A man is not a murderer because he kills; he kills because he is a murderer.
For out of the heart come murders (Matthew 15:19).
A man is not an adulterer because he cheats on his wife; he cheats on his wife because he is an adulterer.
For out of the heart comes adultery (Matthew 15:19).
A man is not sexually immoral because he preys on children; he preys on children because he is sexually immoral.
For out of the heart comes sexual immorality (Matthew 15:19).
A man is not a thief because he steals; he steals because he is a thief.
For out of the heart comes theft (Matthew 15:19).
A man is not a slanderer because he gossips; he gossips because he is a slanderer.
For out of the heart comes slander (Matthew 15:19).
The heart of every issue is an issue of the heart.
The “heart” as described in scripture is who you really are. So, in this Matthew passage, we see where Jesus puts his finger on the culprit of every sinful behavior . . . our corrupt, deceitful, desperately wicked heart (Jeremiah 17:9).
Jesus said to the Pharisees, Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. (Matt. 26:25-26)
The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.
“Jesus teaches us that there is something far more fundamental to our sinfulness than the actual sins we commit,” Tom Ascol goes on to say. “Our sins do not make us sinful. Rather, we commit sins because, at the very center of our lives, we are sinful. Sin has invaded the inner recesses of our personalities.”
We can spend hours discussing the recent events of our world and try to come up with man-made answers and “band-aid” solutions to the murders in 2022, the war in Ukraine, the angry outbursts and ungodly actions from political leaders, the trafficking of humans, the abortion of babies, and the continual sinful behavior displayed daily on our phones and ipads, but the answer and solution is only found in the Word of God.
Sinful man must have a changed, transformed heart through the power of the gospel (John 3; Romans 3:9-23; 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Once he repents and believes in Christ alone for salvation (Romans 10:9-13), the Holy Spirit comes to indwell that man whereby he is now able to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of his heart/flesh (Galatians 5:18-24; Romans 6-8).
Much, much more to be said, but I’ll end with a word of great hope:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:2-4)