The Human Heart (cont.)
From Matthew 15:10-18:
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.....15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Peter is not correct stating that verses 10 and 11 (cited at the link) are a parable: the style is more like a proverb than a parable. A better word would have been "parable", or even "mystery". From this passage, we see that the Heart is the source for evil thoughts and the motivations that drive one to do them. Murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and blasphemies! What a list!
From Matthew 22:37:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
One can love with one's heart. This is the flip side to it being the source of evil thoughts.
From Mark 11:23, we read:
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Doubt in the heart disables the working of miracles.
It is with the heart that man believes in order to be saved. Doubt in the heart disables the working of miracles. It is the hardness of man's heart that disables him to believe, making it an evil one that is filled by the Devil. Paul agrees in Romans 10:8-10:
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
This makes sense if it is with the heart that one keeps one's commitments, as Paul suggests in 1 Corinthians 7:37:
Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
The heart is the place where lies are conceived, as we read in Acts 5:4:
Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Paul wrote the following two verses to Timothy:
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:..
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
From these two verses, we can tell that the heart can be pure. From the 1 Timothy passage, we also see that charity (agape, the divine sort of love) comes out of a pure heart. The apostle Peter agrees in 1 Peter 1:22.
In chapter 4, verse 12, the writer of Hebrews says:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Thus, the heart was viewed as the seat of a man's intentions and source of his thoughts. This verse is also significant in that it states that the Word of God is able to discern those thoughts and intents.
In Hebrews 10:22, we find the following:
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.
The heart is where the conscience is, and purification consists of purging that evil conscience. Also, to draw near to God, we must have a true heart. Attempts to deceive the Holy Spirit have been fatal to the liars.
The Apostle John says that the heart is the source of feelings of condemnation, which in the Christian can become a reliable indicator of their status toward God via those feelings (or their absence). 1 John 3:20-22 says:
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
That appears to be all the verses in the New Testament that appear relevant to our inquiry. I will now sum up what we've learned.
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