Thursday, February 11, 2010


The first heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard of South Africa in December of 1967. I was ten years old at the time, and I recall being fascinated that such a thing could be done. I read everything I could find about this marvel of medical skill and technology.

Over the years, the procedure has been improved greatly, and many transplant patients are now surviving with their new heart for many years. The future will likely hold even greater success, and current research is focused on the improvement of mechanical hearts, and even the use of organs from other species.

Regardless of how far the science and technology advances in days to come, however, there is one thing of which we can be quite sure. There will never be a "do it yourself" heart transplant procedure. We will never be able to exchange our own diseased heart for a healthy one. Someone other than ourselves will have to perform the operation, someone of far greater knowledge and skill, and someone who has the ability to reach within us and effect the exchange.

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekial 36:26).

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).

The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ promises that God will do for us that which we can never do for ourselves. Even more than with a physical heart transplant, we can never replace a sin-dominated heart with a new spiritual organ, "created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). The Lord Jesus can, and He performs such a miracle of mercy for every person who believes in Him. He furthermore promises to finish the work He begins in the new birth, and Scripture declares that "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10). Our first response to such grace must be to ensure that we maintain focus on the transplanter and keeper of our new hearts, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).

The survival rate for God's transplantees is 100%. "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). To the degree we know such assurance, affixing our gaze on our Savior of grace, we will live in the purity and power of the new heart He has implanted in the depths of our innermost being. We must know and believe that our hearts have been changed, accounting with the Apostle Paul, "I delight in the law of God after the inward man," and "with the mind I myself serve the law of God" (Romans 7:22; 25). Indeed, our Heavenly Father has implanted the Spirit of His Son into our new hearts, and confidence in the work of our great Physician is the basis upon which we thrive in the abundant life provided in "a new heart" and "a new Spirit."

"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Romans 6:11)

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