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KJV on the New Heart

My family and I were sitting in church on a Sunday night, which is our standard, traditional practice ever since we got married; when my wife pointed to II Corinthians 3:3 and the word “fleshy”. I nodded to show her that I knew the word was fleshy and not fleshly and at that moment I realized that this was something that I needed to write about.

II Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

The KJV distinctly separates the fleshy heart from the fleshly heart that is so commonly reported. Ezekiel wrote about that fleshy heart when he said:

Ezekiel 36:26 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 an heart of flesh.

Ezekiel is foretelling of the change of heart that the Apostle Paul is writing about in our text. This is not a physical heart, but it is a soft heart that has the Spirit of the Living God writing upon it the epistle of Jesus Christ. Tables of stone could not change the heart of stone, but the Living Word can change the fleshy heart, and write within it.

The Word of God says nothing good about being fleshly:

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

A fleshly mind has fleshly wisdom which produces fleshly lusts. Whereas a fleshy heart is a heart that is soft and tender, and a heart that God can change.

The New King James Version, which is the “closest to the King James” (note: the true man of sin, will be the closest to Jesus Christ); states “tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” Almost all other translations just state that it’s the “human heart”, and thus it is bodily, a heart of flesh. The great error of making this “the human heart” or “fleshly heart” is that we are diminishing the inward work that God does in the heart. The Lord does not rip your stony heart out of your chest and put a new heart made of muscle and skin in its place. The Lord does not rip out the old man and put a new man in its place. The Lord does not rip out the old creature and replace it with a new creature, but rather he does what only God can do; He makes all things new. He takes a dead, stoney heart and gives it life and makes it flesh (soft, tender, and if I could modernize my terms; squishy) so that he CAN write his epistle within that heart.

The Lord writes his epistle upon the tables of the heart, just as he wrote the law upon tables of stone. Tablets in a King James Bible were decorative, shaped and used in association with adorning, and God did not write upon tablets in our heart, but rather wrote upon tables.

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