Category Archives: viewpoint

Heart and Mind Defined: Biblical ViewPoint

heartmind

A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

It is vital to look at  word definitions in the original language, the root word that the word is derived from, the use or context of the word,  when looking at the old and new testaments

HEART (lebh, lebhabh; kardia): The different senses in which the word occurs in the Old Testament and the New Testament may be grouped under the following heads:

Bodily Organ Various Meanings:
It represents in the first place the bodily organ, and by easy transition those experiences which affect or are affected by the body. Fear, love, courage, anger, Joy, sorrow, hatred are always ascribed to the heart–especially in the Old Testament; thus courage for which usually ruach is used (Ps 27:14); joy (Ps 4:7); anger (Dt 19:6, "while his heart is hot," lebhabh); fear (1 Sam 25:37); sorrow (Ps 13:2), etc. Hence, naturally it came to stand for the man himself (Dt 7:17; "say in

1. Heart and Personality:
As representing the man himself, it was considered to be the seat of the emotions and passions and appetites (Gen 18:5; Lev 19:17; Ps 104:15), and embraced likewise the intellectual and moral faculties–though these are necessarily ascribed to the "soul" as well. This distinction is not always observed.

2. Soul and Heart:
"Soul" in Hebrew can never be rendered by "heart"; nor can "heart" be considered as a synonym for "soul." Cremer has well observed: "The Hebrew nephesh ("soul") is never translated kardia ("heart"). …. The range of the Hebrew nephesh, to which the Greek psuche alone corresponds, differs so widely from the ideas connected with psuche, that utter confusion would have ensued had psuche been employed in an unlimited degree for lebh ("heart"). The Biblical lebh never, like psuche, denotes the personal subject, nor could it do so. That which in classical Greek is ascribed to psuche (a good soul, a just soul, etc.) is in the Bible ascribed to the heart alone and cannot be otherwise" (Cremer, Lexicon, article "Kardia," 437 ff, German edition)

3. Center of Vital Action:
In the heart vital action is centered (1 Ki 21:7). "Heart," except as a bodily organ, is never ascribed to animals, as is the case sometimes with nephesh and ruach (Lev 17:11, nephesh; Gen 2:19; Nu 16:22; Gen 7:22, ruach). "Heart" is thus often used interchangeably with these two (Gen 41:8; Ps 86:4; 119:20); but "it never denotes the personal subject, always the personal organ."

4. Heart and Mind:
As the central organ in the body, forming a focus for its vital action, it has come to stand for the center of its moral, spiritual, intellectual life. "In particular the heart is the place in which the process of self-consciousness is carried out, in which the soul is at home with itself, and is conscious of all its doing and suffering as its own" (Oehler). Hence, it is that men of "courage" are called "men of the heart"; that the Lord is said to speak "in his heart" (Gen 8:21); that men "know in their own heart" (Dt 8:5); that "no one considereth in his heart’ (Isa 44:19 the King James Version). "Heart" in this connection is sometimes rendered "mind," as in Nu 16:28 ("of mine own mind," Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) ex proprio corde, Septuagint ap’ emautou); the foolish "is void of understanding," i.e. "heart" (Prov 6:32, where the Septuagint renders phrenon, Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) cordis, Luther "der ist ein Narr"). God is represented as "searching the heart" and "trying the reins" (Jer 17:10 the King James Version). Thus, "heart" comes to stand for "conscience," for which there is no word in Hebrew, as in Job 27:6, "My heart shall not reproach me," or in 1 Sam 24:5, "David’s heart smote him"; compare 1 Sam 25:31. From this it appears, in the words of Owen: "The heart in Scripture is variously used, sometimes for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, not absolutely, but as they are all one principle of moral operations, as they all concur in our doing of good and evil."

5. Figurative Senses:
The radical corruption of human nature is clearly taught in Scripture and brought into connection with the heart. It is "uncircumcised" (Jer 9:26; Ezek 44:7; compare Acts 7:51); and "hardened" (Ex 4:21); "wicked" (Prov 26:23); "perverse" (Prov 11:20); "godless" (Job 36:13); "deceitful and desperately wicked" (Jer 17:9 the King James Version). It defiles the whole man (Mt 15:19,20); resists, as in the case of Pharaoh, the repeated call of God (Ex 7:13). There, however, the law of God is written (Rom 2:15); there the work of grace is wrought (Acts 15:9), for the "heart" may be "renewed" by grace (Ezek 36:26), because the "heart" is the seat of sin (Gen 6:5; 8:21).

6. Process of Heart Renewal:
This process of heart-renewal is indicated in various ways. It is the removal of a "stony heart" (Ezek 11:19). The heart becomes "clean" (Ps 51:10); "fixed" (Ps 112:7) through "the fear" of the Lord (verse 1); "With the heart man believeth" (Rom 10:10); on the "heart" the power of God is exercised for renewal (Jer 31:33). To God the bereaved apostles pray as a knower of the heart (Acts 1:24–a word not known to classical writers, found only here in the New Testament and in Acts 15:8, kardiognostes). In the "heart" God’s Spirit dwells with might (Eph 3:16, eis ton eso anthropon); in the "heart" God’s love is poured forth (Rom 5:5). The Spirit of His son has been "sent forth into the heart" (Gal 4:6); the "earnest of the Spirit" has been given "in the heart" (2 Cor 1:22). In the work of grace, therefore, the heart occupies a position almost unique.

7. The Heart First:
We might also refer here to the command, on which both the Old Testament and New Testament revelation of love is based: "Thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Dt 6:5); where "heart" always takes the first place, and is the term which in the New Testament rendering remains unchanged (compare Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30,33; Lk 10:27, where "heart" always takes precedence).

8. A Term for "Deepest":
A bare reference may be made to the employment of the term for that which is innermost, hidden, deepest in anything (Ex 15:8; Jon 2:3), the very center of things.
This we find in all languages. Compare Eph 3:16,17, "in the inward man," as above.
J. I. Marais

HEART

The heart is the center of the physical, mental, and spiritual life of humans. This contrasts to the normal use of kardia (“heart”) in Greek literature outside the Scriptures. The New Testament follows the Old Testament usage when referring to the human heart in that it gives kardia a wider range of meaning than it was generally accustomed to have.

First, the word heart refers to the physical organ and is considered to be the center of the physical life. Eating and drinking are spoken of as strengthening the heart (Genesis 18:5; Judges 19:5; Acts 14:17). As the center of physical life, the heart came to stand for the person as a whole.

The heart became the focus for all the vital functions of the body; including both intellectual and spiritual life. The heart and the intellect are closely connected, the heart being the seat of intelligence: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross… lest at any time they should… understand with their heart, and should be converted” (Matthew 13:15). The heart is connected with thinking: As a person “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). To ponder something in one’s heart means to consider it carefully (Luke 1:66; Luke 2:19). “To set one’s heart on” is the literal Hebrew that means to give attention to something, to worry about it (1 Samuel 9:20). To call to heart (mind) something means to remember something (Isaiah 46:8). All of these are functions of the mind, but are connected with the heart in biblical language.

Closely related to the mind are acts of the will, acts resulting from a conscious or even a deliberate decision. Thus, 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give.” Ananias contrived his deed of lying to the Holy Spirit in his heart (Acts 5:4). The conscious decision is made in the heart (Romans 6:17). Connected to the will are human wishes and desires. Romans 1:24 describes how God gave them up “through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies.” David was a man after God’s “own heart” because he would “fulfill all” of God’s will (Acts 13:22).

Not only is the heart associated with the activities of the mind and the will, but it is also closely connected to the feelings and affections of a person. Emotions such as joy originate in the heart (Psalms 4:7; Isaiah 65:14). Other emotions are ascribed to the heart, especially in the Old Testament. Nabal’s fear is described by the phrase: “his heart died within him” (1 Samuel 25:37; compare Psalms 143:4). Discouragement or despair is described by the phrase “heaviness in the heart” which makes it stoop (Proverbs 12:25). Again, Ecclesiastes 2:20 says, “Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun.” Another emotion connected with the heart is sorrow. John 16:6 says, “because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.” Proverbs 25:20, describes sorrow as having “an heavy heart.” The heart is also the seat of the affection of love and its opposite, hate. In the Old Testament, for example, Israel is commanded: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him” (Leviticus 19:17 RSV). A similar attitude, bitter jealousy, is described in James 3:14 as coming from the heart. On the other hand, love is based in the heart. The believer is commanded to love God “with all your heart” (Mark 12:30; compare Deuteronomy 6:5). Paul taught that the purpose of God’s command is love which comes from a “pure heart” (1 Timothy 1:5).

Finally, the heart is spoken of in Scripture as the center of the moral and spiritual life. The conscience, for instance, is associated with the heart. In fact, the Hebrew language had no word for conscience, so the word heart was often used to express this concept: “my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live” (Job 27:6). The Revised Standard Version translates the word for “heart” as “conscience” in 1 Samuel 25:31 (RSV). In the New Testament the heart is spoken of also as that which condemns us (1 John 3:19-21). All moral conditions from the highest to the lowest are said to center in the heart. Sometimes the heart is used to represent a person’s true nature or character. Samson told Delilah “all his heart” (Judges 16:17). This true nature is contrasted with the outward appearance: “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 RSV).

On the negative side, depravity is said to issue from the heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said that out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander (Matthew 15:19). In other words, defilement comes from within rather than from without.

Because the heart is at the root of the problem, this is the place where God does His work in the individual. For instance, the work of the law is “written in their hearts,” and conscience is the proof of this (Romans 2:15). The heart is the field where seed (the Word of God) is sown (Matthew 13:19; Luke 8:15). In addition to being the place where the natural laws of God are written, the heart is the place of renewal. Before Saul became king, God gave him a new heart (1 Samuel 10:9). God promised Israel that He would give them a new spirit within, take away their “stony heart” and give them a “heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19). Paul said that a person must believe in the heart to be saved, “for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10). (See also Mark 11:23; Hebrews 3:12.)

Finally, the heart is the dwelling place of God. Two persons of the Trinity are said to reside in the heart of the believer. God has given us the “earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22). Ephesians 3:17 expresses the desire that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” The love of God “is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).

I) HEART DEFINED IN THE BIBLE

[Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, [W.E. Vine, Edited by F. F. Bruce, Fleming H. Revell Co. Old Tappan, N.J., 1981, pp. 206-207]:

"The word came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements…

As to its usage in the N.T. it denotes

(a) The seat of physical life, Acts 14:17; Jas. 5:5;

(b) the seat of moral nature and spiritual life, the seat of grief, John 14:1; Rom. 9:2; 2 Cor 2:4; joy, John 16:22; Eph. 5:19; the desires, Matt. 5:28; 2 Pet 2:14; the affections, Luke 24:32; Acts 21:13; the perceptions, John 12:40; Eph. 4:18; the thoughts, Matt. 9:4; Heb. 4:12; the understanding, Matt. 13:15; Rom. 1:21; the reasoning powers, Mark 2:6; Luke 24:38; the imagination, Luke 1:51; conscience, Acts 2:37; 1 John 3:20; the intentions, Heb 4:12; cp. 1 Pet 4:1; purpose, Acts 11:23; 2 Cor 9:7; the will, Rom. 6:17; Col. 3:15; faith, Mark 11:23; Rom. 10:10; Heb. 3:12.

The heart, in its moral significance in the O.T., includes the emotions, the reason and the will.

II) HEART FAITH VS HEAD FAITH

[Robert N. Wilkin states, ‘SAVING FAITH IN FOCUS’, Journal of the GRACE EVANGELICAL SOCIETY, Grace Evangelical Society, Irving, Tx, Robert N. Wilkin, Editor, p. 49-50]:

"HEAD FAITH, HEART FAITH, AND MIND GAMES

How do you convince someone that saving faith is not just faith in the gospel, that it includes commitment, turning from sins, perseverance in obedience, and the like? Since there is no verse in Scripture that identifies saving faith as anything other than believing the gospel, you’d have a hard time proving your view from the Bible. However, there is an easier way.

The best way to sell the idea that saving faith includes the kitchen sink is through the use of pejor

ative terms like intellectual faith or head faith. Then they espouse the idea that the Bible teaches that the faith that truly saves is heart faith.

There is a tract called ‘Missing Heaven by Eighteen Inches.’ It argues that you would miss heaven if you believed the gospel with your head rather than with your heart. Head faith is dangerous, it suggests, because you may think you are saved simply because you believe the facts of the gospel. Yet without the heart commitment, that ‘faith’ is not saving faith at all.

Heart faith can include almost anything. However, heart faith raises potential problems. How much commitment, turning from sins, obedience, and the like is enough? The biblical evidence demonstrates that this supposed distinction between head faith and heart faith is really a mind game.

First, the Scriptures never refer to the head as the source of thinking and feeling. In addition, the word head is never associated with faith in the Bible.

The word head occurs approximately 330 times in the Bible. Of those, the vast majority refers literally to the head. The figurative uses include lifting up the head, which refers to being placed in a position of honor or having one’s former status reinstated (Genesis 40:13; Job 10:15), blood or wickedness being on the head, which refers to a guilt and judgment coming against persons for their wicked deeds (1 Kings 2:37, ‘Your blood shall be on your own head,’ 1 Samuel 25:39, ‘The Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head’), and head as ruler or authority over others (2 Samuel 22:44, ‘head of the nations,’ 1 Corinthians 11:3, ‘the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God’). There is absolutely no biblical warrant for speaking of head faith.]

Second, of the two remaining words, heart and mind, the Scriptures often use them interchangeably.

For example, ‘Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind‘ (Psalm 73:21). There is synonymous parallelism here. That is, the two halves of the verse are saying the same thing using synonyms. To be grieved in your heart is to be vexed in your mind. The same thing is evident in Hebrews 8:10, ‘I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts.’ Mind and heart are used synonymously there.

Another example is found by comparing Luke 24:25 and Luke 24:45:

‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken.’

‘And He opened their understanding [lit. mind], that they might comprehend the Scriptures.’

Those two passages are talking about the same thing. The disciples were slow of heart to believe the prophetic teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures regarding His resurrection. So what did Jesus do? He opened their mind that they might comprehend those Scriptures. There is no difference whatsoever here between believing in the heart or believing in the mind. Compare also 1 Samuel 2:35; Psalm 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20; 20:12; and Ephesians 4:17-18]

Both [expressions] refer to the inner self where one thinks and believes and feels.

The mind is associated with believing in at least three passages (Luke 24:45; Romans 14:5; Ephesians 4:17-18). In these three passages the words believe and faith do not occur. However, synonyms are present. Luke 24:45 [was previously discussed]. In that text, opening of the mind is shown to be antithetical to being ‘slow of heart to believe’ (verse 25). Romans 14:5 reads, ‘Let each be fully convinced in his own mind." Ephesians 4:17–18, which, like Luke 24:45, equates the heart and mind, says, ‘The Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened… because of the blindness of their heart.

Third, the mind is not viewed as being inferior to the heart in Scripture. In one of the most famous verses on sanctification in the Bible, Paul exhorted the believers in Rome, ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind‘ (Romans 12:2). Similarly, he exhorted the Ephesians believers, ‘Be renewed in the spirit of your mind‘ (Ephesians 4:23), Paul spoke to the Corinthian believers of having ‘the mind of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Luke said that the Lord ‘opened [the disciples’] understanding [literally mind in Greek], that they might comprehend the Scriptures,’ that is, the Old Testament Scriptures, concerning His resurrection (Luke 24:45).

Fourth, while the words believe and faith occur approximately 450 times in the Bible, only a few passages specify where belief takes place. They speak of believing as though the reader of Scripture knows what that means and where it occurs.

One passage, Romans 10:9-10, directly speaks of ‘believ[ing] in your heart.’ That is set in contrast with ‘confess[ing] with your mouth.’ The former is internal; the latter external. The former is by faith alone. The latter includes works. ‘Confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus’ is the action that involves commitment, obedience, and turning from sins, not ‘believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.’ Nor is believing with your heart defined as some special kind of faith that might rightly be called heart faith. Paul is merely indicating that saving faith takes place internally, as opposed to confessing Christ in word and deed, which takes place externally….."

{Incidentally, re: [Ro 10:9]:

(v. 9) "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved."

"If you confess" = The word confess in the original text, ("homologeses"), comes from the root words ‘homos’ meaning ‘same’ (from which we get the English word homogeneous), and the Greek word ‘logo’ meaning ‘to speak’. It literally means to say the same thing, i.e., to acknowledge what is evident already on the mind. In this case what is evidently already on the mind is that Jesus is Lord. An individual will have it in his mind that Jesus is Lord when he becomes born again through faith alone in Christ alone as Savior, (1 Jn 5:9-13). Then and only then does an individual have the potential of having Jesus Christ as their Lord – only after He becomes his Savior unto eternal life.

The confession when it does occur, (i.e., the acknowledgment that), one’s Lord is Jesus Christ – can only come after having been saved not before. It must first be received as a truth by faith alone in Christ alone unto justification, (Ro 10:10a), before it enters the mind as being something one can express with one’s lips making it known that one is saved.

The order of faith unto eternal life and then confession is confirmed by the grammatical construction of verse 9: Verse 9
is a reverse cause and effect statement with the effect, confession, coming first – in the subjunctive mood and the cause, (believing), coming second. We know this because the conjunction "ean" which precedes the clause "’confess with your mouth" is the conjunction which is used to introduce the effect in the third class "if" condition and the verb is in the subjunctive mood both of which project a possibility of maybe one will and maybe one won’t confess:

So the first part of the verse is the effect, the result: some will and some won’t confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord as a result of believing unto eternal life. Thus the second part of the verse, (cause & effect are in reverse order), is the cause, the ‘if’ portion: if you believe:

"If you… …believe in your heart." = When you believe then you may or may not confess that Jesus is Lord = if you do then the cause of that confession is that you believed!

Finally, the third part of the verse: "..you will be saved" is connected with the second part: believe. It is not connected with confess such that confession is required and its omission will block salvation.

So to paraphrase this verse with the meaning that the original language provides, we have the following: ‘The possible result is that you will confess (maybe you will and maybe you won’t) with your mouth Jesus as Lord as a result of the cause that you believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead which belief alone is what results in your being saved.’}

"Four other passages, none of which is dealing with saving faith, indicate indirectly that belief takes place in the heart (Mark 11:23; 16:14; Luke 8:12; 24:25). However, in each of those verses the point is just that belief takes place internally. And, as we have already seen, in the last of those passages believing in the heart is equated with believing with the mind.

Believing in Christ is the sole condition of eternal life. There is no such thing as special types of faith called heart faith and head faith. Saving faith doesn’t include commitment, obedience, or turning from sins. It is merely the conviction that Jesus is speaking the truth when He says, ‘He who believes in Me has everlasting life.’ (John 6:47)."

II) SAVING FAITH DEFINED IN 1 JN 5:9-13 AS ACCEPTING THE TESTIMONY OF GOD

A) [1 Jn 5:9]:

(v. 9) "We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son."

1) THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IS GREATER THAN MAN’S AND IT IS ABOUT HIS SON

This verse states that the testimony of God is superior to any man’s because God is Who He is:

He is Sovereign and Almighty. And the particular testimony that author John points to here is the testimony of God which He has given about His son relative to trusting in Him unto salvation unto eternal life to which the next 3 verses attest]:

B) [1 Jn 5:10]:

(v. 10) "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."

1) BELIEVING IN THE SON OF GOD IN THIS CONTEXT = BELIEVING IN HIM AS CHRIST, AS ONE’S MESSIAH TO SAVE YOU UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

The context of this has already been established in the first verse of chapter 5:

a) [Compare 1 Jn 5:1a]:

"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…."

[Kenneth S. Wuest states, (‘Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament’, Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Mich, 1963, p15):

“Christ” is the transliteration of christos which means ‘anointed’….

…In the Church Epistles, the word does not refer to our Lord in His official capacity of the Messiah of the Jewish nation, but as The Anointed of God, the Person chosen from the Godhead to be the anointed Prophet, Priest, and King to accomplish the purposes of God in the plan of salvation."

So to believe that Jesus is the Christ is to believe that His purpose as the Christ = to be your Savior unto eternal life, is true resulting in the reception of becoming born of God, i.e., saved unto eternal life:

b) [Compare Jn 1:12-13]:

(v. 12) "Yet to all who received Him [Christ, (v. 1)], to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God –

(v. 13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."

2) BELIEVING IN THE SON OF GOD AS CHRIST = MESSIAH TO SAVE YOU PRODUCES THE RESULT OF HAVING THE TESTIMONY OF GOD IN ONE’S HEART, I.E., ONE’S MIND

"Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony [of God] in his heart."

Believing in the Son of God [to save you, (vv. 1, 11)] produces the result of having this testimony of God in one’s ‘heart’, (i.e., in one’s mind, ref. Heb 4:12). This means that one accepts the truth in what God has said, i.e., His "testimony" about His Son relative to eternal life. And Scripture teaches that God will then deliver on His promise of eternal life to that individual who believes, (Jn 3:16; 36; 5:24; 6:47; etc.). Notice that there is no stipulation made that the acceptance of the testimony of God about His Son, i.e., belief in Christ as Savior had to occur in the heart as opposed to the head or mind.

3) ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN THE SON [TO PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE FOR HIM] HAS THIS TESTIMONY OF GOD’S IN HIS HEART = MIND = MENTAL UNDERSTANDING

"has this testimony in his heart" = in his mind, (Jn 12:40; Eph 4:18; Mt 9:4; Heb 4:12, etc.). Scripture equates the expression ‘in his heart’ with ‘in his mind’.

Anyone who believes that the Son will provide eternal life for him has this testimony in his ‘heart’ such that it is a part of his mental understanding that he is now saved unto eternal life.

(v. 10 cont.) "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe
God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."

4) ON THE OTHER HAND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE GOD’S TESTIMONY ABOUT HIS SON MAKES GOD OUT TO BE A LIAR

"Anyone who does not believe has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His Son."

Disbelieving the testimony of God that eternal life is secured solely through believing in the Son of God is tantamount to calling God a liar. So to be saved one must believe in the testimony of God about His Son relative to eternal life. Anything less and anything more than a one time moment of accepting the testimony of God about His Son relative to eternal life, i.e., believing in it would make this verse untrue. And the next verse tells us what that testimony is which individuals must believe in order to have eternal life]:

C) [1 Jn 5:11]:

(v. 11) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

1) THE TESTIMONY OF GOD ABOUT HIS SON IS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE TO MANKIND THROUGH HIS SON

Notice that eternal life is described as something that is given, i.e., a gift, (cp Eph 2:8), to mankind and that gift it is established is in the possession of the individual, i.e., given to him, when he believes the testimony of God about eternal life being through His Son. So believing the testimony of God about His Son incorporates such testimony within the mind of the individual, (v. 10), resulting in that individual having the Son, i.e., having eternal life]:

D) [1 Jn 5:12]:

(v. 12) He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

1) HAVING THE SON = BELIEVING IN THE TESTIMONY OF GOD ABOUT HIS SON = HAVING ETERNAL LIFE

"He who has the Son has life" = He who believes in God’s testimony about His Son – that the Son will provide eternal life for him if he merely believes in the Son doing this, has eternal life, (Ref. v. 10)

2) HE WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE SON = HAS NOT BELIEVED IN GOD’S TESTIMONY ABOUT HIS SON = DOES NOT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

"He who does not have the Son of God does not have life." = To have the Son means to believe that He will provide eternal life for you. To not have the Son is to not take God at His Word, (i.e., believe), that the Son alone will provide eternal life for you. And he who has not believed in Christ as Savior "Does not have [eternal] life."

a) [Compare Jn 3:18]:

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already [unto condemnation], because he has not believed in the name of the One and only Son of God."

"believed in the name of" = believed in the capacity and willingness of God to grant eternal life as a gift – just for trusting alone in Him alone, (Jn 3:1-18; Ro 3:21-24).

3) IF YOU BELIEVE WHAT GOD HAS TESTIFIED TO ABOUT HIS SON THEN YOU WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE GOD SAYS SO

If you believe what God has testified to about His Son, then you will have eternal life because God says so. God being Who He is as it is clearly indicated in verse 9: a sovereign God Whose testimony is greater than man’s, He will deliver. And John writes these verses about eternal life for the following reason]:

E) [1 Jn 5:13]:

(v. 13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you many know that you have eternal life."

1) JOHN’S MESSAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE WAS WRITTEN SO THAT ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF, I.E., THE CAPACITY OF, THE SON TO PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE FOR THEM MAY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

So, taking God at His Word about eternal life through His Son provides assurance that you do NOW possess the gift of life everlasting in heaven never to lose it, (cp. Eph 1:13-14).

Consider if one could know now at the point of faith alone in Christ alone that one is absolutely saved, then it obviously would not depend upon any future thoughts, words, or deeds of the believer only on the faithfulness of God to keep His promise. Man needs to add nothing to the Gospel of Grace.

GRACE + NOTHING

In His Grace Forever,

Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP

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