Q. I have a question. Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately wicked:who can know it? In Acts 8:37 Philip said “If thou belivest with all thine heart, thou mayest (be baptized). And he (the eunuch) answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” These two passages almost seem to be contradicting each other. How can we believe with all our heart if our heart is incurably deceitful?
A. Since the time in the wilderness the commandment to love the Lord with all our heart has been a requirement (Deut. 6:4-5). Jesus called this the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:36-38). Like all God’s commandments it’s impossible to obey completely as long as we have a sin nature, but when we’re perfected we’ll become able to obey.
In the meantime God chooses to see all believers not as we are, but as we will be then. (2 Cor. 5:17,21). He can do this because all the sins of our life were forgiven at the cross (Colossians 2:13-14). To God it’s as if we never sinned at all, and He accepts our flawed ability as being pure in motive.