Summary: Part 5 focuses on our believing from our hearts (spirits) versus our minds to produce faith.
We Walk By Faith Part 5
Scriptures: Rom. 7:18-22; 10:10; 1 Pet. 3:3-4; 1 Cor. 2:14-15; 9:27; Prov. 3:5-6
To date we have discussed several aspects of faith. I have shared with you that faith is an unquestioning belief in something. As it relates to our spiritual faith, it is an unquestioning belief in God. I shared with you that this faith comes through hearing, understanding and believing God’s word. Two weeks ago I focused on how our faith needs to be prejudicial. It needs to be so firm that no one can shake us or cause us to doubt because we have studied for ourselves and we know what God will or will not do in our lives. When bad things happen we are quick to understand that God is not the author. When things are going “wrong” in our lives we know that God is there supporting us, not causing those things to go wrong. Although this would seem to be very basic it is something that we all have struggled with during our spiritual growth. This morning we will examine why we must believe with our inner man – that hidden man of the heart, or what we call our spirits, versus believing with our minds. Let’s start with Romans 10:10.
I. The Heart
Two weeks ago we read what Paul said in the book of Romans and I want to cover it again this morning. Turn to Romans 10:10. “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Paul says that it is with the heart that we believe resulting in righteousness. He was not referring to the physical organ in the middle of our chest that pumps blood throughout our bodies. The “heart” that he was speaking of is the human spirit which is the core of our being. Our spirits are eternal even though our bodies are flesh and blood. When we die it is our spirit that goes back to God. Remember when God created us He did so in His image (Genesis 1:26) and that image includes primarily the spiritual part of us. God is a spirit and when He created us He made us spiritual beings. So it is with our spiritual being that we believe and it is credited to us as righteousness. In John 4:24 Jesus says that God is a Spirit and those that worship Him must do so in spirit and truth. He was not talking about the Holy Spirit for the Holy Spirit had not been given yet. He was referring to the human spirit.
It is with the human spirit (the heart of man) that we believe. This is where faith starts. If we do not believe with our spiritual man, our believing will never develop into faith because our minds requires “reason and/or proof” to believe. The spirit of man is the heart of man and this is why we say that man is a spirit that lives “temporarily” in a physical body in order to operate on this earth. We are more than just a mind and a body; we are spirits (1 Thess. 5:23). So it is with our spirits, not our minds that we must believe and walk in faith. The spirit man is that part of you that only you and God know intimately. I am not talking about what we show others; I am talking about the person that exists within us who is the real “us”. This is the person that we keep hidden from our closest friends. This is the person who knows our weaknesses, desires, sins, faults and our faith. This is the person who knows what we truly believe because it starts with this person. The person I am referring to is that “hidden man of the heart” who is the real person that few people understand. The hidden man of the heart is the real me and the real you. Let me give you an example.
II. The Hidden Man of the Heart
Let’s review some Scriptures that talk about the hidden man of the heart so we will have an idea of just who he is. Let’s look at 1 Peter 3:3-4. It reads “Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
In these verses Peter is giving some directions to the Christian women of the Church that can also be applied to the men – spiritually. He tells them to not “dress up” just the outside, but more important that man (or woman) on the inside – the hidden man of the heart. Who is the hidden man – that spiritual man within us who communes with God. Remember, our bodies and our minds are not the “real” us; the real “us” is our spirit man. When we die, our bodies and our minds (the brain) go into the grave as they are physical organs. But the hidden man of the heart, our spirits, returns to God. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” Notice how Paul uses the possessive terms when talking about his body. He says “my body” which speaks to ownership. Now you may say that this is what we all do and you would be correct – but look a little closer. He states that he disciplines his body and makes it “his” slave. In order to discipline something and make it your slave, there had to be a separation between the two. Paul sees himself as separate from his body so he sees himself as one identity as his body as another. So the “real Paul”, if you will, must get the body where he dwells under subjection to him. The real Paul is his spirit or the hidden man of the heart. Turn back to 1 Corinthians 2:14-15. It reads “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.” When you read the verses preceding the ones we just read you find that Paul states that we receive not the spirit of the world but the Spirit of God and through that Spirit we know what has been given to us by God. This can only be known by the “hidden man of the heart” the spiritual man because the natural mind cannot comprehend what the Spirit is saying. The natural mind cannot get a spiritual revelation as it flows from Spirit (God’s) to spirit (ours). The Bible says that the Word of God is foolish to the natural mind because you cannot understand the Bible with your head; it is spiritually understood. Therefore, you cannot strengthen or build your faith with your mind, it must come through your spirit. You can study the Bible all you want with your mind, but until you get it in your spirit it will not be manifested in faith in your life. Faith comes by believing with your spirit – the hidden man of the heart.