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Believe in your heart

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posted on Apr, 18 2019 @ 05:05 PM
“If you confess with your lips that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.” Romans ch10 v9

But where is “the heart”? It’s desirable to know this, if that’s the place where we’re going to believe.

By modern convention, the heart is the assigned home of anything connected with love.
Is not the very symbol of love supposed to be a stylised heart?
Her heart’s in the right place.
He won her heart.
She lost her heart.
He has a hard heart.
She has a soft heart.
Her heart was broken.
The other chief attribute of the heart is courage. “Take heart!” sings Mabel in the Pirates of Penzance. ”Take any heart but ours!” sing her sisters, thus wittily combining both meanings in one song.

But we forget that the Bible is a different cultural world, and may have different conventions.
Paul says “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies… be likeminded, having the same love.” Philippians ch2 vv1-2 (AV)
The word “bowels” reads rather oddly in the above list. In modern times, we haven’t been in the habit of locating sympathetic emotions in the bowels. Of course we may remember Oliver Cromwell’s celebrated appeal to the Kirk of Scotland; “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.” But Cromwell was a man brought up on the Bible and using Biblical language as a matter of course.
Modern translators tend to look for alternative ways of expressing “bowels and mercies”; “tenderness and compassion” (NIV), “warmth or sympathy” (Jerusalem Bible), “affection and sympathy” (RSV).
This is a shame, because it helps to obscure a very important point, viz. that Paul is NOT following the familiar modern idiom and locating this emotion “in the heart”.
This ought to warn us that when the New Testament does talk about “the heart”, it does not necessarily mean what we are expecting it to mean.

The New Testament word KARDIA has a much wider range of meanings.
Of course they include “love”- “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans ch5 v5)
They also include “courage”. “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John ch14 v27)
But the heart is also the source of our darkest desires and characteristics;
“Out of the heart of man come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness” (Mark ch7 vv21-22).
“If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts…” (James ch3v14)
“Their hearts [or “minds”] were darkened”(Romans ch1v21).
On the other hand, we also find hearts that are “pure” (Matthew ch5 v8) and “true” (Hebrews ch10 v22).

The heart is the place where we have purposes;
“The Lord will disclose the purposes of the heart” (1 Corinthians ch4 v5)
“Settle it therefore in your hearts [or “minds”] not to meditate beforehand” (Luke ch21v14)
“How is it that you have contrived this deed in your hearts?” (Acts ch5v4)
The heart is the place where we make decisions.
“Each one must do as he has made up his heart [or “mind”]” (2 Corinthians ch9 v7)
Therefore it is the place of obedience or disobedience;
“What the law requires is written on their hearts” (Romans ch2 v15).
“You have become obedient from the heart” (Romans ch6 v17), or else “By your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself” (Romans ch2v5)
“Take care lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, causing you to fall away from the living God” (Hebrews ch3 v13)
The devil put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus (John ch13 v2).
“You have contrived this deed in your heart” (Acts ch5 v4).

So “the heart” in the New Testament is also the location of many of the activities which we prefer to assign to the mind.
So much so that modern translations tend to substitute “mind” in some of the passages which have been quoted, and in other places.
The heart is the place where people think;
“The thoughts out of many hearts will be revealed” (Luke ch2 v35)
“… discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews ch4 v12)
“Do not say in your heart…” (Romans ch10 v6)
Jesus “perceived the thoughts of their hearts” (Luke ch9 v47) and complained “Why do you think evil in your hearts” (Matthew ch9 v4).
And the wicked servant “says in his heart…” (Matthew ch24 v48)
The heart is where people ask questions- “Why do you question thus in your hearts?” (Mark ch2 v8)
It is where they have doubts- “Whoever does not doubt in his heart” (Mark ch11 v23)
The heart is the place that holds their memories.- “Mary kept all these things in her heart” (Luke ch2 v51)
It is the place where they understand things- or not, as the case may be;
“A veil lies over their hearts [or “minds”]” (2 Corinthians ch3 v15)
“By fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded” (Romans ch16 v18).

So “the heart” is not just the emotional part of the mind, but the conscious mind as a whole, and perhaps even the subconscious mind.
Therefore “believing in the heart” does not have to be an emotional response.
With or without emotion, it will have the character of a decision, expressing the purposes of the heart.

posted on Apr, 18 2019 @ 05:06 PM
Sense and sensibility

We tend to project onto the New Testament texts our modern sense of a dichotomy between “heart” and “mind”, but that’s a misleading habit.

The dichotomy was promoted, in part, by the cultural history of the eighteenth century in Europe.
This advertised itself as “an Age of Enlightenment”, because there was an emphasis on the use of reason, which had the effect of side-lining the emotions; “Enthusiasm, sir, is a horrid thing; a very horrid thing indeed”, as Bishop Butler is supposed to have said to John Wesley.

We can recognise “the Romantic Movement” as a more-or-less conscious reaction against this tendency. The term “covers a multitude of sins”, but the common factor is that they all involve some kind of appeal to the emotions. Thus nature poetry and art, gothic and romantic novels, revolutionary and nationalist politics, conversion experience religion and ritual devotion religion, have all been treated by historians as aspects of the Romantic Movement.

The difference between the two approaches may be summed up in the contrast between two sets of novels.
On the one hand, the clear-sighted and enlightened realism of Jane Austen, who spends her time promoting “sense” in her heroines and mocking “sensibility” (which we would now call “sentimentality”).
On the other hand, the romantic novels of the Bronte sisters, full of extravagant passions and opportunities for self-pity.
(In modern times, unfortunately, the difference is obscured by the fact that anything by Jane Austen is necessarily “costume drama”, which co-opts her work into the romantic view of the world)

The sense of dichotomy is illustrated by the popular distinction between “head” and “heart” knowledge of God, with the implication that “heart knowledge” has greater spiritual value. Thus intellectual understanding of God may be disparaged in comparison with emotional experience. But this disparagement is based on a misunderstanding of what the New Testament means by “heart”.

Indeed emotions may be dangerous, spiritually, because they are capable of driving people in wrong directions. Taking just one example, the elaborate system of devotion to the Virgin Mary, which prevails in the modern Roman Catholic community, proceeds from nothing else than the emotions of the participants and her enthusiastic advocates. It certainly doesn’t come from intellectual study of the Bible.
Bishop Butler may have had a point after all.

posted on Apr, 18 2019 @ 05:37 PM
Is this an instance where a deep dive into something like Strong's would help to sort some of the confusion out? Or is there no distinction like there would be between all the many different types of love?

posted on Apr, 18 2019 @ 05:50 PM
a reply to: ketsuko
A really big lexicon capable of offering a full set of definitions illustrated by examples would certainly help to give a better understanding of the meaning. I don't have a copy of Strong's. It's all a matter of paying attention to the way the word was being used at the time.

posted on Apr, 18 2019 @ 05:51 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

What is "Strong's"?

posted on Apr, 18 2019 @ 06:13 PM

originally posted by: DictionaryOfExcuses
a reply to: ketsuko

What is "Strong's"?

Strong's Concordance is a reference that breaks the Bible back to its original Greek (and perhaps Hebrew). You can find an online version, but part of the reason there are so many translations is that the Greek, of course, translates imperfectly. The translator can create shades of meaning depending on how the English is selected against the Greek, and it can be interesting to see exactly which Greek words the English were translated from.

posted on Apr, 18 2019 @ 08:20 PM
yeah kinda
Jesus is the word, the word is above feelings
Many Christians get lost in their feelings, the “ I don’t feel Gods presence” “ I don’t know if I am saved” “I don’t feel the Spirit”
Or even the opposite “I feel spiritually bulletproof”
Christians are not saved by feelings but by God.
Our hearts can deceive us, make us feel more than we are or less than we are promised

Bishop Butler?
Find it interesting the Charismatic Movement and their relation to feelings over word but then God can use an ass

To love God is to apply our hearts in pleasing Him not ourselves

posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 12:12 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

"The word being used at the time" ? Are you so sure the word you are quoting was preserved true to the original? If so where is the original by which you could verify that the word is preserved true? Strong's may be an exhaustive work but it still doesn't make his Greek True because most of his Greek Definitions are substituted with the Classical Greek and not Koine. And the other meanings are taken from secular Koine. Two things one must be aware of 1) classical is not Koine and secular is not spiritual.


That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
There is a vast difference in meanings of the English you quoted in the OP and the one that is the inspired English for all men in this age. Do you say you believe in the final authority of God's word for life and godliness? The AV words are resolute and firm while the English version you quote is fluid and makes for a weak authority. Study the differences of the English words and you will see, there is never a need to go to Greek that is not the word of God, and can never be proven to be.

I hold in my hand the Final Authority of Life and Godliness, whole and complete, inspired and preserved in the Authorized Version of 1611. It is the only English Bible with all the words, phrases, verses, sections that God has spoken to us today. No man need a weak fluid translation when he can have the final authority found in the AV1611.

posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 01:33 AM
a reply to: ChesterJohn
You are becoming very prompt in discovering points you can object to. If that's all you can find this time, that almost amounts to an endorsement.

I think you will find that the AV says "heart" in all the places where I quoted "heart, and "bowels" in the place where I quoted "bowels".

edit on 20-4-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 4 2019 @ 11:37 PM
When the great Jewish sage, Hillel the Elder, c.110BCE-10CE, was asked to quickly describe the Torah, he answered "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah". One might argue that it is also the whole New Testament. They are books of morality that lay the foundations for spirituality.

Spirituality is our altruistic nature. It doesn't seek selfish rewards like heaven.

If we only exist because the divine whim of God is to know thyself then our reward is the fulfilment of God's wish.

posted on May, 7 2019 @ 01:59 AM
The brain, in which the mind resides, is one thing and the heart in our thorax, with its power of motivation, is another thing. With but few exceptions, the use of the word “heart” in the Bible is limited to the operations of the heart of man as the powerhouse of one’s desires, emotions and affections, the place that comes to include the capacities for motivation. The Bible does not speak of a symbolic or spiritual heart in contradistinction to the fleshly or literal heart, just as it does not speak of a symbolic mind, and thus we do not want to make the mistake of viewing the literal heart as merely a fleshly pump as does orthodox physiology today. Most psychiatrists and psychologists tend to overcategorize the mind and allow for little if any influence from the fleshly heart, looking upon the word “heart” merely as a figure of speech apart from its use in identifying the organ that pumps our blood.

The heart, nevertheless, is intricately connected with the brain by the nervous system and is well supplied with sensory nerve endings. The sensations of the heart are recorded on the brain. It is here that the heart brings to bear on the mind its desires and its affections in arriving at conclusions having to do with motivations. In reverse flow, the mind feeds the heart with interpretations of the impulses from the senses and with conclusions reached that are based on the knowledge it has received, either at the moment or from the memory. There is a close interrelationship between the heart and the mind, but they are two different faculties, centering in different locations. The heart is a marvelously designed muscular pump, but, more significantly, our emotional and motivating capacities are built within it. Love, hate, desire (good and bad), preference for one thing over another, ambition, fear​—in effect, all that serves to motivate us in relationship to our affections and desires springs from the heart.

The Bible makes a definite distinction between the heart and the mind. Jesus did so when saying we must love Jehovah with our “whole heart” as well as with our “whole mind.” (Matt. 22:37) What we are at heart determines in large measure what we are as to personality. In this regard the apostle Peter speaks of “the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.”​—1 Pet. 3:4.

Some medical scientists and psychiatrists believe that the heart does considerably more than pump blood. For instance, Dr. D. E. Schneider, a neurologist and psychiatrist of New York, points out that, when the human embryo is forming, the heart and the brain develop from the same area, that the heart is in part nerve tissue and, additionally, has the capacity for manufacturing and storing certain highly potent chemicals that exercise a regulatory effect on the body, including, according to this research, the brain. His conclusion is that there is “evidence for a two-way relationship between mind and heart,” and that, even as the mind has its effect on the heart, “the heart in turn may influence the mind intensely.” Certain other researchers have arrived at rather similar conclusions.

It is significant that heart-transplant patients, where the nerves connecting the heart and brain are severed, have serious emotional problems after the operation. Whatever medical science may yet learn about the human heart, the Bible definitely makes a distinction between mind and heart, separating them.

It is interesting to observe, too, that the heart is one of the first organs of the body to be affected by emotional circumstances. Our hearts leap with joy; sudden danger brings a violent racing of the heart. Fear causes trepidation of the heart. Grief and sorrow bring it pain. From the heights of joy and pleasure to the depths of despair and pain, the sensations of the heart are felt throughout the body. Appropriately we have many words and phrases that incorporate the word “heart.” To name a few: Take to heart, fainthearted, tenderhearted, hardhearted, with all your heart, heartrending, set your heart on, heartening, change of heart, and so forth.

The mind, as we use the term in English, is the intellect or knowledge-processing center. It gathers information, thinks on it and, by process of reason and logic, reaches conclusions. With its powers of learning and perception, the mind relates the pieces of information it receives into concepts and patterns. (2 Tim. 1:13) When the pieces fall into place with clarity, it can be said that one has knowledge of a matter. Wisdom and understanding come when one is able to turn this knowledge into practical worth and see clearly how the related parts fit together into the whole with meaning, usefulness, and workability.

The fleshly heart, in contrast, is intimately associated with affection and motivation. The psalmist wrote: “In my heart I have treasured up your saying, in order that I may not sin against you.” (Ps. 119:11) We can see that the heart is what motivates one’s mind and course of action, by the case of the Israelites when preparing for and constructing the tent of meeting in the wilderness. The record says that “everyone whose heart impelled him,” all “whose hearts incited them,” contributed materials, skill and labor. (Ex. 35:21, 26, 29) It is because the heart has this motivating capacity that it focuses attention on what the person really is inside, what the apostle Peter called the “secret person of the heart.”​—1 Pet. 3:3, 4.

Now, although the Bible shows the heart and mind to be separate and distinct, this still allows for close interrelation, interdependency, and interplay between them. Your heart can be fed by your mind, for it is really with the conscious brain that we see, hear, feel, and receive the effects of our other physical senses. In turn, your mind, which is seated in the brain, can be moved or motivated by your heart.

From youth the mind is exercising a strong influence on the heart. If the right kind of information is taken into the mind, right conclusions and impressions are formed, and, as these sink down into the heart, there is a good influence in molding, controlling, and directing the motivations, desires and affections of the heart. If wrong information is taken into the mind, wrong concepts are built up, and as a result prejudice, hate, fear, pride, greed, stubbornness and other despicable traits take root in the heart and are reflected in the personality of the individual, especially if these wrong conclusions and impressions were formed early in life. That is why one, in becoming a Christian, must ‘be transformed by making his mind over.’ Paul admonished: “Be made new in the force actuating your mind.” This new force of mind is built up as we get God’s Word firmly implanted in our minds and respond fully to God’s spirit, carefully watching afterward that our minds are not “corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that are due the Christ.”​—Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:22-24; 2 Cor. 11:3.

Permissiveness in home and school training has gone to seed, producing a rebellious, thrill-seeking generation. Each generation, the present generation even more so, has produced a majority who have turned away from God, becoming “empty-headed in their reasonings” and “their unintelligent heart became darkened,” so that “God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness.”

posted on May, 7 2019 @ 03:13 AM
a reply to: whereislogic
I think your source may be in danger of taking a metaphor over-literally.
For example, the three terms used in Matthew ch22 v37 may be simply different words for the same thing, rather than three distinct qualities Just as, in the legal expression "without let or hindrance", there is no real difference between "let" and "hindrance". In fact the phrase "bewitched, bothered and bewildered" is another example of the same formulation- near-synonyms being used to cover different aspects of a concept. It is a common mistake, in Biblical reading, to assume that different terms always refer to different things, and to ignore the possibility that synonyms are being used.
I dealt with another example of this mistake in one of last year's threads, viz. the artficial distinction that some people try to make between "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven".

edit on 7-5-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

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