The law and our hearts
The following is a quote from Lutheran Theology by Steven Paulson on the law and our hearts.
The real issue in the law is the first table that concerns the sinner's relation to God, not her neighbor. That relation comes down to the first commandment that demands a good, clean heart. One is either good in heart or not; there is no cherry picking by Jews or Gentiles for which law accuses and which one excuses. Judges point the finger rightly at the wicked, but miss the point about their righteous selves. The real matter concerning the law is the heart, and the heart cannot be made good by the law. The law is not spiritual, meaning that it cannot create anything, especially not a new heart. The law reveals your heart as good or bad as light reveals what hides in darkness, but Paul now claims that the law has already made its universal judgment and come to its fatal conclusion: there is no good heart anywhere...The reason is that the wrath of God has been revealed, the end of self-justification and the law has come in the cross of Christ; Christ's forgiveness alone, not the law, makes someone righteous...Paul's entire argument is from the cross of Christ, not from the law. . . Faith, not love, makes a person's heart good. The law has no role to play in making anyone good because it cannot make faith and faith is everything when it comes to the heart.