Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Heart Disease of the Justified

An enlargement of the heart, that peculiar muscle that pumps life-giving, oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, is a symptom of its disease. Precipitating factors have caused it to over-exert itself, and just like any muscle found in the body, it has compensated for the load by increasing in size. Eventually, it will just give out due to fatigue and the host body will die.

Interestingly, this is not the case for the soul of man, his heart—the seat of his emotions, motivations, inclinations, and intellect. Its enlargement is, conversely, an indication of health—spiritual vigor and life—borne out of the nature of Christ that the Spirit has wrought in him. He is a new man, with a heart pumping the eternal life-giving blood of the Lamb, by which immortality is his as he is forever connected to the Vine.

Abraham was such a man, one with an enlarged heart. Can you picture him bartering with God for the souls of a few men, who in his mind could perhaps be entangled in the web of wickedness and debauchery that is Sodom and Gomorrah, with themselves abhorring their current predicament and desiring the righteousness of God? Why would Abraham feel so strongly about this so as to engage the God of Unapproachable Light, knowing himself to be but a worm? Perhaps it is because the light of life that is his heritage as one who has been counted righteous in the sight of God has opened up his eyes to the extent of his own radical depravity, his own unworthiness, and therefore as a justified sinner he feels an affinity with those that are as yet unjustified. "What separates me from them?", he may have asked himself. "What is it in me that I should have been treated so well, and these little ones, forsaken?" He came face to face with grace and his heart was enlarged.

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