Our Hearts, God’s Home -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.
EmJ 3:2 (Win 94) p. 143
Our Hearts, God’s Home
An Exposition of John 14:22–24
St. Augustine uttered many famous sentences, but one of the most famous is his word concerning the fundamental character of the heart of man. “Thou hast made us for Thyself,” Augustine exclaimed, “and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.”2
Of course Augustine did not intend by that word to deny the depravity of the heart of man. What he sought to say is that man, simply because he was created in the image of God and prepared for the deepest of relationships with Him, could not ignore God. At man’s inmost being there exists a persistent hunger for God. The fall, however, has wrought complications, and now that persistent hunger is refused, repressed, and suppressed, but it is still there. That is one of the reasons why Isaiah says so often, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked” (cf. Isa. 48:22; 57:21, 59:8). At the heart of unsaved, depraved man is conflict.
Man knows that there is a God, but he does all that he can to deny that he does. Paul puts it this way, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
EmJ 3:2 (Win 94) p. 144
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (cf. Rom. 1:18, NASB).
Westminster’s great affirmation, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,”3 is an unattained goal, because there is no resolution of man’s nature and later fall in the harmony of peace with God. That only comes through the acknowledgment of sin and the reception of the peace with God that flows from reconciliation with God through the cross of Christ (cf. Rom. 5:1–11). Man, therefore, is troubled and disturbed in his soul.
It is not surprising, then, to discover that one of the major themes of the Bible has to do with God’s initiatives in the remedying of the situation. From the beginning of the Bible to its end the theme of God’s presence in harmony and peace with men is told forth. The promises of the Old Testament period look on to the solution in the cross of Christ, and the remainder of the Bible describes all the details in the program that leads t...
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