Bible Study: “The Heart of A Christian”

Glen Dawursk, Jr. – www.yuthguy.com

 

Leader’s Script

 

When God created us, he created us with one purpose; He desired a relationship with us.  This relationship was based upon love for us.  In essence God wanted to love us and He wanted us to love Him.  Our heart was one with God at creation and God was praised through this holy, pure relationship.

 

But his Heart became broken when sin ruined that relationship.  I image that God cried over the loss His us.  He cries over us still today.  Even Jesus cried for us in the Garden of Eden. 

 

But, man’s evil changed the heart God had created in His image.  And His heart became even more broken.

 

Genesis 6:5-8

The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

 

God was hurting and had decided to start over, yet because of the righteous heart of just one man and his family, God changed His mind.  Noah was that man.  When the boat came to rest on Mt. Ararat, God’s love for Noah caused Him to make a  rainbow” promise to the world:

 

Genesis 8:21
The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

 

God wanted to have a relationship still with man, but sin kept getting in the way.

The Children of Israel were allowed by God to become slaves in Egypt because their heart had not remained committed to a relationship with God.  When it came time for Moses to free them from that slavery, the Bible tells us that:

 

Exodus 7:13
Yet Pharaoh's heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

 

Amazingly, there is still only one sin that is NOT forgiven by God when we die and that is the “hardening of our heart toward God; the rejection of His love relationship with us.”

 

But God doesn’t give up His people.  Like a love letter, He wrote on the hearts of His people His desires and His wants.  We call this our “conscience.”

 

Romans 2:14-15
(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

 

But just like many people do today, the Children of Israel suppressed their conscience many times throughout the Old Testament.  They rejected the relationship often.  That is one of the reasons they roamed for 40 years in the desert. 

 

1 Timothy 4:1-2

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

 

Titus 1:15
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

 

The Israelites couldn’t keep their commitment to God.  So when Moses has a really bad headache, God sent up Mount Sinai to get two tablets.  (joke)  These tablets contained the desires and wants God expected in this relationship, but even as Moses was on the mountain getting the commandments, His people were rejecting the relationship and seeking an idol made of gold. 

 

But God still wanted a relationship with His people.  He wanted them for His own.

 

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD , the God of your fathers, promised you. 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 upon 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.

 

This relationship was based upon an expectation that we had to follow God’s commandments to gain His favor. We had to be not just good – He wanted us to be perfect. He wanted our hearts to be pure again. This was the Old Covenant.

 

Joshua 22:5
But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."

 

But sin wouldn’t allow us to keep the law perfectly.  So God decided to follow the commandants perfectly on our behalf.  He decided to make a new covenant with us through His Son, Jesus.  Jesus lived the perfect life we could not live and took the “crud” of our hearts and made us pure and holy again before God.  God renewed our relationship – we could NOT do it on our own. We tried, but we couldn’t do it.  God did it all.

 

In the Old Testament the area where the High Priests prayed on the behalf of the people was called the Holy of Holies.  This area was surrounded by a one foot thick peace of cloth.  The priest had to be “clean” physically and spiritually before He could intercede for the people otherwise God would strike Him dead.   God expected perfection.

 

But Jesus changed all that.  On the cross when He cried out “It is finished,” He was saying that He had fulfilled the commandments perfectly on our behalf.  They were no longer a “requirement” in order for our heart relationship to be renewed with Him. 

 

On the day Jesus died a significant thing happened.  That one foot thick curtain ripped in half.  We were now free to go before God.  We could once again love God with a pure heart. 

 

Hebrews 9:14
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death or from useless ritual so that we may serve the living God!

 

But if the rules are no longer a requirement for us to have a relationship with God – then why follow them?   This is where the “Heart of a Christian” comes in. 

 

Our Heart is supposed to be like how we may feel when we fall madly in love with a Guy or Girl the first time.  We lose all track of time, our thoughts are always on that person and we will to do anything to please and dazzle that person.  That is how it is with a Christian. You see, we are not held accountable to the commandments – but out of a desire to serve and praise God, we desire to do His will.  We desire to the things which dazzle Him because we are madly in love with Him.  It is all about a response to what God has done for us.

 

  1. It starts with “respect for God.  This is the head knowledge we learn in catechism classes.  We believe the creeds, we trust the scriptures and we desire to be different.

 

Deuteronomy 4:39
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.

 

Matthew 22:34-40

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:   "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

 

Jesus said that the #1 commandment was to simply be madly in love with Him.  

 

  1. Next, we are to be “humbled” and repentant for how we have not lived up to His commandments and we seek His forgiveness through the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

Deuteronomy 4:29
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

 

2 Chronicles 34:27
Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD .

 

Psalm 149:4
For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.

 

 

  1. Next, we decide to change to a life of “integrity” as a response to what He has done.  Just like King Josiah when he found the Book of the Law – the Old Covenant, he threw out and destroyed everything that was contrary to God. He purified the life of himself and his people. 

 

2 Kings 23 24-25

Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD .  Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did-with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

 

Acts 24:16
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

 

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.

 

 

  1. And finally, we maintain our conviction to God’s renewed relationship with us no matter the temptation or hardship.  We must have “perseverance.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:6-7
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

 

Respect God, humble yourself and repent of our sins, live a life of Godly integrity and have perseverance when your faith is tested.  These are the unique qualities of the Heart of a Christian.  Why?  Because they are the qualities of Jesus.  He respected His Father – even spending time at 12 years old to learn about Him from the Jewish teachers in the temple.  He humbled Himself – by washing the disciple’s feet, touching lepers and dying a shameful death on a cross.  He lived a life of such integrity -- that even Pontius Pilot could not find fault with him. And He persevered through significant temptations from Satan in the desert, verbal attacks by the Pharisees and extreme physical pain from the beatings and His death.  The Heart of a Christian is having Jesus Christ living, beating, and circulating His life blood in the lives of His people.  He is the Heart of a Christian.

 

Printable Handout:  Downloadable MS Word File

Power Point Slide Show: Downloadable MS Power Point File

 

 

 

Bible Study:
The Heart of a Christian

Glen Dawursk, Jr.

 

When God created us, he created us with one purpose; He desired a ________________ with us. 

 

But his Heart became broken when __________ ruined that relationship. 

 

 

Genesis 6:5-8

The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

 

 

God was hurting and had decided to start over, yet because of the righteous ______________ of just one man and his family, God changed His mind.

 

 

Genesis 8:21

The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

 

 

The Children of Israel were allowed by God to become slaves in Egypt because their heart had not remained ______________________ to a relationship with God. 

 

Exodus 7:13
Yet Pharaoh's heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

 

 

Amazingly, there is still only one sin that is NOT forgiven by God when we die and that is the “hardening of our heart toward God; the ___________________ of His love relationship with us.”

 

 

But God doesn’t give up His people.  Like a love letter, He wrote on the hearts of His people His desires and His wants.  We call this our “_____________________.” 

 

 

Romans 2:14-15
(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

 

But just like many people do today, the Children of Israel ____________________ their conscience many times throughout the Old Testament. 

 

 

1 Timothy 4:1-2

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

 

Titus 1:15
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

 

 

 

 

 

The Israelites could not keep their commitment to God. 

But God still ______________________ a relationship with His people. 
He wanted them for His own.

 

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD , the God of your fathers, promised you. 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 upon 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.

 

This relationship was based upon an expectation that we had to follow God’s commandments to gain His favor. We had to be not just good – He wanted us to be ________________. He wanted our hearts to be pure again. This was the __________ Covenant.

 

Joshua 22:5
But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."

 

God renewed our relationship – we could ____________ do it on our own.

 

Hebrews 9:14
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death or from useless ritual so that we may serve the living God!

 

But if the rules are no longer a requirement for us to have a relationship with God – then why follow them?   This is where the “Heart of a Christian” comes in. 

 

It is all about a response to what God has done for us.

 

  1. It starts with “______________    for God.”  This is the head knowledge we learn in catechism classes.  We believe the creeds, we trust the scriptures and we desire to be different.

 

 

Deuteronomy 4:39
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.

 

Matthew 22:34-40

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:   "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

 

Jesus said that the #1 commandment was to simply be madly in love with Him.  

 

  1. Next, we are to be ______________ and repentant for how we have not lived up to His commandments and we seek His forgiveness through the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Deuteronomy 4:29
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

 

2 Chronicles 34:27
Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD .

 

Psalm 149:4
For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.

 

 

  1. Next, we decide to change to a life of _____________ as a response to what He has done. 

 

2 Kings 23 24-25

Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD .  Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did-with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

Acts 24:16
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

 

Deuteronomy 4:9
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.

 

 

  1. And finally, we maintain our conviction to God’s renewed relationship with us no matter the temptation or hardship.  We must have __________________.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:6-7
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

 

 

Why?  Because they are the qualities of Jesus.

·      He ____________ His Father

·      He ____________ Himself

·      He lived a life of ______________

·      He ______________

 

 

The Heart of a Christian is having Jesus Christ living, beating, and circulating His life blood in the lives of His people.

 

Jesus is the Heart of a Christian.