Re:Verse reading–Acts 15:1-29 (day three)  

“Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”  Ours is a sentimental society, that is, sentiment—feelings—have a cachet of authority.  If one is sincere, nothing else matters.  Paul will later teach a “circumcision of the heart”.  When Paul speaks of heart circumcision, though, he doesn’t use “heart” like we often do, as a synonym for “feelings”.  By “heart”, Paul means the very core of one’s being—the will or spirit of a person.  In rejecting circumcision as a prerequisite to the Christ-life, the Jerusalem council could have simply placed Christianity on a foundation of feelings.  That seems good if you feel good, but what happens when you don’t?  On what do you depend when you feel conflicted and confused?  No, they declared.  Christ transforms the spirit, and gives us sure footing.



Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor for Counseling and Pastoral Ministries at FBCSA.

2 thoughts on “Heart”

  1. Good topic for discussion. The heart is central for life. Without the heart, our body will cease to work. Without the heart, all body systems will shut down. Without trust or the lack of it, our communications will die down. The heart is the metaphor of a person’s inner life!

    Hypocrisy is always a danger. It is quite a temptation for human beings to be concerned about position, platforms, titles and honors. And we have to be concerned about praying prayers to impress rather than from the heart or from true needs. Honors are to be earned and be recognized by others! Self-pride is destructive!

    God cares about the conditions of our hearts, pure or evil, not the size of our pockets or wallets. We should care about the conditions of our hearts as the heart drives our thoughts, behaviors, attitudes and actions. Some go to church to impress for personal, professional and political ambitions but some go to church with a sincere heart to learn God’s Word, to connect and to fellowship with God. So the conditions of our hearts matter! We live and act to impress other human beings or we live and act with a purpose to make a difference as followers of Christ and we live and act for Christ’s sake. A true Christian follows Christ’s examples and acts with a caring and loving heart! It matters how God sees us, how He sees me!!

    Our inner life is far more important than our appearances. It is always good to examine why we do what we do. We do out of love, caring and concerns for one another or we do to impress for public relations or affairs. And when we do something out of a loving, caring and sincere heart, the thought counts not the size of the gifts or the quantity as God cares about the conditions of our hearts, not the appearances!

    It is easy to be trapped into buying a book through looking at its cover. Do you care about the content or the cover? What matters most to you? Do we carry the Bible to impress? And to whom do we try to impress?

    Perception is real. Whatever people may perceive us, it does not matter. You know your hearts. God knows our hearts. At the end, in the words of Mother Teresa, what matters most is between you and God not between you and people. Go with the inner life for peace, health and joy and for eternity! Heart and life go hand-in-hand.

    What are your thoughts on perception? What do you care more, inner life or appearance? What drives your existence and motivation? People and/or God! I will enjoy hearing of your thoughts.

  2. Brilliant parsing of both text and our cultural history, my friend. Our Western Christian church, notably the American brand, has elevated “feelings” far above the historical truth that those who are committed to Christ have shouldered the yoke of a committment that lives far beyond how we feel.

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