If we were to look for the principal villain in the Christian scenario, the human heart would have to stand a good chance of taking out first prize. Regardless of devils, satans and demons, we only have to look at what comes out of the human heart to realise that the heart pretty-much covers all the issues of sin and etc involved in such ungodly activity.
“Out of the heart come evil thoughts…” Against this we have to look at how the heart is cleansed, and the result that comes from that. Quite apart from the supposed supernatural instigators of mayhem, and notwithstanding the truth or otherwise of this, it is the heart that is apparently in need of cleansing, and it is the heart, once cleansed, that delivers the results and benefits that typify the Christian condition.
We could ask why the heart is in this decrepit condition in the first place, and that would seem obvious, that from being immersed in this corrupt world, not much good could come from that.
Believing with the heart, or from the heart, is what is necessary in order to recover the heart. What is the place of the Spirit in this?
“Out of the heart will flow rivers of living water” This he spoke of the Spirit.
“Love shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit” “Their Hearts were cleansed by faith”. This cleansing is that which renders impotent the operation of the “diabolos”, the tempting mechanism within. This diabolos then, prior to cleansing, is recognised as originating from the heart. From the cleansed heart flows all good things. “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me”.
Heart and flesh? “Sinful flesh” and “sin in the flesh” was a condition described by Paul in Romans 7. “Sin in the flesh”, AKA the sinful heart, even sinful mind? had control over his person, his will was in bondage to the guilt judgement and sinful willfulness inherent in his flesh/heart/mind. When Paul operated from his rational mind, he could “desire” to do what is right, but it did not eventuate. The result was always other than what he desired it to be.
DEATH is overcome. This has far reaching consequences for us. “Sin in the flesh” is simply the control of the human personality by the mayhem it has created, in “digging a hole for oneself” of consequence and reaction to consequence. This results in the confusion and outright rebellion that we see in the human condition today.
God condemned “sin in the flesh” in Jesus body on the cross. Our hearts can now, by faith, by believing in God’s loving mercy, be cleansed, purified, returned to dependency on the Spirit of life in his guidance and empathy. Instead of the autonomous state of “controlled anarchy” we were in.
[It’s not what goes into a man that defiles a man (but what comes out of a man)] [Why have you conceived this thing in your heart] [create in me a new heart O God] [I will put in you a new heart] [You are already clean by the word I have spoken] [My words to you are spirit and life] [Given birth to by the word] [I will create in you a new heart] [It’s the heart that must be born again?] [sin and the heart?]