Heart: According to the Bible, the heart is the centre not only of spiritual
activity, but of all the operations of human life. "Heart" and "soul"
are often used interchangeably
(Deuteronomy 6:5; 26:16) comp.
(Mark 12:30,33) but this is not generally the case. The heart is the
"home of the personal life," and hence a man is designated, according
to his heart, wise
(1 Kings 3:12) etc., pure
(Psalms 24:4; Matthew 5:8) etc.,
upright and righteous
(Genesis 20:5,6; Psalms 11:2; 78:72) pious and good
(Luke 8:15) etc. In these and such passages the word "soul" could not
be substituted for "heart." The heart is also the seat of the
(Romans 2:15) It is naturally wicked
(Genesis 8:21) and hence
it contaminates the whole life and character
(Matthew 12:34; 15:18) comp.
(Ecclesiastes 8:11; Psalms 73:7) Hence the heart must be changed, regenerated
(Ezekiel 36:26; 11:19; Psalms 51:10-14) before a man can willingly obey God.
The process of salvation begins in the heart by the believing
reception of the testimony of God, while the rejection of that
testimony hardens the heart
(Psalms 95:8; Proverbs 28:14; 2 Chronicles 36:13) "Hardness
of heart evidences itself by light views of sin; partial
acknowledgment and confession of it; pride and conceit; ingratitude;
unconcern about the word and ordinances of God; inattention to divine
providences; stifling convictions of conscience; shunning reproof;
presumption, and general ignorance of divine things."