The Law Written On The Heart
One can hardly read within the books of the prophets without having questions regarding the New Covenant, and God’s law. So, as I journey through the scriptures I place high value on Jeremiah 31:31,32,33 and Isaiah 42:6-9, which states;
The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord: that is my name. I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.
From the scriptures listed in Jeremiah and Isaiah I have learned three things.
- God’s “Chosen One” would be a Covenant for the people.
- A light for the Gentiles.
- God would put his law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
But is it possible to confirm these same words in the New Testament? In Hebrews 10:15,16 it states;
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this, first he says: 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.
As one can see, not only is this written in the Old Testament, it’s also written in the New Testament.
But what exactly does God mean about his laws being written upon the heart?
To understand this I turned to Matthew 5:17-19, which states;
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
So the Law is God’s commandments. But how can we know for sure this is true? 1 John 5:2-4 states;
This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.
But I needed further confirmation regarding the commandments. I turned to Matthew 19:17 which states;
Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.
These are the words of Jesus and he’s telling me if you want to enter life, keep the commandments. Which is the very law that is written on our hearts and minds, their God’s commandments. And when you go through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John not only are you learning about Jesus’s ministry, and his death but your learning about the commandments.
Haven’t you noticed? During Jesus’s ministry he speaks of Murder, adultery, divorce, Keeping the Sabbath, forgiveness, sin, faith, prayer, love, and judging others. Of course, Jesus goes much further than these very basics.
But I’m sure many are confused by the scripture found in Matthew 22:37,38 when Jesus replied:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
If one “truly” loves God with all their heart, soul and mind NO COMMANDMENTS would ever be broken. It’s impossible to break the commandments when one “truly” loves God in this way.