Summary: Unless and until you believe in your heart that Jesus rose from the dead you will not be changed from a sinner to a Saint. For many people is it the 18 inches between the head and the heart that is the obstacle to their faith in Christ.
A Matter of the Heart
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
This past week our Adult Bible study looked at the Early Church and as we did we discovered what drove the early church to grow and grow every day.
They relied on a simple single truth; Jesus rose from the dead.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
It was a truth that they carried in their hearts not their heads.
The Bible tells us that as many as 500 people saw Jesus after he had been raised from the dead. Now that’s a lot of witnesses by any standard.
Oh I know seeing is believing. Well Thomas thought so too and Jesus invited Thomas to touch his hands and side and see for himself that Jesus was indeed raised.
What do you carry in your heart Christian concerning Christ?
Do you believe that Jesus indeed rose from the dead or do you hope that he rose from the dead because there is a difference?
Unless and until you believe in your heart that Jesus rose from the dead you will not be changed from a sinner to a Saint.
For many people is it the 18 inches between the head and the heart that is the obstacle to their faith in Christ.
What God did for you and me is not logical by any standard of reasoning.
God gave His one and only Son to die in your place that you might be forgiven.
Why should God value your soul so highly?
Firstly – you are His creation made in His image.
Secondly you are born into sin and have inherited the curse of Adam on your soul.
Thirdly only a sinless sacrifice can pay for your sins and make you right before God.
That is why God reached from Heaven to Earth to save you.
God made you to be with Him forever not just for a few years here on earth.
The God of the Universe wants to spend quality time with you in eternity.
But for that to happen you have to accept His gift of sacrifice – Jesus Christ.
God will not force you to accept Jesus you have to willingly accept Jesus in your heart.
Why the heart and not the head you may ask? Good question, a very good question.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
The justification of your faith is exercised in your heart not your head.
The heart is changed when we are saved by Jesus.
The heart is transformed from a wicked thing into a blessed tabernacle where we can commune with Christ.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Men, ladies when you fell in love was it with your head or your heart?
It was with your heart even though your head may have been telling you no your heart said yes by all means yes.
This is the place where eternal decisions are made – the heart.
Jesus said: Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Listen to what St. Paul said to the church in Corinth concerning the heart.
2nd Corinthians 4:1-6
4 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.