The Heart - Part 1
What is the heart, and how does the Bible use it to describe who we are?
The Bible uses the word "heart" over 700 times. That should prove that God wants us to understand what the heart is and why it is so important.
Many times the Bible is referring to the spirit of man when it says "heart". This is the part of us that is completely saved and regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 1:21 and 22 say, "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge."
The "heart" in these verses is the spirit of man. God's Holy Spirit gives life and energy to our formerly dead Spirit when we receive salvation.
The word "heart" is also used to talk about the mind, or soul, of man. Romans 12:2(a) says "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." The word "mind" here could also be "heart". This is obviously different than the Spirit of man, because the spirit of man is totally renewed at the time of salvation. However, the mind or soul has to be renewed day by day.
This is because when we receive salvation we don't instantly become perfect. Our spirit is made perfect, exactly like God, but our soul has been steeped in the world from the day we were born. So, things like doubt, fear and selfishness have to be removed by the power of the word.
That's why the Bible tells us that we can have a hardened heart toward God. It's not talking about our spirit, it's talking about our soul. We'll cover that in more detail later.
I believe that the heart is actually the combination of both the soul and the spirit and only the Word can differentiate between the two. This is according to Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
This is a long definition for the heart, but it's of the utmost importance because everything hinges on the condition of our heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."
We're going to spend some time talking about the heart; what it means to have a hardened heart, how to heal it, how to keep it and much more. It's going to help us live a life that is God-centered and keep the course of our life in line with God's will.
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