5; 10:2). But a man that will not obey the gospel after he has heard it – how can he be considered “honest and good”?
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 5, p. 133
March 5, 1992