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“And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3
So, the other day, Lord, You brought me to meditate on how You have engraved me in Your hand and the significance that holds for my identity in You. Actually, it’s significant for my absolute identity. That placement defines and creates who I am. But You don’t stop there with that amazing placement of making me so close to You that I am a part of You and united with You. You also engrave Yourself in me!
That Greek word for writing is “eggrapho.” It can mean “to engrave, inscribe, write in or on.” Is this just something written superficially? Or has the ink sunk into the paper and has it become as one body? Is this whole idea significant? What was Paul talking about in verse 2 when he said, “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men…”? So we are like a letter that God has written, or like something engraved or inscribed even in other people’s hearts, and in our own hearts?
Jeremiah 31:33 tells me it doesn’t stop there. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” And maybe this is an awkward procession, but because I’m grafted in to Your people by faith in Christ, You put Your law, Your ways, Your will, Your heart, Your Spirit in me. How do You do that? You write it in my heart and You write it in the heart of every believer. That’s why we are in one another’s hearts! That Hebrew word for write is “kathab.” Guess what? It means “to grave.” What if this is deeper than writing on the surface? What if this is writing into the depths of our hearts like You engrave us in Your hands? What if You are not only placing us deeply within You but placing Yourself deeply and permanently inside of us? You have created this beautiful two way relationship. And there is none other like it. You make Yourself our God and You make us Your people. It’s all by Your power and work as we surrender to You.
Paul reminded his brethren how they could not please God on their own in Hebrews 8:10.
“This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. ” He reminded them of His promise to make a new covenant with them. Now understand this. That word for new doesn’t mean brand new, wipe away the old. This Greek word “kainos” means “what is new in nature, different from the usual, impressive, superior.” What’s better, to have God write His nature on blocks of stone or in our hearts? There was a time when most people had to live by “superficial” obedience in their strength. The Holy Spirit didn’t yet indwell all believers. But God already designed that He was going to change our natures, make them different from what they usually were, make them more impressively like Him, and give us superior power. That’s the new nature we have in Christ because He’s not about following rules and regulations and speculations out of a book or written on stone. He takes Himself and engraves Himself within our hearts. We experience Him individually in our lives. He’s personal even though He is God and more than personal. He stoops to engrave His character personally in our hearts so we can experience and understand Him and live for Him and in Him ourselves.
Now in Hebrews 8:10, Paul stresses the truth of You, Lord engraving Yourself, Your law, Your character, in our hearts and putting You in our minds. But in Hebrews 10:16 he states, “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Lord, You are not only going to engrave Your will in our hearts, but You will engrave Your will in our minds also! Everything that guides my emotions and thinking will be engraved with Your character, Your person, You. You care that much about me that You would do the work in me that it takes to make me like You. You care that much about me that You would reach into the very depths of my soul and place Yourself there.
So today I’m going to do something different. I am just going to summarize with powerful words of encouragement about the effect this work of Yours has on us. I’m going to just praise You right now by shouting out and rejoicing in what this means for me and every believer and praise You that You have chosen to love us this way and work in us this way. May these words of truth and life bless every reader.
“And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your sould, that you may live.” Deuteronomy 30:6
“The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” Psalm 37:31
“I delight to do your will, O my God: yes, your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8
“Listen to me, you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings.” Isaiah 51:7
” And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19
“Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will Iput within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man ” Romans 7:22
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:2-9
“For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle [letter] of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart…Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites couldn not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?” 2 Corinthians 3:3,7,8
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22,23
“‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ says the Lord; ‘I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” Hebrews 8:10
“‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, ‘ says the Lord, ‘I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them'” Hebrews 10:16