INTRODUCTION TO

 

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

 

(A Biblical Study of the Heart)

 

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

 

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

 

Knowledge of the Lord God of the Bible is the most important thing that anyone, especially Christians, can learn. Knowledge of

the Scriptures – God’s words (The Holy Bible) is essential in order for us to not only learn about God but know Him personally.

Knowledge of the human heart closely follows in order of importance.

 

Human nature is a reflection of mankind’s heart condition. The major pursuits of mankind: Self-preservation, self-propagation and self-gratification are all bound up in the heart. When it comes to understanding ourselves and others, knowledge of the heart is indispensable. Since the issues of life proceed from out of the heart (Proverbs 4:23) it is extremely important that we examine the

Scriptures (God’s own words – from God’s Mouth) to see what God has to say about it.

 

The study of the heart, as portrayed in the Bible, is one of the most important studies a Bible believer can undertake. And yet, since I believed on and received my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in October of 1958, I cannot recall any study on the heart in all of the various churches [Evangelical, Brethren, Independent, Pentecostal (Charismatic), and Baptist] that I have attended.

 

A sincere Biblical study of the heart will take the believer into almost every area of a Christian’s life, including but not limited to: our attitude towards God; our relationship with God; our attitude towards God’s word; our relationship and conduct towards our Christian brethren; our relationship and conduct towards all those outside of the church; our estimate of our own value and importance; the value we place on riches and wealth; the value we place on religious institutions and traditions; the value we place on “personal religious experience”; the value or importance we place on the world’s institutions, the value or importance we place on government institutions; the value or importance we place in men, customs, traditions, society, culture, schooling, education, etc., etc., etc.

 

In the four Gospels the Lord Jesus Christ speaks about the heart over 60 times and testifies to the extreme importance of the heart over and over again:

 

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

 

Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

 

Matthew 15:18 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.

 

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

 

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart

bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

 

In Proverbs 4:23 we are told to: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”. The only way to “keep” our hearts (from sin & evil), is to hide God’s word in our heart [Psalms 119:11] and constantly examine and monitor our heart in regards to our motives and whether we are obedient to His word. As to the “issues of life”, all of the issues and concerns in our life that matter to us proceed from out of our hearts, thus we must be especially careful that we are not deceived into thinking or believing that we are doing God’s will, if we are not following God’s Holy word.

 

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

 

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 

 

Since the Bible refers to the heart(s) approximately 950 times in about 880 verses, no study on the heart can possibly be considered complete or final. However, God has graciously supplied us with an abundance of verses on the heart so that we can certainly learn a

great deal about how it functions and its importance in all of our lives.

 

This study is dedicated to the Honor and Glory of the Lord God of Scripture, the Father (Who loved us); the Son Jesus Christ (our Saviour and the WORD); and the Holy Spirit (Who ministers to us), and to His written word, God's Final Authority on this earth. May everything that is presented here

be truthful, honoring to God, faithful to the word, and edifying to the reader.  

 

George Anderson

 

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

(A Biblical Study of the Heart)

 

 

Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

 

Man Is a Three Part Being (Body-Soul-Spirit)

 

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

God Is A Three Part Being (Body-Soul-Spirit)

 

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

 

Man Possesses – A Heart, a Mind, and a Conscience

 

1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

 

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.

 

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

 

Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

 

Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

 

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:

 

Hebrews 10:22 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.

 

 

God Possesses A Heart And A Mind

 

(He has no need of a Conscience)

 

1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

 

Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

 

Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

 

Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

 

Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

 

Job 23:13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

 

Jeremiah 15:1 Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.

 

Jeremiah 44:21 The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and came it not into his mind?

 

Romans 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

 

1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 

Conclusion: The Holy Bible clearly teaches that there is a Scriptural distinction between the body, soul, and spirit, even though an individual (man or woman) is just one person. The Scriptures also demonstrate that the heart and the mind and the conscience are different, inseparable, but distinct from each other. According to all the Bible verses cited above they are clearly not the same. [To cite another example: In the Holy Bible, of the three words (heart, mind & conscience) only the heart can be and needs to be circumcised – there are no verses indicating that the mind or the conscience can be or needs to be circumcised. [Deuteronomy 10:16; Deuteronomy 30:6;

Jeremiah 4:4; Romans 2:29.]

 

As we proceed in the study of the heart I will attempt to give a Biblical (Scriptural) definition for each of the words presented. I have also included an addendum to the study that will present Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definitions - always keeping in mind that Noah Webster was not infallible, therefore the Bible’s own definitions will take precedence if there is a demonstrable difference.

 

THE BIBLE’S DESCRIPTION OF GOD

 

God is a Tri-Part Being – Body, Soul, Spirit (Substance)

The physical attributes of God are - God is:

 

Eternal (Without beginning or end of existence, Immortal, Perpetual, Unchangeable.)

 

 

Omniscient (All-Knowing - All-Seeing.)

 

Omnipotent (All Powerful – Unlimited Power.)

 

Omnipresent (Everywhere - Present in all places at the same time)

 

God possesses a Heart and a Mind (Faculties)

The moral attributes of God are - God is:

 

 

Holy (Perfectly Pure – Sacred)

Truth (Genuine, Faithful, Honest, Veracity, Fidelity)

Just (Principled, Upright, Equitable, Impartial)

Mercy (Grace, Pardon, Compassionate, Pitiful)

Love (Benevolence, Good Will, Charitable)

 

THE BIBLE’S DESCRIPTION OF MAN

 

Man is a Tri-Part Being – Body, Soul, Spirit (Substance)

 

The physical attributes of Man are – Man is:

 

Mortal (With beginning and end – Subject to Death, Judgment & Eternal Punishment)

 

Man has:

(Limited Knowledge & Limited Understanding)

 

(Limited Power & Limited Abilities)

 

(A Limited Presence – Confined to His Body)

 

Man possesses a Heart, a Mind, & a Conscience* (Faculties)

 

The moral attributes of Man are – Man is:

 

Sinful (Born with a sinful nature – which negatively affects all of his faculties)

 

* Man was originally created in the “Image of God” (Body, Soul, Spirit, Heart, and Mind). Man acquired a conscience along with his sinful nature when Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God by partaking of the forbidden fruit from the tree

of the knowledge of good and evil.

Some General Information

 

Number of verses [heart(s)] in Old Testament ………………...721 Verses

 

Number of verses [heart(s)] in New Testament …………….… 159 Verses

 

Total number of verses in the entire Bible …………………..… 880 Verses

 

Number of words [heart(s)] in Old Testament ………………..784 Times

Number of words [heart(s)] in New Testament ……………… 166 Times

 

Total number of times in the entire Bible ………………….…. 950 Times

 

Number comparison with mind & conscience in the Bible:

 

            Mind(s) …………………………………………………..….. 108 Verses  111 Times

 

            Conscience(s) ………………………………………………... 30 Verses   32 Times

 

 

THE HOLY BIBLE’S DEFINITION OF THE HEART

 

The heart is the center or seat of our 1 thoughts, 2 meditations, 3 considerations,  4 perceptions, 5 concepts, 6 reasoning,

7 understanding, 8 beliefs, 9 imaginations, 10 fears, 11 doubts, 12 counsels, 13 intents, 14 desires (affections - emotions), and 15 pride.

The heart is where the 16 will resides and operates.

 

1. Job 17:11; 2. Psalms 19:14; 3. Deuteronomy 8:5; 4. Deuteronomy 29:4; 5. Acts 5:4; 6. Mark 2:8; 7. Proverbs 8:5; 8. Romans 10:9-10; 9. Genesis 6:5;

10. Isaiah 35:4, Luke 21:26; 11.  Mark 11:23; 12. Jeremiah 7:24; 13. Hebrews 4:12; 14. Psalms 37:4, Colossians 3:2; 15.  2 Chronicles 32:26;

16. Psalms 101:2, Psalms 119:69, Psalms 119:145, Isaiah 32:6, 1 Corinthians 7:37, Ephesians 6:6. 

           

The total number of verses in the Bible where the word heart (hearts) has a different application than the overwhelmingly predominant Scriptural definition given above:

 

1.      Exodus 15:8 (the Sea)

2.     Exodus 28:29-30 (physical)

3.     Exodus 28:29-30 (physical)

4.     2 Samuel 18:14 (physical)

5.     2 Kings 9:24 (physical)

6.     Psalms 104:15 (physical)

7.     Psalms 37:15 (physical)

8.     Proverbs 14:30 (physical - double meaning?)

9.     Isaiah 6:10 (physical - double meaning?)

10. Isaiah 19:1 (Egypt)

11.  Matthew 12:40 (the Earth)

12. Luke 21:26 (physical - double meaning?) 

 

The purpose of the following lesson outlines will be to illustrate that the Bible clearly states and plainly testifies that the heart exists (Biblical definition cited above), and that all sincere born again Bible believers have a duty to study the Bible, in order to learn about the emphasis and importance that God places on the heart, and believe (accept) the Scriptural record about it as being true. 2Timothy 2:15

 

I recommend to all those who have an interest in this subject to carefully read and study all of the lesson outlines presented here. However, should you not have the time, I would encourage you to pick those lessons that may be of interest to you, since each of the 10 lesson outlines presented in this study can stand alone in support of the particular subject covered in the outline.

 

            For example: Lesson #2 (God’s Comments & Commands); Lesson #4 (God’s Dealings); and Lesson #6 (God’s Warnings) all demonstrate God’s point of view on the heart with a different emphasis in each lesson outline.

 

            Another example: Lesson#3 (Issues of Life-Good); Lesson #5 (Issues of Life-Bad); and Lesson#7 (Issues of Life –Evil) all demonstrate the existence, operation and function of the heart, again with a different emphasis in each lesson outline.

 

            And again: Lesson #8 (Heart Attitude of God’s people); Lesson #9 (The Heart Compared); and Lesson #10 (The Conclusion of the Matter) each are complete in themselves in presenting the particular subject under review.

 

Because of the number of Scriptural Verses used in this study, there is a certain amount of “overlapping” (use of the same verse in different lessons) in the presentation of these lesson outlines. However I have endeavored to provide all of the Scriptures that I believe are appropriate to each lesson outline.

 

First mention of man’s heart in the Bible:

 

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 

First mention of God’s heart in the Bible:

 

Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

 

God’s Heart & man’s heart mentioned together in the Bible:

 

Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

 

The Location of man’s heart:

 

1Samuel 25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.

37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.

 

Psalms 39:3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

 

Psalms 55:4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.

 

Psalms 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

 

Jeremiah 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

 

Lamentations 1:20 Behold, O LORD; for I am in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death.

 

Hosea 11:8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.

 

Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

 

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

 

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

 

The Most Important Things That We (Saved or Lost)

Should Remember About The Heart:

 

The Heart Is Deceitful, Wicked, Evil & Mad

 

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

 

Only God Knows the Heart

 

1Kings 8:39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)

 

 

2Chronicles 6:30 Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)

 

We Should Always Trust God and Not Our Heart

 

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.