By George Arthur Jackson
There is no such expression in
the Bible as "heart-felt" religion, but the idea of
a religion of the heart is found there.
The religion of Christ is,
basically and preeminently, a religion of the heart,
Christ rules and controls the heart of the believer
and thus controls his conduct.
Man is a dual being. He has both
a physical and a spiritual nature. There is both an
“outward” and an “inward” man. (2 Cor.4:16).
Man has a physical heart, but
this is not the heart, which the Bible almost always
refers. If so, how was if that Nabal’s “heart died
within him” and yet it was about ten days later when
“The LORD smote Nabal, so that he died?” (2 Samuel
15:6). And how can a man be on earth and his heart
in heaven? (Matt. 6:19-19). And how can five
thousand people have only one heart? (Acts 4:4,32).
The heart affected by Christ is
the inner man, that part of man that thinks, feels
and wills. With the heart man thinks: “Wherefore
think ye evil in your heart?” (Matt. 9:4); Reasons:
“Why reason ye these things in your heart?” (Mark
2:8); understands (Romans 10:10); loves (Matt.
23:37); hates (Leviticus 19:17); purposes Daniel
1:9); resolves (Judges 5:15); and obeys (Roman
Man can control his heart. God
once destroyed the world because “every imagination
of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually.”(Gen. 6:1-8) Man can “wash” his heart
(Jer. 4:14) “harden” his heart (Heb. 3:8) “keep” his
heart (Prov. 4:23); or he can allow Satan to fill
his heart with wickedness (Acts 5:3). The change of
heart is very important, and yet many do not
understand what it is. They think the change of
heart is a feeling located in the physical heart.
This is not true, but is a change which takes place
in the inner man - a change of the intellect, the
emotions, and the will. In this revolutionary
process one’s thinking is changed from unconcern and
open hostility to faith and love for God; and one’s
will is changed from stubborn impenitence to
penitence. This change is accomplished by the Spirit
through the Word of God.
When this change of the inner man
has taken place , the outer man (the body) is ready
to yield in obedience to Christ.
- via the Belvedere
Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the
Belvedere Church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken
Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may
be contacted at their website: