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In the Gates

Grace for Stubborn Hearts

Deuteronomy 10.14-16

Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the LORD set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”

In order to bless us with His “good”, God requires of us something we cannot accomplish: He requires that we “circumcise” our hearts. And what God requires of us, He will hold us accountable to perform (Gen. 4.6-12).

Here again, the grace of the Law is evident. For what God requires of His people, He promises to perform on their behalf (cf. Deut. 30.1-10). God promised to circumcise the hearts of His people so that they would be able to keep His Law and, thereby, know the blessings of His covenant. He is powerful to conceive the Law and to require its obedience; He is also powerful to enable His people to love and walk in it.

Ezekiel and Jeremiah assign the fulfillment of this promise to the time of the New Covenant (Jer. 31.31-34; Ezek. 36.26, 27). All those, therefore, who have come to faith in Jesus Christ have received a new heart, a clean heart, and the indwelling Spirit of God. And all who have that Spirit in them will have hearts formed by the Spirit to know and obey the Law of God, unto their good.

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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