Sunday May 3. 2020
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
The energy of life, depth or center of life, and emotion.
“In its psychological sense, the term heart refers, alike in both Testaments, to human life with its energies exercised. The physical organ which bears this name is the distributor of blood and the biblical conception is that the life is in the blood (LEV 17:11). It is thus natural that the heart should be deemed the center of human life. Similarly the heart beats faster or slower based on emotions and so naturally would be used to reference them.” [Chafer, Systematic Theology]
The heart is used figuratively for the hidden springs of personal life. It is the hidden man, the real man and his true character.
"For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man."
Along with the spirit and soul, the heart can be good or bad, holy or unholy.
the hidden person of the heart
Soul, spirit, and heart have all the same characteristics, but the soul is the type of person, the spirit the passion for that type, and the heart the hidden type.
If they are all in agreement, then the inner man is without conflict. Yet, they could all be in agreement for the types of sin and evil, which would make the lack of conflict short lived, for eventually trouble and judgment come.
If in the believer they are all in agreement, it makes for inner peace and tranquility that lasts through everything.
It is clear to us who have lived long enough with eyes to see that the person we project to the world around us, our reason or motivation for the person we reveal, and the real person under it all, that only I and God see, could all be in agreement or all different.
The heart is the seat/depth of spiritual and moral life, grief, joy, desires, affections, perceptions, thoughts, understanding, reasoning, imagination, conscience, intentions, purpose, will, and faith.
We could go to all the scriptures that show every one of these, and I shall list them in my notes here for anyone who would like to look them up.
Heart in the NT denotes (a) the seat of physical life, ACT 14:17; JAM 5:5; (b) theseat of moral nature and spiritual life, the seat of grief, JOH 14:1; ROM 9:2; 2CO 2:4; joy, JOH 16:22; EPH 5:19; the desires, MAT 5:28; 2PE 2:14; the affections, LUK 24:32; ACT 21:13; the perceptions, JOH 12:40; EPH 4:18; the thoughts, MAT 9:4; HEB 4:12; the understanding, MAT 13:15; ROM 1:21; the reasoning powers, MAR 2:6; LUK 24:38; the imagination, LUK 1:51; conscience, ACT 2:37; 1JO 3:20; the intentions, HEB 4:12, cf. 1PE 4:1; purpose, ACT 11:23; 2CO 9:7; the will, ROM 6:17; COL 3:15; faith, MAR 11:23; ROM 10:10; HEB 3:12. [from Vine’s Expository Dictionary]
I would encourage you to do so and then read them in the context they are in, rather than looking only the proof of their existence. These things are all the things of the inner man. The soul and the spirit have them as well. If we assign to them the refinement of being a part of the depth of us, we can see that at the bottom of my soul, between soul and spirit, joint and marrow, I am to have the life, joy, desires, affections, etc. of Jesus Christ, and not of my own devising.
If the heart is viewed as the depth of us, the deep inner man, the real man, the seat or core of man, then if love, joy, and peace are there it would be impossible to lose them. We use the phrase “deep seated” for such things and they are not easily shaken. So, if you find that your joy is frail, meaning that it is easily lost when circumstances are not to your liking, then joy and likely other virtues are not grounded in your heart. And if you find that to be true, don’t despair, but continue to do the things that give these godly characteristics their rooted existence; learning the word of God and striving to live the life of Christ that has been given to you. And yes, this takes time. It is worth the investment. We could confidently say that a Christian who does not have deep seated joy is one who has not invested years of perseverance in learning and living God’s word.
Hence, the word of God that is alive and powerful, judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
It seems that the heart has all the same characteristics that the spirit and the soul do. But the nuance is that the soul is the person or type of person, the spirit is the motivation or passion for that type of person and the heart is the hidden depth or seat of that type of person.