Today in God’s Word
2 Kings 2; 2 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 6; Psalm 112-113
In his second letter to the Thessalonians I notice a striking comparison, or contrast, made by Paul. He contrasts the believing of falsehood and the believing of truth. What is interesting is how he does it. He equates what we would typically assume is a mental or intellectual ascent to “believe” something and he ties it to a heart level or emotional valuing of the thing. Believing to Paul here is done with the heart and it is characterized by loving or taking pleasure in the thing.
There is a valuing and a cherishing there, not just an acceptance. See 2 Thess 2:9-12 and follow his train of thought with regard to this. He looks at disbelief and explains it in terms of the heart. He speaks of the refusal to love the truth…then he ties it to accepting an alternative, which is not true. Then in a kind of parallelism he presents the flip side. Believing in truth is contrasted to taking pleasure in unrighteousness.
I see here that believing truth equates to loving righteousness and believing falsehood equates to loving (or taking pleasure in) unrighteousness. So my believing is a loving or it is not a believing. This brings me to the understanding that to “receive Christ” as true and to “receive Christ” as my treasure are two different things. I can dislike truth while still “believing” it…so it is with Satan and his “believing” in Christ. So is receiving or believing in Christ something of the head only or must it be a receiving of the heart whereby he is seen as glorious and true and where he becomes the desire of my heart and the purpose of my life?
Here is how Jonathan Edwards once stated it in a 1734 Sermon…
“There is a wide difference between mere speculative, rational judging anything to be excellent, and having a sense of its sweetness, and beauty. The former rests only in the head, speculation only is concerned in it; but the heart is concerned in the latter.”
Sweeney, Douglas A. (2010-02-23). Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word: A Model of Faith and Thought (p. 40). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
Indeed the Son is either the reason we have breath or he will be seen with his mighty angels coming with vengeance against those who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Soli Deo Gloria!