Does Knowing Equal Changing?

February 26, 2013

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Today, NoSuperHeroes welcomes back Chance Faulkner. His first post on NoSuperheroes, The Gospel That is Not, is still one of the most popular posts.
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Why is it that we often believe the right things but lack spiritual transformation?

Recently God has showed me that I have a screwed up mindset when it comes to discipleship and counsel. Generally, I think that I have bought into the mindset that we are primary thinking beings and therefore tend to have an information-centric view on discipleship.

Functionally, our discipleship has been based on imparting correct information because our thinking is affected by sin and the fall, we have bad world-views or theologies which need reshaped.

It is not wrong to impart information, but this approach alone is incomplete, faulty and stunts growth because it is the wrong starting point.

The Bible speaks contrary to this faulty mindset by telling us that we are not primarily thinking people, but rather primarily desiring people. According to Jesus in Luke 6:43-45, we act from our hearts, not from our minds. We are known by the fruit we produce.

Why we do the things we do has a direct correspondence to the heart. The heart encompasses the essence of what it means to be human: character, will, mind, and choice.(Romans 10:1, John 12:40, Jeremiah 19:13)

 

While head knowledge is important, we need to engage a person’s heart with Christ in order for true life-change to occur.

Having correct head information without affection for Christ will render a person incapable of living out a life of godliness. Likewise, one can externally have the right behavior, but fail to see the deeper character flaws and heart sins that are underneath.

Primarily, one does not sin because they have wrong thinking, rather one sins because something else other than God grabs their attention and desire.

Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love God.(Matt 2:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27) It is the greatest commandment because all the rest of the commandments hang on it; to break any of the other commandments is to commit idolatry. The first of the Ten Commandments is that Israel was to worship the one true God and none other (Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7).

God commands that we love him, and we do this by obeying his law (Deuteronomy 6:5, John  14.15, 28). When we refuse to obey the rest of his laws it is because we functionally believe that God is holding back from us something good. When we disobey him, we are turning our worship of him by trusting him into worship of ourselves by trusting in us.

Therefore, to fulfill the first commandment is to fulfill all others. Since the heart is the source of our sin problem true transformation must always come from true heart-felt motivation. This means we must be aiming for the heart in our counsel, knowing that the gospel is the only thing that can change our desires. 

What do you think? While knowledge is important, how does it develop into transformation? Does Knowing Equal Changing?

chance faulkner

Chance was born and raised in Peterborough,Ontario, Canada. He has eight sisters and four brothers. After high school he completed a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Germany, then participated in a nine month intensive Bible course with Emmaus School of Biblical Studies (ESBS) in North Carolina, where he met his wife Mary Austin.

 

You can follow him on his blog and Twitter. He also runs a photography business.

 

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God