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Theology of the Heart – I: It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts Theology of the Heart – II: The Transformational Pathway Theology of the Heart – III: Wholehearted Repentance

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THEOLOGY OF THE HEART - I It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts SESSION 5




“We’re all alike, on the inside.”

Characteristics of the Godly person

-Mark Twain

You Caiaphas __________ David __________ __________

Believes Scripture is the Word of God Knows and is learning God’s word Speaks to others about God’s word Hopes in God’s Promises Hates what God hates Wants to do the right thing Prays in private and with others Worships privately and publicly Walks with others who know God Is known as one who seeks to follow God Acknowledges God’s ownership of all things Seeks to live God’s word and will

behavior inward Outward ____________________ that is not the expression of _____________________ not transformation by the Spirit, does ___________________ glorify God regardless of how right “____________________ ” it is. A sobering possibility: it is possible that obedience to God, can be the very thing that keeps us from truly experiencing God.

starts Core Principle: Biblical life change always _____________________ in the heart, but it never ____________________ stays there. 3



Dr. Bruce Waltke writes in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology…

"Heart" (Hebrew lebab/leb [b'bel], Gk. kardia [kardiva]) occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scripture. It denotes a person's center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities…” "Heart" denotes to both ancient and modern peoples the beating chest organ protected by the rib cage. Ancient people, however, understood the heart's physical function differently than moderns. From their viewpoint the heart was the central organ that moved the rest of the body. Here is the definition of the “heart” from the New Bible Dictionary:

[The heart] was essentially the whole man, with all his attributes, physical, intellectual and psychological, of which the Hebrew thought and spoke, and the heart was conceived of as the governing center for all of these. It is the heart which makes a man what he is, and governs all his actions. Character, personality, will, mind are modern terms which all reflect something of the meaning of ‘heart’ in its biblical usage. And from Eerdmans Dictionary of Theology:

The ancients did not use detailed psychological vocabulary to make the fine distinctions used in modern speech. The Hebrews thought of the whole human being and personality with all its physical, intellectual, and psychological attributes when they used “heart.” It was considered the governing center for all of these. It is the heart (the core) which makes and identifies the person.

Distinguishing the “heart, soul, spirit.”

D.G. Burke, writing for the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says…

Ancient Hebrew anthropological thought, being prescientific, did not always clearly differentiate the internal organs of the body. Also, because the inner organs are concealed, Hebrew thought tended to attribute [psychological] as well as physical activities to them. OT anthropology considered the heart more important than the other organs…thus it is mentioned more often than “soul,” and “flesh”; indeed, the heart can even be considered the 4


place where the soul resides. Because of its important role as a life-sustaining organ (as well as the mystery of its concealed nature—a secret, inner place where thoughts can supposedly be “hidden”) “heart” takes on a wide range of psychological meaning in the OT and can represent the human person in the totality of [psychological] and physical life. What is the heart in Scripture?

all truly The heart is who you ___________________ are and ___________________ you are. Proverbs 27:19 19 As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.

It is not how we look or what status or position we have or what we have accomplished or even what others think of us that determines who we really are… True self-knowledge comes from looking inwardly at the “thoughts and attitudes” that reside deep in the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)…Since the real identify of a person is his heart, the heart often equals the person.” (Dr. Robert Saucy) B. WHAT DOES THE HEART DO? Genesis 6:5 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) 7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you. Matthew 9:4 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? Matthew 13:15 15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

thoughts The heart is where we think our ___________________________.



Genesis 6:6 6 The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Isaiah 30:29 29 You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival, And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute… John 16:22 22 “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. Romans 9:1–2 1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.

emotions The heart is the source of our ____________________________.

Genesis 34:3–8 3 His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her…Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. Psalm 37:3–5 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Romans 1:24 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts… Matthew 6:19–21 (NLT) 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

desires The heart is the wellspring of our ___________________________.

Exodus 35:22 22 Then all whose hearts moved them, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and bracelets, all articles of gold;



Acts 5:4 4 “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Romans 6:17 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

choices From the heart we make ____________________________. Let’s add to our definition of the heart. The heart is who you truly are and all that you are in thoughts, emotions, desires and choices. C. WHY DOES THE HEART MATTER?

greatest problem 1. Because the heart is our ____________________ _________________________. Jesus was echoing Jeremiah 17:9-10: 9

“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the LORD, search the heart…


The promised New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34: 31

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.



believe 2. Because it is with the heart that we ________________________ and are saved ________________________. Romans 10:5-20: 5

For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT 7 SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

“As human persons our belief is never expressed with any faculty other than the heart.” -Robert Saucy

source 3. Because the heart it is the _______________ of life. Proverbs 4:23: 23

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life (NASB) 23

…for it determines the course of your life. (New Living Translation) …that’s where life starts. (The Message) 23 …For out of it spring the issues of life. (New King James) 23


“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” (John 7:38) 7

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)



whole The heart functions as an integrated _______________________: thoughts, emotions, one desires, choices function as _____________________.



JOURNAL QUESTIONS Take a few minutes to work through these questions individually, then as a group interact over your answers.. Be curious about what each person shares. Ask open ended questions… • • • • • •

Tell me more about that. Why do you think that is? Could you give an example of… How does that affect you today? What might be some things you would you change about… Are there any lessons or insights you’ve come to appreciate about…

1. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree)

Remember: The heart is who you truly are and all that you are in thoughts, emotions, desires and choices. I am very aware of what is going on in my heart…

1 2 3 4 5

In conflict I take note of what is happening in my heart…

1 2 3 4 5

Given time I can name the emotions I’m feeling…

1 2 3 4 5

I am generally aware of the desires of my heart…

1 2 3 4 5

Thinking about emotions/desires is comfortable for me…

1 2 3 4 5

Those closest to me know my “heart”

1 2 3 4 5

I find I am able to bring God my whole heart…

1 2 3 4 5

2. Where did you rate yourself on the lower end, why? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


THEOLOGY OF THE HEART – I | SESSION 5 3. Where did you rate yourself on the higher end, why? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 4. What are some ways that the family you grew up in, the way you were parented, your education, faith, life experiences have shaped your view of the heart, and the importance of the heart? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 5. Drawing on what you have learned in this session, write your own paraphrase of Proverbs 4:23 in the box below… 23

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.







SO WHAT? What are you taking away from this session?

How is the Holy Spirit Leading you to respond with what you have learned?

Who needs to hear what God is teaching you?



THEOLOGY OF THE HEART - II The Transformational Pathway SESSION 6




“He gives us more than we request by going deeper than we ask. He wants not only your whole heart; he wants your heart whole”. -Max Lucado

The heart is who you truly are and all you are in thoughts, emotions, desires and choices.

Biblical life change always starts in the heart, but it never stays there

. The heart is made to function as an integrated whole




In Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve chose sin, they were separated from

each God other ___________________ (hiding), they were separated from _______________ ___________ created order (weeds, weeds, weeds). (it was her fault!!), they were separated from _____________________

themselves And…they were separated from ____________________________ (I’m naked…cover myself in shame). •

everything In the Fall of man, ______________________ blew apart, including Adam and Eve’s hearts ____________________!

whole fragmented Their once _____________________ hearts were now: ______________________; disintigrated divided separated _____________________; _____________________; _______________________.

Deuteronomy 5:29 29 ‘Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever! Ezekiel 11:19-20 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. (NIV)


THEOLOGY OF THE HEART - I | SESSION 6 THE KIND OF HEART THAT PLEASES GOD 1 Kings 14:8 (The Message) 8 I ripped the kingdom from the hands of David’s family and gave it to you, but you weren’t at all like my servant David who did what I told him and lived from his undivided heart (whole heart), pleasing me. 2 Chronicles 15:15 (NASB95) 15 All Judah rejoiced concerning the oath, for they had sworn with their whole heart and had sought Him earnestly, and He let them find Him. So the LORD gave them rest on every side. 2 Kings 20:3 (NASB95) 3 “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

And this is consistent with Jesus’ restatement of the Shema in Mark 12:30-32: 30



“…the obligation to love God is based on his oneness. Because he is one, love for him must be undivided…piling up the terms “heart,” “soul,” “mind” is just a way of saying “with your whole being” and is not intended to designate the component parts of human nature.” (J.A. Brooks, NAC) “with” = “out of” “all” = “whole, complete, entire”

“The heart is the hub of the wheel of man’s existence, the mainspring of all this thoughts, words and deeds (Proverbs 4:23)…No essential difference is intended [between heart, soul, mind, strength]. What is mean in all these passages is that man should love God with all the “faculties” with which God has endowed him.” (Hendrikson, Baker Comm on Mark) Psalm 86:11: 11

Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.


Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (NIV)

problem root Core Principle: At the ___________________ of every _____________________ in our life, divided is a disconnected, fragmented, separated, ____________________________ heart. 17


So, what is “wholehearted life in Jesus?”

Wholehearted life in Jesus is when our thoughts, emotions, desires and choices unite to find our deepest longings and our greatest hopes fulfilled in Jesus, alone.

satisfaction Jesus My choices become an expression of my _____________________ in ________________.




See diagram on pg. 22 to add to illustration as we move through this section.

thoughts begins 1. Transformation of the heart ___________________ with our ______________________. Dr. Robert Saucy writes, in his book Minding the Heart…

“As we probe this question of…the process of heart change, we need to be mindful of two important features of the heart. First, the heart is where we think, feel (experience emotion), and will the actions of our life. And second, these three personal functions are joined together in inseparable unity in the depth of the heart. Thus there is an inevitable interchange between our thought, emotion, and will in our heart.” The priority of the mind (thoughts) in transformation: Romans 12:2 (NASB) 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1–2 (NLT) 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Ephesians 4:22–23 (NLT) 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,… John 8:32 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”


SECTION 2 | HOW WE REALLY CHANGE Dr. Saucy comments:

“Spiritual life and its growth in all of its aspects thus flows from the knowledge of truth found in the revelation of God. In the words of Jesus – words by which he lived in his own life: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). To seek spiritual transformation apart from a steady diet of God’s Word is like trying to gain physical strength without eating. Both are impossible.”

emotions awareness of our _________________. 2. Transformation of the heart requires an _______________ “God designed your emotions to be gauges, not guides. They’re meant to report to you, not dictate you.”

Some basic principles about our emotions… 1. We all have emotions (image of God). 2. We are born feeling and expressing our emotions (normally). 3. Like every part of our humanness, our understanding and experience of our emotions get distorted because we are fallen, are raised by fallen people, in a fallen world. 4. There are no “good” and “bad” emotions. 5. Our emotions are connected to our thoughts, desires, choices.

“Feelings are not a luxury…they serve as internal guides, and they help us communicate to others signals that can also guide them. Feelings are neither intangible nor elusive. Contrary to traditional scientific opinion, feelings are just as cognitive as other [things we perceive].” (Wolfhart Pannenberg, Anthropology in Theological Perspectives, Westminster) From Robert Saucy…

“If the thought of our hearts affect our life, but it is hidden, the question arises: how can we come to know what we really think in our heart? Is there a way that our unconscious thought reveals itself to us? The answer to this question lies in the emotional life. Our emotions are the direct way that we – including the real person of our heart – experience reality.



As we go through life we are always experiencing the world around us, but this experience may not immediately become an object of our thoughtful reflection. It is however, experienced in the realm of our affective or emotions. (Pannenberg) In other words, our experience of something is not first with thought, but with feeling.” “Our unexplained emotional feelings are thus the result of the unconscious thought deep in our heart. There is a reason why we feel the way we do about things. We feel that way because our heart thinks the corresponding way. Our emotions reveal the real thought of our life, what we are concerned about, our true set of values. In short, it is not what one says he believes, but what one feels that really indicates what he believes.”

inviting 3. Transformation of the heart means ___________________ Jesus to change our deepest desires . ______________________

Ecclesiastes 3:11 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart…

Genesis 1-2 •

relationship God created them for ____________________ with Him and with each other

significant God created them for a _____________________ work that would last forever

good God created everything and declared it was __________________.

We are made for: •

Flourishing ___________________________ relationships.

Significant ____________________________ contribution.

good beautiful Cultivating what is ________________, right, and ______________________.

choosing 4. Transformation of the heart means ________________________ more and more out of alone satisfied a heart that is _______________________ in Jesus, _____________________ .


SECTION 2 | HOW WE REALLY CHANGE Galatians 2:20 20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.






Movie: Cinderella Man Character JAMES (DAD)












• • • • •

What’s going on… Say more about that… Tell me more… Help me understand… What’s going through your mind…

2. What are you feeling?

• • •

How do you feel about that… Unpack that feeling… Say more about what that feels like…

3. What are your desires?

• • • •

What do you really long for… What do you want most… If you had __________, what would that do for you… What would ____________ give you…

4. Transition - What might it look like for you to invite Jesus into this issue, right here at your desire?

• • •

How could who He is, and all He is, and all He promises address this? What might it look like for you to just sit with Jesus about this? What are some ways that the gospel speaks to what you are wrestling with?

5. What kind of choices do you want to make?

• • • •


What might you do differently than you originally thought… What might going forward look like for you… How might you now respond… What kind of choice, or choices seem appropriate and wise right now…


JOURNAL QUESTIONS Take 10 minutes to work through these questions individually, then as a group interact over your answers for 20 minutes. Be curious about what each person shares. Ask open ended questions… • • • • • •

Tell me more about that. Why do you think that is? Could you give an example of… How does that affect you today? What might be some things you would you change about… Are there any lessons or insights you’ve come to appreciate about…

1. When you live out of a “divided” heart – have you noticed that you fall into one or more of the three “unhealthy” patterns of: Legalism; hedonism; narcissism? Or a way of living that seems to tend toward one of these extremes? Which one and why? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ 2. Where is the “resistance” for you on this transformational pathway, that is, which part is the one you struggle most with, you resist, it’s hard for you to grasp or accept or connect with? Your thoughts? Your emotions? Your desires? Your choices? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


SECTION 2 | HOW WE REALLY CHANGE 3. What are some insights about your own journey of faith this session has given you? What are some questions that remain? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

4. When you were watching Lloyd walk through the Transformational Journey just now…what were you… Thinking… Feeling… Desiring… What are some observations you drew from the demonstration?





SO WHAT? What are you taking away from this session?

How is the Holy Spirit Leading you to respond with what you have learned?

Who needs to hear what God is teaching you?



THEOLOGY OF THE HEART - III Wholehearted Repentance SESSION 7



REVIEW The heart is who you truly are and all you are in thoughts, emotions, desires and choices. Biblical life change always starts in the heart, but it never stays there

The heart is made to function as an integrated whole


Everything blew apart in the Fall, including Adam and Eve’s hearts

We inherit fragmented, disintegrated, separated, divided hearts in our fallenness

Our divided heart is at the root of every sin

Wholehearted life in Jesus is when our thoughts, emotions, desires, and choices unite to find our deepest longings and our greatest hopes fulfilled in Jesus , alone The Transformational Pathway… • Begins with our thoughts • Requires awareness of our emotions • Invites Jesus to transform our deepest desires • Means choosing more and more from a heart satisfied in Jesus 29



Guilt: “I made a mistake.” (gift of the spirit) Pride: “I am a mistake.” (not of the spirit)

When we live in the Pride-shame cycle, we can only repent out of a part of our heart, not the whole.


4. What is the lie that I was or am believing?

1. What was my action or response?

3. Why? What was I not getting?

2. What was I feeling?



JOURNAL QUESTIONS You will have an hour to think, pray, and journal. Your work in this hour will be the groundwork for your discussion time with your group this evening. Because of that, we are asking that you begin your time by working through these questions and exercises. As you process, and you sense the Spirit inviting you to consider and pursue other avenues, please feel the freedom to do that. Also, in your group discussions tonight remember to be curious about what each person shares. Ask open ended questions… • • • • • •

Tell me more about that. Why do you think that is? Could you give an example of… How does that affect you today? What might be some things you would you change about… Are there any lessons or insights you’ve come to appreciate about…

1. Identify a choice you have made recently, a poor choice and walk through the process of Wholehearted Repentance… a. Begin with Prayer…you might use Psalm 139:23-24…(NLT) 23


Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

b. Name the Sin. Confess it. Confessing is “agreeing with God” – in confession we agree with God that our choice, our action was sin, it missed the mark of His holiness.

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


SECTION 2 | HOW WE REALLY CHANGE c. Uncover the “Why” Ask the Spirit to help you understand the desire that lay beneath the action or your words or your attitude. If all sin is ultimately rooted in a “divided” heart, in what way was your desire unconnected to the truth of the gospel. What was the “deeper desire” that God made you for that was beneath the sin? What did you feel you were entitled to that God was not giving? Were you seeking control rather than trusting in faith? Was there a particular “fear” under the sin?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ d. Identify the Idol (s) You may have done this in uncovering the “why.” If not, can you identify the “idol” that you went to in order to satisfy the desire of your heart? Whatever we believe we must have for our hearts to be satisfied…other than Jesus…is an idol. What did you put your trust in? What was the “lie” you believed? What was the sin promising, that it ultimately could not deliver?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ e. Repent Repentance is a change in direction. It includes our whole heart. What are the lies that occupied your thoughts? What might be the emotion (s) you bypassed, did not recognize, or you simply gave into in an inappropriate way? How did this sin hurt me, and hurt others.

Repentance is a change in direction of our attitude, our perception of God, and it includes our choices. Tell God what you are turning from…and you are turning to Him. You may acknowledge that your sin problem is worse than thought, and you are incapable of dealing with it apart from dependence on His power. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________



Shift your trust to the finished work of Jesus and all He is With your thought, emotion, and desire…choose in faith to trust the finished work of Jesus. He lived the life you could not, and cannot live. His death paid the penalty for your sin. His righteousness is credited to you. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, or love you less.

g. Rest in His forgiveness and acceptance His love is unconditional as demonstrated in Christ dying for us “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8) Acknowledge that “trying harder” does not change your heart, but that in trusting Him, He changes your heart, your whole heart.

h. Worship in the Grace of the Gospel Thank God that the gospel sets you free from justifying sin in pride, or being overwhelmed by sin in shame. Guilt is a gift to point us to the cross – “I’ve made a mistake.” Shame turns us from the cross in self-contempt – “I am a mistake.” Because of the finished work of Jesus, we are free to face the seriousness of our sin without fear or shame.

2. What are two or three important “takeaways” for you from the day? Why? _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

3. What questions were raised for you today that you could use some help gaining clarity on? What concepts of a “Theology of the Heart” are not clear to you, or you are wrestling with? What would “help” for you look like? _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________







SO WHAT? What are you taking away from this session?

How is the Holy Spirit Leading you to respond with what you have learned?

Who needs to hear what God is teaching you?




APPENDIX I Understanding the Nature of man

One does not read the bible very long before it becomes clear that man is both material (the physical body), and immaterial (soul/spirit). Genesis 1:7 reads…”Then the Lord formed man of the dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (literally, a living “soul). The difficulty is understanding how the Bible describes the “immaterial” part of man. As we will see, the Bible does not speak of the immaterial part of man in ways that we can speak of a person’s body – this is the hand, this is a bone, this is muscle, this is a vein, this is a nerve, etc. That part of man that is “internal” and “invisible” is described by different terms, in different places. And then, to make things a bit more difficult, those same terms are switched around, sometimes in the same passage. What follows is a summary from Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Online Systematic Theology class available through Zondervan Academic, and Dr. Grudem’s Systematic Theology book. We have found his Systematic Theology to be one of the best theological resources available today. He is thorough, without being overly academic and out of reach for most of us. He also gives attention to divergent and opposing views so that one can get an idea of how others view a subject. And finally, he is thoroughly biblical and practical. When scholars assemble everything the Bible says about the soul and spirit, there’s still some room for interpretation. The three main schools of thought come down to how many “parts” humans are made of: Three parts: Body, soul, and spirit

Some people believe that in addition to “body” and “soul” we have a third part, a “spirit” that most directly relates to God. This view is called trichotomy. While this has been a common view in popular evangelical Bible teaching, there are few scholarly defenses of it today. According to many trichotomists, man’s soul includes his intellect, his emotions, and his will. They maintain that all people have such a soul, and that the different elements of the soul can either serve God or give in to sin. A person’s spirit, however, is a higher faculty that only comes alive when a person becomes a Christian (see Romans 8:10: “If Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness”). The spirit is the part of us that most directly worships and prays to God (see John 4:24 and Philippians 3:3).



Others argue that “spirit” is not a separate part of man, but simply another term for “soul,” and that both terms are used interchangeably in Scripture to talk about the immaterial part of man that lives on after our bodies die. The view that man is made up of two parts (body and soul/spirit) is called dichotomy. Those who hold this view often agree that Scripture uses the word spirit (Hebrew “rûach”, and Greek “pneuma”) more frequently when referring to our relationship to God, but such usage (they say) is not uniform, and the word soul is also used in all the ways that spirit can be used. This is the most-widely held scholarly view on the soul and spirit.. One point that Grudem makes in his Systematic Theology that is PARAMOUNT for us to keep in mind is that the overwhelming message of the Scripture is that man is a unity, a whole. In other words, while there is material and immaterial, these distinct components of our nature DO NOT FUNCTION INDEPENDENT OF EACH OTHER. Yes, the body is distinct from the soul/spirit, but they body never functions apart from the soul/spirit, and visa versa. This is important, because as we look at what the bible calls the “heart” we are going to find that there are distinct functions of the heart, but in the same way, the heart is a unity, a whole in and of itself, and with the soul/spirit and body. In Dr. Grudem’s words…[Bold added…]

Before asking whether Scripture views “soul” and “spirit” as distinct parts of man, we must at the outset make it clear that the emphasis of Scripture is on the overall unity of man as created by God. When God made man he “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7). Here Adam is a unified person with body and soul living and acting together. This original harmonious and unified state of man will occur again when Christ returns and we are fully redeemed in our bodies as well as our souls to live with him forever (see 1 Cor. 15:51–54). Moreover, we are to grow in holiness and love for God in every aspect of our lives, in our bodies as well as in our spirits or souls (cf. 1 Cor. 7:34). But once we have emphasized the fact that God created us to have a unity between body and soul, and that every action we take in this life is an act of our whole person, involving to some extent both body and soul, then we can go on to point out that Scripture quite clearly teaches that there is an immaterial part of man’s nature. Understanding there is not consensus and room for disagreement, we believe that the majority view is the correct view when understanding what the bible says about the nature of man, that man is a dichotomy (body & soul/spirit), rather than a trichotomy (body, soul, spirit). In terms of “what difference does it make?” – the most significant is those holding to trichotomy understand that the “spirit” is the part that engages with God, and only comes alive at salvation. We don’t think this is consistent with the message of the bible where a person’s “spirit” is a vital part of their nature, even when they are not in the faith. (Ezra 1:1) The reasons why many scholars believe humans are made up of two parts, not three, can all be traced back to one essential argument: the Bible uses “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably.


BECOMING A WHOLEHEARTED DISCIPLE – FALL RETREAT | APPENDIX 1. Scripture uses “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably.

When we look at the usage of the biblical words translated “soul” (Hebrew “nephesh” and Greek “psychē”) and “spirit” (Hebrew “rûach” and Greek “pneuma”), it appears that they are sometimes used interchangeably. In John 12:27, Jesus says, “Now is my soul troubled,” whereas in a very similar context in the next chapter John says that Jesus was “troubled in spirit” (John 13:21). Similarly, we read Mary’s words in Luke 1:46–47: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” This seems to be an example of Hebrew parallelism—a poetic device that repeats the same idea using synonymous words. Additionally, people who have died and gone to heaven or hell are referred to as either “spirits” (such as in Hebrews 12:23 and 1 Peter 3:19) or “souls” (such as in Revelation 6:9 and Revelation 20:4). 2. When people die, Scripture says either that the “soul” departs or the “spirit” departs.

When Rachel died, the Bible says, “Her soul was departing (for she died)” (Genesis 35:18). Elijah prays that the dead child’s “soul” would come into him again (1 Kings 17:21), and Isaiah predicts that the Servant of the Lord would “pour out his soul [Hebrew “nephesh”] to death” (Isaiah 53:12). In the New Testament God tells the rich fool, “This night your soul [Greek “psychē”] is required of you” (Luke 12:20). Other times death is viewed as the spirit returning to God. So David can pray, in words later quoted by Jesus on the cross, “Into your hand I commit my spirit” (Psalm 31:5, see also Luke 23:46). At death, “the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). When Jesus was dying, “he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30), and likewise Stephen prayed before he died, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59). [The] biblical authors do not seem to care whether they say that the soul departs or the spirit departs at death, for both seem to mean the same thing. 3. Man is said to be either “body and soul” or “body and spirit.”

Jesus tells us not to fear those who “kill the body but cannot kill the soul,” but that we should rather “fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Here the word “soul” clearly refers to the part of a person that exists after death. It cannot mean “person” or “life,” for it would not make sense to speak of those who “kill the body but cannot kill the person,” or who “kill the body but cannot kill the life,” unless there is some aspect of the person that lives on after the body is dead. Furthermore, when Jesus talks about “soul and body” he seems to be clearly talking about the entire person even though he does not mention “spirit” as a separate component. The word “soul” seems to stand for the entire nonphysical part of man.


BECOMING A WHOLE-HEARTED DISCIPLE | APPENDIX However, man is also sometimes said to be “body and spirit.” Paul wants the Corinthian church to deliver a sinful brother to Satan “for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5). Paul hasn’t forgotten that the man’s soul would be saved, too; he simply uses the word “spirit” to refer to the man’s entire immaterial existence. Similarly, James says that “the body apart from the spirit is dead” (James 2:26), but mentions nothing about a separate soul. And when Paul speaks of growth in personal holiness, he approves the woman who is concerned with “how to be holy in body and spirit” (1 Corinthians 7:34), and he suggests that this covers the whole of the person’s life. 5. The soul can do everything the spirit can, and the spirit can do everything the soul can.

Those who advocate trichotomy face a difficult problem defining exactly what the difference is between the soul and the spirit. If Scripture clearly supported the idea that our spirit is the part of us that directly relates to God in worship and prayer, while our soul includes our intellect (thinking), our emotions (feeling), and our will (deciding), then trichotomists would have a strong case. But Scripture doesn’t appear to allow such a distinction. The activities of thinking, feeling, and deciding things aren’t only said to be done by our souls. Our spirits can also experience emotions. Paul’s “spirit was provoked within him” (Acts 17:16), and Jesus was “troubled in spirit” (John 13:21). It’s also possible to have a “downcast spirit,” which is the opposite of a “cheerful heart” (Proverbs 17:22). The functions of knowing, perceiving, and thinking are also said to be done by our spirits. For instance, Mark speaks of Jesus “perceiving [Greek “epiginōskō”, ‘knowing’] in his spirit” (Mark 2:8). When the Holy Spirit “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16), our spirits receive and understand that witness, which is certainly a function of knowing something. “Soul” and “spirit” are both general terms to describe the immaterial side of people, and it’s difficult to see any real distinction between their use in Scripture. If we hold to a view of dichotomy that upholds the overall unity of man, it will be much easier to avoid the error of depreciating the value of our intellects, emotions, or physical bodies. We don’t have to think of our bodies as inherently evil or unimportant. There is a continual interaction between our body and our spirit, and they affect each other: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).Seeing the soul and spirit as synonymous terms for our complete immaterial being reminds us that Christian growth includes all aspects of our lives. For those who are trichotomists, two of the most important verses are 1 Thessalonians 5:23, and Hebrews 4:12. There are other arguments for trichotomy, but these two verses are most familiar so we’ve included Dr. Grudem’s response, which is consistent with others who hold the dichotomist view. Two key verses in favor of trichotomy 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – Paul suggests there are three parts of human nature.


BECOMING A WHOLEHEARTED DISCIPLE – FALL RETREAT | APPENDIX 1 Thessalonians 5:23 appears to suggest there are three parts to every person: “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Why this doesn’t support trichotomy:

By itself, the phrase “your spirit and soul and body” is inconclusive. Other passages of Scripture pile up synonyms for emphasis, and that could be what Paul is doing here. For example, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Is Jesus indicating that the soul is different from the mind or the heart? This problem is even greater in Mark 12:30: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” If we believe that lists of terms tell us about the distinct parts to a person, then when we add spirit to this list (and perhaps body as well), we have five or six separate parts! It’s far better to understand Jesus as simply piling up roughly synonymous terms for emphasis to demonstrate that we must love God with all of our being. Likewise, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul is not saying that soul and spirit are distinct entities, but simply that, whatever our immaterial part is called, he wants God to continue to sanctify us wholly to the day of Christ. Hebrews 4:12 – The writer describes the word of God as splitting the soul from the spirit.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” If the sword of Scripture divides soul and spirit, doesn’t that make them two separate things? Why this doesn’t support trichotomy:

Similar to the argument about 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the author isn’t saying that the Word of God can divide “soul from spirit,” but he is using a number of terms (soul, spirit, joints, marrow, thoughts and intentions of the heart) that speak of the deep inward parts of our being that are not hidden from the penetrating power of the Word of God. If we call this our “soul,” then Scripture pierces into it, divides it, and discovers our inmost intentions and thoughts. If we call this our “spirit,” then Scripture penetrates into it, divides it, and discovers our inmost intentions and thoughts. Or if we wish to think metaphorically of our inmost being as hidden in our joints and marrow, then we can think of Scripture being like a sword that divides our joints or that pierces deeply into our bones and even divides the marrow in the midst of the bones. In all of these cases the Word of God is so powerful that it searches out and exposes all disobedience to God. In any case, soul and spirit are not treated as separate parts here, they are simply additional terms for our inmost being. Shaded Sections Adapted from Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Online Systematic Theology, available through Zondervan Academic. Posted on Zondervan Academic Blog, May 15, 2018. And, from Grudem’s Systematic Theology book.