Should we pray, ”Create in me a clean heart”?

”Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Ps. 51:10)

In a previous article, we have addressed that we no longer need to ask God not to take His Holy Spirit away from us, like David prayed in Psalms 51. We now live in a new covenant with better promises. The Holy Spirit permanently lives in the heart of every born-again believer. It is therefore a mockery of Jesus and His finished work to ask God not to take away His Spirit from us. Instead, we need to believe that He actually lives in us and never leaves nor forsakes us.

This is equally true when it comes to David’s prayer in Psalms 51 for God to create in him a clean heart. David was right to pray like this, since he lived in the Old Covenant. However, we do not have to pray like this. The very point of the New Covenant is that God gives us a new heart by writing His law in our hearts, instead of on tablets of stone.

”But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Jer. 31:33)

26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (Ez. 36:26-27)

At the moment we receive Jesus, our “heart of stone” is removed, and we receive a new heart – created in God’s likeness, in true righteousness and holiness!

”…put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness”. (Eph. 4:24)

11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Col. 2:11-12)

Paul explains in Colossians 2 that just as the children of Israel were circumcised outwardly in the Old Covenant, we who have received Jesus and live in the New Covenant, have been circumcised inwardly – by the removal of our sinful nature. There are preachers today that claim that believers still struggle with a sin-nature, but this is incorrect. Our body of sin has been put off, and we are now “the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Whenever our heart condemns us – through thoughts in our mind that we are not righteous – we can assure our hearts about what God’s word has to say about it! Our heart needs to be assured that it has been made clean.

19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. (1 Jn. 3:19-20)

This is good news! Instead of having to ask God to give us a clean heart, we can thank God who has already given us a new and pure heart when we were born again! In moments of failure, when we don’t feel clean, by faith we can hold on to what we are in Him – because of the finished work of Jesus.

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