Scripture Reading: “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:10)
The heart cleansing of sinners requires nothing short of a new creation. The Bible teaches us that all who come to Christ in faith are made into new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). All old things pass away and all things become new. Not only do we cease to be the person we used to be and stop living the life we used to live, but we also become a new person and begin living a new life.
We who were once dead to God in trespasses and sins become alive to God by believing in Christ (Ephesians 2:1). Our new life in Christ begins with a new birth, which occurs the moment we trust Christ for salvation (John 3:3). In that very moment Christ comes to indwell our spirit in the person of the Holy Spirit. As a result, our spirit, which was once dead to God because of our iniquities, is made alive to God by the indwelling Christ. With the eternal life of Christ living within us, we are made eternally alive to God and fitted to live forever as a member of the eternal companion of Christ; namely, His bride, the church.
Along with receiving the new birth and being made into a new creation, all who come to Christ also receive a new heart. Through the ancient Prophet Ezekiel, God promised a new covenant within which He would give every repentant sinner “a new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26). According to Ezekiel, God’s new covenant would bring to the repentant sinner a miraculous heart transplant. Christ, the Great Physician, would remove the sinner’s “stony heart,” with its natural proclivity for unrighteousness, and replace it with “a new heart of flesh,” with its natural proclivity for righteousness.
What David prayed for long ago, we presently possess in Christ. As the Apostle Peter taught in 2 Peter 1:4, we have become “partakers of the divine nature.” Our sinful nature—our old “stony” heart—has been replaced by the divine nature—“a new heart of flesh.” As a result of having a “clean” heart created within us, a heart which doesn’t “lust” after sinful things, we can escape the luring corruption of this fallen world.
“The new covenant does not promise us a heart torn between two natures, as is often preached in today’s church, but a heart transplant, performed for us by the Great Physician. God gives the Christian a new heart so that Christ can take up residence within it. Since Christ cannot possibly move into our old sinful heart of stone, God gives us a new heart at conversion so that Christ can have adequate living accommodations in our lives.” (Don Walton—The King of Hearts: The Simplicity of Living in the Spirit)