Two weeks ago I proposed the idea of the three-fold disciple: Head, Heart, and Hands. Many times today we define discipleship by intellectual facts that have been learned (The Convergent Church). As I touched on in my previous post, it is important that there be an intellectual aspect of discipleship. By definition a disciple is a learner. Yet, it is important as well, that the information we learn about being a disciple transfers from our head to our heart.
I have heard it said that the distance between the head and the heart can be an eternity (though it is approximately 18 inches). As disciples of Jesus Christ we must move from an intellectual ascent of knowledge to heartfelt belief in the gospel. What we think about the gospel with our mind must move to hearts and transform who we are and what we believe. Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (ESV). Yet, mere belief is not enough to be a disciple. If a person merely has heartfelt belief of the gospel, they are not biblically grounded in the truth of the gospel. This person may have had a “mountain-top” experience, but they are subject to live the Christian life by emotions and are easily “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14, ESV). This leads us to the third aspect of discipleship, the hands which I will discuss in my next post.