By Ernest O'Neill

Partly Clean Heart

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

[Illustration: Holding up a bottle of sour milk and smelling it:]

It's - ugh! Sour! Sour milk! And the whole life is filled with it, just filled with it. And you meet Jesus and you know that it's wrong and you repent and you pour it out in repentance and He puts fresh milk in. Except that before he put the fresh milk in after you'd poured it out, your heart was like that (sour) - in other words, you know what was still coating it: still some of that sour milk. Still, some of the old spoiled rotten stuff was still in your heart, so He came in and He poured his Spirit in, in on top of that. But because that old sour milk was still there, of course, it isn't long before the new fresh Spirit of Jesus is contaminated and your life is as full of sin as it was before.

That's the situation with so many of us. We've received the Spirit of Jesus. In a sense, He has made us alive. He has made us aware of God. We actually even have great respect for Jesus and some acquaintance with Him. But our heart was never cleared of the sour stuff that was still at the bottom. And actually, you know fine well there's only one way to make that bottle fit to contain fresh milk and to keep it fresh for a long period of time. There's only one way in which fresh milk can abide in that bottle without becoming contaminated and that is that I pour out the sour stuff and then I put it under a faucet and I wash it right out, and I wash all the sour stuff out from the bottom of the heart and then I bring in the fresh milk and then there is every possibility that the fresh milk will remain sweet and fresh.

The tragedy with so many of us is we haven't gone that far, you see. We received the Spirit of Christ in some sense into our hearts, but He is not able to dwell there and abide there because there is a sour self spirit that has never been cleaned out of the heart, from the bottom of the heart. And so, we find that our life is like that, up and down. Every time we get a new filling of Jesus' Spirit it kind of overwhelms the sour stuff at the bottom of the heart and we walk for a while in victory -- then we begin to take another dip as the sour stuff spreads all over His Spirit and then it comes Easter time and we get another infusion of His Spirit and so we walk in victory for another little while but really our life is like that, up and down, switchback.

And actually, the truth is that our nature has never changed. Our nature has never really changed.