Sins of the Heart




  1. We recently studied Simon the Pharisee, where Jesus perfectly read his self-righteous thoughts.
  2. We recently studied Job 28, where understanding is defined as departing from evil (Job 28:28).
  3. Preaching on the heart has been done before: A Pure Heart (2002), Heart Examination (2004), Heart of David (2004), Hot Heads, Loose Lips, and Bad Hearts (2007), Lip Service (2007), Delusions of Deceived Christians (2008), Is Your Heart Perfect? (2010), Vain Thoughts (2010), and Keeping the Heart (2013).
  4. When reading the Bible, heart synonyms include thoughts, mind, spirit, soul, desires, lusts, etc.
  5. This subject could be extended to be exhaustive, but let us limit ourselves to basic heart conviction.

Importance of the Heart

  1. Men look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart (I Sam 16:7).
  2. God measures your heart, which is deceitful above all things (Jer 17:9-10; 3:7-11).
  3. Of course, every man believes he is right, but God ponders the hearts (Pr 21:2; 24:12).
  4. Sin starts in the heart by allowing a lust room to operate to plan a sin (James 1:13-16).
  5. Discernment is limited, but husbands and fathers want far more than mere compliance.
  6. All actions proceed from the heart, so keeping it requires all diligence (Proverbs 4:23).
  7. It is possible for true Christians to get a cold heart and leave God (Hebrews 3:12-13).
  8. The thought of foolishness is sin, no matter what kind of folly you consider (Pr 24:9).
  9. We beat the foolishness out of hearts, according to the will of God (Pr 22:15; 29:15).

Nature of N.T. Religion

  1. Jesus told the woman of Samaria God sought worship in spirit, or heart (Jn 4:20-24).
  2. No other authority, even civil judges, know and punish you for your heart, but God does right now and will in Judgment Day hold you accountable for your thoughts.
  3. Jesus used Isaiah’s prophecy of hypocritical mouth religion without heart (Mark 7:6).
  4. Our High Priest fully comprehends the exact details of your heart (Hebrews 4:12-14).
  5. Jesus taught that sin comes from the heart, not outward actions (Mat 12:34; 15:10-20).
  6. Note condemnation of losing first love, lukewarmness, lovers of pleasures over God.
  7. God’s ministers attack your heart and thoughts for obedience to Christ (II Cor 10:4-6).

Consequences of Heart Sins

  1. The backslider in heart will be repaid accordingly, but so will his opposite (Pr 14:14).
  2. Used by Jesus, Isaiah foretold what God does when the heart is missing (Is 29:13-16).
  3. Satan is not as ignorant as your parents, spouse, or pastor, so your heart sins give him an opening in your life (II Cor 2:10-11; Eph 4:26-27; 6:11; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9).
  4. God drowned the world for continual evil imaginations of thoughts of hearts (Ge 6:5).

ADULTERY (mental)

  1. Desiring, fantasizing, or imagining sexual pleasure that would be sin is itself that sin.
  2. The Bible condemns mental adultery via the thoughts (Job 31:1; Pr 6:25; Matt 5:28).
  3. This sin is fed by pornography or romance novels or by entertainment involving them.
  4. God chose you for an ungodly and immodest generation, but you can keep your heart.
  5. Though adultery here, it applies just as strictly to sinful heart lusts of the unmarried.
  6. It is possible to admire a beautiful woman without desiring her, but you play with fire.
  7. Adultery is a capital crime, and God considers it so in your heart and mind. Beware!
  8. God knows your vicarious thrill, and He knows you would do it with the opportunity.
  9. Cut off inputs or circumstances that tempt you and dedicate yourself to your spouse.


  1. Active feeling provoked against an object; passion, rage; wrath, ire, hot displeasure.
  2. It is sin if without cause or not resolved immediately (Pr 29:22; Eph 4:26,31; Col 3:8).
  3. It may give place to the devil and is like or leads to murder (Ep 4:26-27; Mat 5:21-26).
  4. Anger starts in the spirit, though there are outward, visible signs (Pr 16:32; Eccl 7:9).
  5. A good man will defer anger and prove his glory by passing over offences (Pr 19:11).
  6. Forgive offences of any kind and choose peace to be great in sight of God and men.


  1. Intense animosity or virulence of feeling: virulent. Violently bitter, spiteful, or malignant; full of acrimony or enmity.
  2. It is related to hatred, revenge, covetousness, envy, cursing, anger, criticism, and trouble (II Sam 2:26; Ac 8:23; Rom 3:14;  13:26; Ps 64:2-4; Eph 4:31; Heb 12:15).
  3. It is caused by unresolved offences that were not dealt with or charitably passed over.
  4. It is related to grudges, the ill-will or resentment due to another’s injury or superiority.
  5. Bitterness is from the devil, and it can defile many (Jas 3:14-16; Heb 12:15; Ep 4:31).
  6. It is a cruel master inside that corrupts your thinking and view of both God and others.
  7. For more about bitterness.


  1. Discontentment with what you have and/or inordinate desire for things others have.
  2. God condemns covetousness (Ex 20:17; Ps 10:3; Luke 16:14-15; I Cor 6:10; Eph 5:5).
  3. Contentment is a choice; God and Christ should be enough (Heb 13:5; Phil 4:11-13).
  4. Godliness with contentment is great gain (Psalm 73:25-26; I Tim 6:6-10; Luke 3:14).
  5. For more about doctrine of contentment.
  6. Godliness with contentment.


  1. Dislike and disrespect of government with hateful, rebellious, or seditious thoughts.
  2. Solomon warned not to curse the king even in your thoughts (Eccl 10:20; Ex 22:28).
  3. This sin is often condemned in the Bible, so be wise (Jude 1:8-10; II Peter 2:10-12).
  4. God gave you the rulers you have, so your disrespect is against Him (Romans 13:1-7).
  5. We obey for conscience sake, so be clean (Rom 13:5; 2:12-16; I Pet 2:13-17; Ec 8:2).
  6. Outward compliance is not enough, for God and you know thoughts (Eccl 7:21-22).
  7. This internal, heart approval goes so far as to give thanks (I Tim 2:1-3; Jer 29:4-7).

DOUBLE-HEARTED (double-minded)

  1. Divided with two or more objects or motives for your life is to be sinfully distracted.
  2. Jesus Christ taught that it is simply impossible to serve God and mammon (Mat 6:24).
  3. God wants all your love of heart, mind, soul, strength forever (Deut 6:5; Mark 13:30).
  4. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, and he should fix it (James 1:8; 4:8).
  5. Early Christians were, and employees should be single hearted (Acts 2:46; Eph 6:5).
  6. The great soldiers of Zebulon were noted in scripture for single hearts (I Chr 12:33).
  7. Daily set your priorities to exclude anything from even coming close to loving God.


  1. The feeling of mortification and ill-will occasioned by the contemplation of superior advantages possessed by another.
  2. God warns variously against envy (Job 5:2; Pr 14:30; 27:4; Tit 3:3; Jas 3:14-16; 4:5).
  3. There is no place for it in God’s house (Rom 13:13; I Cor 3:3; II Cor 12:20; Gal 5:21).
  4. Envy has led to all kinds of sins e.g. Abel’s death, Joseph’s sale, and the Lord’s death.
  5. If you envy another, how will you rejoice at their blessings (Rom 12:15; I Cor 12:26)?
  6. Make the successes of others more important than your own successes. Can you do it?
  7. Proverb 27:4 commentary.

FORGIVENESS (lack of it)

  1. Mercifully forgetting offences to love them instead with positive thoughts and actions.
  2. If you do not forgive when you should, you give Satan an advantage (II Cor 2:10-11).
  3. Jesus taught unlimited forgiveness from the heart with 10,000 talents (Matt 18:21-35).
  4. Forgiveness is a crucial, frequent rule of godliness (Mat 5:43-48; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13).
  5. What are you holding on to in your heart to resent another or put up a protective wall?
  6. Not forgiving does not protect you: God withdraws, and He no longer protects you.
  7. Lack of forgiveness hurts you the most, separates you from God, and ruins your heart.
  8. God is only going to forgive you to the degree that you forgive others (Matthew 6:15).
  9. For more about full forgiveness.

GIVING (grudgingly)

  1. Giving is financial donations made to a church or charity object in the name of Jesus.
  2. God loves a cheerful giver, so you know what He thinks of any grudging (II Cor 9:7).
  3. Remember the care and zeal you should have for worship to the LORD (Mal 1:6-14).
  4. God sees the heart clearly in this matter, so get excited about giving (Deut 15:7-10).
  5. Your degree of cheerfulness is usually known by your degree of liberality (Is 32:5-8).
  6. Bible giving.


  1. Ill-will or resentment due to some special cause, as a personal injury, the superiority of an opponent or rival, or the like, creating an inability to freely forgive and love.
  2. God condemns grudges against your brethren, so clear your heart (Lev 19:18; Jas 5:9).
  3. God condemns doing things for Him or others with grudging (II Cor 9:7; I Peter 4:9).
  4. You should love and pray for enemies, so grudges are also sin there (Matt 5:43-48).
  5. Who do you think you are to begrudge others? What good do you think you do?


  1. A high or overweening opinion of one’s own qualities, attainments, or estate, which gives rise to a feeling and attitude of superiority over and contempt for others.
  2. God hates pride; it is the devil’s sin; God will judge it (Pr 16:5; Dan 4:37; I Tim 3:6).
  3. Pride is worldly confusion about you to destroy you (I Cor 4:7; I John 2:16; Pr 26:12).
  4. Get down mentally; hate high thoughts (Pr 3:7; 8:13; Phil 2:3; Ro 12:16; I Cor 3:18).
  5. Stop thinking about yourself; stop planning what you will say; listen; ask questions.
  6. For much more about pride from the Bible.


  1. Love and esteem of yourself, your things, your interests so you easily neglect others.
  2. The religion of Jesus Christ is simple – love of God and love of others as yourself.
  3. It is a trait of perilous times when Christians love themselves (II Tim 3:2; Phil 2:21).
  4. The apostolic rule is to love and esteem others above yourself (Phil 2:3-4; Ro 12:10).
  5. How eagerly do you scrap plans, time, money, emotion, topics, preferences for others?
  6. For more about self-love and self-esteem.


  1. Believing you are holier than others as measured by God, His word, and His people.
  2. This is the religion of the Pharisees and older brother that despised Jesus and sinners.
  3. God hates a holier than thou attitude toward others (Is 65:5; Eccl 7:16; Luke 18:9-14).
  4. It is much better to believe in your heart that everyone else is more righteous than you.
  5. Forgotten sins to calm your haughtiness.


  1. Lacking proper compassion or gentleness to forgive, forget, or to be lenient to others.
  2. The child of God that wants to please God loves mercy (Mic 6:8; Ps 37:26; Matt 5:7).
  3. Think gentle, kind thoughts of others (Ps 112:4; Lu 10:33; 15:20; Col 3:12; I Pet 3:8).
  4. Remember, to show mercy you have to be offended, so be thankful for their offences!
  5. For Bible doctrine of tenderheartedness.
  6. For Bible bowels of compassion.


  1. Learn to examine yourself carefully and critically in the mirror of God’s word (James 1:21-25).
  2. Learn to pray for God to direct your thoughts according to His perfect will (Ps 119:36; 141:4).
  3. Pray for God to examine you and find any thoughts there contrary to His word (Ps 139:23-24).
  4. Love Bible preaching – prepare, focus, pray, and review it – to be corrected by it (II Cor 10:4-6).
  5. Get over yourself. You are nothing. You are the least in the church. Believe it. Love it. Practice it.


For Further Study:

  1. Sermon Outline: A Pure Heart.
  2. Sermon Outline: The Heart of David.
  3. Sermon Outline: Is Your Heart Perfect?.
  4. Sermon Outline: The King of Hearts.
  5. Sermon Outline: Heart Examination.
  6. Sermon Outline: Keeping the Heart.
  7. Sermon Outline: Lip Service.
  8. Sermon Outline: Tenderhearted.
  9. Sermon Outline: Vain Thoughts.
  10. Proverb Commentary: Proverb 4:23.
  11. Proverb Commentary: Proverb 14:14.
  12. Proverb Commentary: Proverbs 11:20.
  13. Sermon Series: Delusions of Deceived Christians … not in e-format at this time.