God’s Cure For Spiritual Heart Disease

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Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
 
Here in Ephesians Chapter 2 Paul is talking about the riches of God’s grace toward the human race in sending His Son to save us. However, before a person will appreciate the riches of God’s grace toward them and receive God’s gift of salvation—they must first be convinced of their own sinfulness.
 
Let’s put it this way—say you have a very serious disease that, if left untreated, will kill you and yet you didn’t realize you were infected with this disease.
 
Now let’s say that I recognized the symptoms you have because—I too was once infected with that same disease. And so, I came to you and told you that I had a cure for the disease you were infected with—a miracle cure—the only one in the world that could save your life.  You would probably say to me, “Get lost, I don’t have a disease, I feel fine.”
 
As long as you were convinced that you were healthy you wouldn’t appreciate the cure I was offering to you because—in your mind, you wouldn’t see your need for it. Now let’s imagine that I began to tell you the symptoms of this disease, and as I did you began to realize that you did have those symptoms.
 
If I could eventually convince you that you were, in fact, infected with this deadly disease—then how do you think you’d appreciate the cure? You see that’s in essence what Paul is doing here in Ephesians 2:1-3.
 
In the first three verses of Ephesians chapter 2 he is basically telling us that many centuries ago—our forefather Adam infected himself with a deadly disease called ‘sin.’ It’s a terminal disease that he has passed down to all of his children. If left untreated the result is spiritual death (hell) forever—without exception.
 
The only cure is the blood of Christ which is applied through faith.
 
The problem is that most people don’t feel ‘sick’, they don’t feel like there’s a problem—why, because they’ll tell you, “I’m a good person. I do (fill in the blank) good things—sinful (sick) people don’t do that! Besides, look at how my life is being blessed. God doesn’t bless sinners like I’m being blessed!”
Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV)
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness…
 
Listen, just like a doctor can only help those who realize they’re sick and seek help—so too, Jesus can only help those who know they’re sinners and therefore need of a Savior.
Paul understood this and so in the first three verses of Ephesians 2 he starts out by telling us the disease we had before we knew Jesus—we were “dead in trespasses and sins” (separated from God). He then proceeds to tell us what some of the symptoms of this condition are—we “conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind…” (v.3)
 
Paul listed some of these “lusts of the flesh” in Galatians 5 Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT) When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these…
 
Once again, these are all the symptoms of the terminal disease that has infected the human race.
 
In Ephesians 2, after giving us the symptoms of our condition, he then lays out the consequences—”and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others (doomed to be judged and sent to hell forever)”. (v.3)
 
That is the hopeless condition the human race, apart from Christ, finds itself in—it’s hopeless because man is helpless to change his condition—“Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.” (Jer.13:23)
 
To put it another way—man has a bad heart—it’s been infected by sin and if left untreated he will die—eternally (hell/lake of fire).
 
The cure—man needs a new heart—a heart transplant if you will.  The problem is that man can’t change his own heart—only God can do that. David cried in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart—O God!”
 
Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
 
How does God do this?  He does it when you put your trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
 
Without putting your faith in Jesus there is no hope of ever having eternal life—and you will die in your sins.  The New Testament tells us that we can never earn our salvation—it is a gift that God is offering to us by His grace, received by us through our faith.
 
Look, many people who have a serious disease like cancer, often have it months if not years before the first symptom shows up. By that time the disease has often progressed to the point where permanent damage has been done or death is inevitable—that’s why early detection is critical.
 
The same is true with sin.
 
A person can go a long time before the symptoms start to catch up with them—and by that time irreparable damage has been done. Done to them physically (cirrhosis of the liver, lung disease, HIV), mentally (plagued by guilt and depression) and outwardly (a broken marriage, the inability to maintain a job or friendships etc.)
 
The Bible says that “the way of the transgressor is hard”; and ‘woe to him/her who wrestles against their Maker’. Sin will beat you up, wear you out and eat you away—like a cancer.
 
How much better to repent and receive God’s cure by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and, by His grace and strength, living in obedience to what His has commanded?  The Great Physician is ready to perform a spiritual heart transplant on you today—if you’re willing!
 
Pastor Phil