Written on Your Heart

The uncircumcised who keep God’s ways are as good as the circumcised—in fact, better.

Romans 2:25 The Message

 



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At Arapaho United Methodist Church is Pastor Jack Soper’s Bible Study class the topic of “Written on Your Heart” came up.  Somehow I had to share my experience:

As a child I was raised in a Christian Vacuum. My parents NEVER took me to church or spoke to me of God. Unlike many children I did not learn anything about God until I became an adult. I came to Jesus Christ in 2000, I was 47 years old! Over 40+ years of not having a relationship with God!  

When I finally came to Christ it was like being hit with a Sledgehammer!  God grabbed me and would not let go! 

Back to Jack’s Bible Study:

First I sheepishly apologized for my coming remarks because I felt that at first they would not sound right at first.

I feel like I have never “Learned Anything.” This was kind of a startling statement from one who has been attending Pastor Jack’s Bible Study.

I explained again that I was never raised knowing Jesus Christ. I feel like I have NEVER LEARNED ANYTHING! IT WAS ALWAYS MORE LIKE REMEMBERING the Teachings of Jesus Christ! 

Kind of like when you see a person, you recognize the face, but you can’t place the name. And then finally the Light goes off and you remember with joy and satisfaction the name of the person!

For me ALL of Scripture has always been written on my heart. Scripture was innate -- always there, I just needed a nudging to remember it!

This is where Pastor Jack has been vitally important to my Spiritual growth. Pastor Jack is a person who through his sermons and bible study AWAKENS MY MEMORY!

I don’t know if God’s Word is written on our DNA or how it is written on our hearts, but it is there for ALL People!

Pastor Jack then began to explain more from Apostle Paul, that indeed it is Written on Your Heart!

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Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9




Circumcision of the Heart

The Jews and the Law

17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God;18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”[a]

25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[b] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 2:24 Isaiah 52:5 (see Septuagint); Ezek. 36:20,22
  2. Romans 2:27 Or who, by means of a

 Romans 2:17-29 





Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with God’s law. But if you don’t, it’s worse than not being circumcised. The reverse is also true:

 The uncircumcised who keep God’s ways are as good as the circumcised—in fact, better.

 Better to keep God’s law uncircumcised than break it circumcised.

 Don’t you see: It’s not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew. You become a Jew by who you are. It’s the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin,  that makes a Jew. And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.

Romans 2:25-29 The Message


(The following is a free excerpt from the book “ALL Old Testament Laws Cancelled” by Greg Gibson)

Objection: “But the New Covenant Law Is Written in the Heart, Not the New Testament”

Since the New Covenant law is written in the heart (Heb. 8:10), does that mean that it’s not also written in the New Testament?

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
    after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
    and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.                                                                  
Hebrews 8:10


Let’s explore what the words “write on the heart” mean by surveying parallel verses. We find the idea of “writing on the heart” at least 6 times in Scripture…

“Write My Laws on the Heart” and “Bind Them on the Body”
Means “Keep My Commands”



1. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:1-3).

2. “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:1-3).


Sin (Disobedience to God’s Law) Can Be Written on the Heart

3. “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their Asherim” (Jer. 17:1-2).


“Put My Laws in Their Hearts/Minds” Results in Obedience

4.-5. “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people”       (Jer. 31:33; cf. Heb. 8:10).


“Written on Our Heart” Likely Means “Loved by Us”

6. “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts (loved by us), to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor. 3:2-3).

In addition to those 6 passages, there are at least 3 similar passages about binding God’s commands on the heart and body. This is significant because in Proverbs 3:3 and 7:3 above, “write commands on the tablet of your heart” = “bind them around your neck/ fingers” = “keep My commands.”

So, writing on the heart, binding on the body, and obeying are likely synonyms from Hebrew parallelism.


Binding God’s Commands on the Heart/Body
Is a Metaphor for Obeying His Commands

“My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck” (Proverbs 6:20-21; cf. 1:9).

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart…You shall bind them as a sign on your hand…” (Deut. 6:4-8).

“And if you will indeed obey my commandments…You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children…” (Deut. 11:13, 18-19).


The Old Covenant Law
Was In Regenerate Saints’ Hearts and the Old Testament

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart” (Deut. 6:6).

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul…” (Deut. 11:18)

“I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8)

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11)

Antinomianism errs by reading the word “only” into Heb. 8:10, like this, “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them (ONLY) on their hearts (not in the New Testament)…”

Remember earlier, we saw that Old Covenant saints probably already had all 7 New Covenant blessings from Jer. 31:31-34, including the law written both in their hearts and the Old Testament. So, New Covenant saints can also have the New Covenant law of Christ written both in their hearts and the New Testament.

In Hebrew and Greek, the heart is the center of the mind, emotions, will, desires, etc. So, God writing His New Covenant law in our hearts is a metaphor meaning He will regenerate our hearts to remember, love, and obey His laws.

Plus, since the law in the heart is a metaphor, we need to be careful about trying to reason additional doctrine from it. The hermeneutics of metaphor will not allow us to reason, “Since God’s law is written in the heart, therefore it is not written in the New Testament.”

Metaphors communicate that A is like B in some ways, but not all ways. So, beware of pressing a metaphor’s details since it’s designed to illustrate only some truths. Metaphors, parables, and types are all designed to symbolize major themes, not details.

In conclusion, God writing His laws on our hearts has nothing to do with content or location, that is, the heart instead of the New Testament. “…God’s love has been poured into our hearts…” (Rom. 5:5) does not mean that His love is not also recorded in Scripture. He wrote His law in the New Testament, and made it precious to our regenerate hearts, guaranteeing our obedience.

(Excerpted from the book: “ALL Old Testament Laws Cancelled”
24 Reasons Why All Old Testament Laws Are Cancelled, And All New Testament Laws Are for Our Obedience, by Greg Gibson, pp. 115-117.)






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