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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke

A Devotional from the Desk of John Bunyan: Is Your Heart Deceitful? Think About it?

July 11

A Deceitful Heart


“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Jeremiah 17: 9.


[T]he law being absolutely perfect, does not only respect the matter and manner as to outward acts, but also the rise and root, the heart, from whence they flow. And an impediment there spoils all, were the executive part never so good—"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, with ALL thy soul, with ALL thy mind, and with ALL thy strength” (Mark 12: 30). Mark the repetition[:] with all, with all, with all; with all thy heart, with all thy soul, in all things, at all times, else you had as [to] good do nothing. But “every imagination of the thought of the heart of man is only evil continually” (Genesis 6: 5). The . . . [interpretation] “the whole imagination, the purposes, and desires.” So that a good root is here wanting. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17: 9). What thoughts, words, or actions can be clean, sufficiently to answer a perfect law that flows from this original? It is impossible. “Men must therefore be justified from the curse, in the sight of God, while sinners in themselves.” But further yet to open the case. There are . . . things that make it impossible that a man should stand just in the sight of God but while sinful in himself.

[One of these], Because the law under which he at present stands, holds him under the dominion of sin; for sin by the law hath dominion over all that are under the law (Romans 6: 14). Dominion, I say, both as to guilt and filth. Guilt hath dominion over him because he is under the curse. And filth, because the law giveth him no power, neither can he by it deliver his soul.

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