As well as having a soul we must recognise that we have a heart. We are not referring here to the physical organ but a part of us which is a composition of all the components of our soul - our mind, emotion, will and part of our hearts (vines concordance) is the thoughts and feelings - our conscience). Our heart is the gateway of our entire being. The heart in its natural condition was affected at the fall of man.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
God knows our hearts,
“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:10
“Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21
Jesus tells us about the fallen condition of our hearts,
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:21-23.
And we are told,
"For where your treasure is there will your heart be also". Matthew 6:21.
So if our treasure is in the things of this world then that’s what you will get, evil things, but the things of the kingdom of God will precede good things. It's what you consider you get.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Matthew 12:35
We know the heart can be waxed gross, meaning (insensitive),
“For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:15 KJV.
Also the heart can hold on to unforgiveness ,
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” Mark 11:25.
We need to protect the heart,
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.” Matthew 13:19.
Now we are told how this takes place,
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22
So we need to always
“Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” Mark 4:24.
And we need to meditate on the word to let in sink in to our hearts,
“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23.
Now the heart can be or become hardened as we can see in the living Word or insensitive as already spoken of (waxed gross). As to what we consider, which will affect our walk of faith and hearing our Lords voice, sin will cause our hearts to be insensitive before God, and his voice and direction in our hearts as we know,
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
As we are not under the law,
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
See my understanding of a hardened heart is not just rebellion, it's unbelief, doubt, which we will only put some verses in about this - feeding the 5,000 (Mark 6:35-44). Now I would like you to notice in verse 41, that the disciples were involved with that miracle, Jesus blessed the bread and fish and gave to his disciples and they gave out. Praise Jesus amen, then they go on to where Jesus came to them on the sea, Mark 6:45- 52 KJV
“And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
Look at verse 52 “For they considered”, there's that awesome word – considered “not the miracle of the loaves, for their heart was hardened. What made them hard hearted? “they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.” (verse 51).
Again feeding the 4,000 in Mark 8:1-17, notice verse 17,
“But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?”
There is much in the Word of God about a hardened heart, Hebrews 3:8 where the Israelites, hardened there hearts,
“Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,”
And in these verses,
“Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’” Hebrews 3:10
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;” Hebrews 3:12
“but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13
So we can see where a hardened heart comes from, it’s from us not God,
Now I think we have exposed the negative side of the heart and its role in our everyday life. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, now we all need to keep in mind that the new covenant was not fulfilled until Jesus fulfilled the Fathers will here on Earth on our behalf man (us).
“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” John 17:4
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:30
The heart plays a key part in us from the day of salvation and in our Christian walk, so we continue every day with our love for our Lord, with the heart expressed,
“Jesus said to him, You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
So all of our being is made up within that verse - soul, conscience, personality, heart, thoughts, will, emotions, and mind.
2 Corinthians 3:16 says
“Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
When you look at the verses leading up to this one you can see that this is referring to the heart. So it is our heart which needs to be turned back to the Lord and when we do so the veil is taken away.
After we turn back to the Lord we must believe with our heart as Romans 10:9-10 says,
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Our heart must be sprinkled from an evil conscience. With our heart, we need the sprinkling of the redeeming blood of the Lord Jesus.
“let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
A prophecy given by Ezekiel in Ezekiel 36:25-26 talks about our old heart being renewed,
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
And from Jeremiah 24:7 And I will give them to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
The stone in Ezekiel 36:26 is talking about the the law,
“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.” Exodus 24:12
“clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” 2 Corinthians 3:3.
And in Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law (direction, will, leading in the life of the Holy Spirit) in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Thank you Lord. Now the Lord is going to lead us, council us and teach us. Now let's look at this in New Testament.
“But the anointing (Holy Spirit) which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” 1 John 2:27
Now that verse does sound very familiar to Jeremiah 31:34, and we can make a conclusion of this by looking at John 16:13, Romans, 8:14, Galatians 5:18.
So we have a new heart, and we have been sealed,
“who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:22
And we are sons of God,
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Galatians 4:6
The function and purpose of the heart is to love the Lord as we can see in Mark 12:30,
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart”
Lets look at Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart”. Now some people read this the wrong way and make it look like we can ask God to give us everything our heart desires. No not at all, look back at the first word “Delight yourself also in the Lord”. Meaning He will show you the things He desires to give you. You see it's not about us, it's about God and His love and will for our lives.
It is also to hear His voice as Jesus said we would,
“But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:2-4
Therefore the scriptures lead us to why if we are not hearing our Lords voice, because of a hardened heart,
“while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” Hebrews 3:15
God has given us a new spirit in Christ Jesus, plus a new heart to be led, loved, taught etc His ways in His kingdom where we live now forever for those who are born again. So we need to protect that heart from the garbage of this world, and walk in the liberty in the Holy Spirit, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” 2 Corinthians 3:17. So as we can see we need to turn our heart to the Lord, continue to believe the Lord in our heart, have our heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, be renewed in our heart and love the Lord with all of our heart continually.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
Therefore keep your hearts from the corruption of this world, and consider all that the Grace of God has provided for us in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, as new creations,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
All glory and praise to Jesus our Blessed Lord amen.
Spirit, Soul and Body Series
Part 1: Spirit, Soul and Body
Part 2: What is our spirit?
Part 3: What is the heart?
Part 4: What is our soul?
Part 7: Who am I in Christ?