What I continue to find really interesting is the notion of heart, soul, and minds (and strength in another gospel) is that there are certain things associated with each of these facets of humans. We are not just of the physical — flesh and bones — but we are also spiritual beings, rational beings, and beings of emotions. There are many facets together enjoined as one.
In Christian Masculinity and Confidence, I explored some of the facets of what the analogy of “Confidence” is in a mature Christian man:
The pulpit commentary suggests:
- Heart; which among the Hebrews was considered to be the seat of the understanding, is here considered as the home of the affections and the seat of the will.
- Soul; the living powers, the animal life.
- Mind; διαμοίᾳ, intellectual powers. These are to be the seat and abode of the love enjoined.
And these mesh well with what we have learned about in this post about our confidence in Christ.
- In our hearts, we have eirene, the peace of God which is a wholeness with Him.
- In our souls, we have peitho/pistis, the faith and assurance of salvation from God.
- In our minds/might, we have parrhesia, the intellectual understanding that leads to an external boldness of which we can freely speak to others because of God.
Likewise, in Anchored Emotions, I explored the fullness of the heart that we are to have in Christ which are the joy and peace of God. All other emotions are transient.
Happiness and fear, like other emotions, are transient. Anchor your emotions to the firm foundation of peace and joy in Christ Jesus and not to those of the shaky foundation of the human flesh. Your life will be transformed.
So today, I want to start exploring the fullness of the soul that we are to have in Christ.
To do that, let’s harken back to Chad’s recent exploration of the Virtues in his post on Righteous Actions and Character: the Virtues. The Theological Virtues (as termed by the Catholic Church in the catechism) are named straight out of Corinthians 13 passage on Love/Agape:
1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.
I explored the fullness of faith — peitho and pistis — as it relates to confidence in all Christians, not just those with Christian masculinity already.
So let’s explore Hope and Love a bit more, and see how they build on the foundation that is faith.
The anchoring of our souls in faith is that of the assurance of salvation and the assurance of what we hope,
Hebrews 11 (NASB)
11 Now faith is the [a]assurance of things [b]hoped for, the [c]conviction of things not seen.
While the anchoring of our souls in hope is built on that foundation of faith and is our trust in Him to fulfill His promises to us, through His son Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 6 (NASB)
17 [l]In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, [m]interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have [n]taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 [o]This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters [p]within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Then what of love? Why is it built on a foundation of faith and of hope?
As I explained in Christian Masculinity, Mastery, the internal and the external, mastery first comes from the internal. Faith and Hope are manifestations of the internal state of our trust in God. They are the foundations upon which our souls exist in Christ, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
- Christianity at its most basic level is about relationships both with God and men,
- Our internal state is built up from faith all the way to godliness, then the expression of godliness manifests itself into expressions of brotherly kindness (philea) into love (agape).
So what then is love?
When questioned about the greatest commandments Jesus first said to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and with all your strength and said the second is like it:
- Love your neighbor as yourself
However, that was of the Old Testament law. Jesus came in fulfillment of the Old Testament and formed a New Testament with us which is aptly described in His words in John 13 (NASB)
- 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Therefore, we know that if we have no faith, we can have no hope, and we can have no love.
But if we have faith in Christ, we have the hope that He will fulfill His promises. And if we have hope that He will fulfill His promises, we should have love/charity for all of His creation that all may see and fear and put their trust in God.
An anchord heart is to be in the peace and joy of the Lord.
An anchored soul is to be in the faith, hope, and love of the Lord.