What does the Bible mean by keeping our hearts? Is it in the Bible? What does this mean and how can it help the believer in Jesus Christ?
Keep the heart
In the Jewish vernacular the heart is the seat of emotions, intellect and motives and for the Jews and their common salvation to one another was “peace to you”, or in Hebrew, “shalom Aleichem”. Asking for a peace blessing on someone is as common as saying “How are you?” “Since this is the general greeting for the Jews, they would have understood what Paul meant when he wrote about the importance of having peace with God in Philippians 4: 7 where he writes”And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.. “Of course, the unsaved Jews, not having the Spirit of God, could not have the perfect peace of God because they did not make peace with God (Rom 5). For the Jewish Christian , Philippians 4: 7 would make perfect sense.
Peace of mind
The Greek word used for the heart in Philippians 4: 7 is “kardia” hence we get “heart”. This work can mean the vital organ that pumps blood to the body or it can mean the center of all physical and spiritual life and the context strongly suggests that this is the secondary definition. Paul wrote that the peace of God, brought by the blood of God (in Christ), brought us peace with God (Rom 5: 1). Having peace with God should help us keep our hearts and minds. The Greek word for guard is “phroureō” and it means “to guard or protect as with military force either to prevent a hostile invasion or to prevent the inhabitants of a besieged city from fleeing.” If you haven’t made peace with God, then you are at war with God. Christians can say: “We have been justified by faith [and] we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ(Rom 5: 1).
The human heart
The image that God paints of the human heart is not pretty. Jeremiah 17: 9 describes the heart as “above all deceitful, and hopelessly sick; who can understand it? You can easily tell what a person cherishes in their heart by their actions, as Jesus said in Matthew 12:35; “The good person of his good treasure produces good, and the bad person of his bad treasure produces evil.“and Jesus said when you look at the heart you will find out what their heart is really producing as he says”The good of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the wicked of his bad treasure produces evil, for it is of the abundance of his heart that his mouth speaks.(Luke 6:45). The bottom line is that the heart is deceitful about all things; the heart is desperately sick; who can really understand it; the proof is in our words.
Even though Ezekiel was writing to Israel, the idea that God is creating a new heart in us is very similar to what he wrote in Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove from your flesh the heart of stone and I will give you a heart of flesh. “Every Christian receives a new heart just as Paul says;”if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old one is deceased; behold, the new has arrived»(2 Cor 5:17) and that signifies new desires, new passions and a new way of life. Old desires for sinful activity are replaced with a desire to obey and serve God. Even if we still sin, we simply won’t benefit from it anymore. The Holy Spirit will ring in our consciousness when we do and that is a great thing! And now the attention is on Christ and the members of His body, the church. Now, having a new heart, we must protect it, just as Solomon wrote “Keep your heart vigilant, for it is from it that the sources of life flow.”(Prov 4:23).
The sinful heart
I had a sinful heart and didn’t even realize it. It was only after being convinced by the Holy Spirit that I saw my state of sin and that made me flee to the cross. You could say that I was not saved in my youth by my words because “what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and it defiles a person”(Mt 15:18). Jesus did not mince his words in Matthew 12:34 when speaking to the Pharisee Jews; “You brood of vipers! How can you say good, when you’re bad? Because of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. “Jesus was trying to warn the Jews that unless they turn away from their sins, that is, turn away from them and forsake them (including their pride!), And then turn away from them. humble before Christ and put their trust in Him, they have the wrath of God (John 3: 36b) being stored up for them. Paul begged the unrepentant and told them to trust Christ, but many refused, so he has wrote that it was “because of your hard and unrepentant heart you accumulate anger on the day of wrath when the righteous judgment of God will be revealed(Rom 2: 5).
Did you trust Christ? So Jesus tells you “May your hearts not be troubled. To believe in God; also believe in me“(John 14: 1) and more, he says”I leave you in peace; my peace I give you. I don’t give you like the world gives. May your hearts not be troubled, may they not be afraid either”(John 14:27). Isaiah assures us: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind has remained on you, for he trusts you(Isaiah 26: 3). Knowing that these promises are true should help you keep your hearts and minds, especially since you now have peace with God (Rom5: 1). Now what? We have been called from darkness to light to return to darkness again (Mt 28: 19-20).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is the pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the senior editor of What Christians Want To Know, whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.