On Saturday, Steve and I were discussing the purpose of miracles in the Bible and how they were meant to signify that the person, or their message, was from God. A few days later I noted John 2:23-25:
23 Now while He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs He was doing and believed in His name.
So, what does His name mean? "Jesus" means, "Jehovah is salvation" (Matthew 1:21); "Immanuel" means, "God with us." Therefore, the people appear to have believed that God was with them working for their liberation through Messiah Jesus, as attested to by the miracles.
24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25 He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.
These verses tell us that Jesus did not return the confidence, with or without the testimony of signs, because He knows what people are in the hidden depths of their souls. So, what does God know about us? I decided to round up all the verses that shed light upon His knowledge of the human heart.
The Nature of Mankind As Described by God in the Bible:
Psalm 14:2-3 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately wicked; who can understand it?
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard change his spots? Then can you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.
Job 14:4 Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
Romans 3:9-18 . . . for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips, whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Romans 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
Romans 8:7 ... because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.
I Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Ephesians 2:1-2 And you who were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Ephesians 4:17-18 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of the mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.
Changed through God's Grace and Mercy:
Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
Eph. 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God
Romans 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
Romans 9:18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God.
John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me, I will certainly not cast out.
John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 10:26 But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep.
John 6:65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
Acts 13:48 . . .and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
• Human will is not free because it is a pre-determined will in that it acts on the consistent impulse of a fully fallen nature which hates God and loves self. This is the root cause of evil.
• Human will can be said to be free in the sense that it is un-coerced by any outside force; therefore, mankind is still morally responsible.