The Man Responds with His Heart to the Gifts of God Cover Image

Człowiek odpowiada sercem na dary Boga
The Man Responds with His Heart to the Gifts of God

Author(s): Sławomir Stasiak
Subject(s): Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Sociology of Religion
Published by: Papieski Wydział Teologiczny
Keywords: St Paul; Romans; heart; the answer to the Word of God; faith; lack of conversion of the Jews;

Summary/Abstract: God knows the heart of man examining his emotions, feelings, moods, passions, thoughts, the will of the believer, and even his conscience (Rom 8:27). The only proper human response is to take such action regarding the rights granted to him by God as to gain admiration in his eyes. Metaphor of this attitude is the “circumcision of the heart” (Rom 2:28-29), which opposes both circumcised only the body and the heart that is uncircumcised. Showing the positive response of people to the Gospel preached to them, the Apostle remains grateful to the Romans for the fact that they accepted it and became totally obedient. This is what he means when he writes that they became “obedient from the heart” (Rom 6:17). Even such an attitude does not guarantee the avoidance of doubt, which is why the Apostle warned the recipients of his letter before thinking and issuing judgments on a basis other than faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 10:6-7). This State is due to the fact that already in the hearts of the Gentiles the law had been inscribed that makes proper functioning of conscience (Rom 2:15). The situation becomes even more evident with the adoption of faith in Jesus Christ, for then the love of God was poured out in the hearts of believers (Rom 5:5). This reality, however, is not a constant and static, because it is associated with the Word which is proclaimed, and that is on the lips and in the heart of the Christian (Rom 10:8). To allow this to come to fruition faith must gain a dual dimension: the outer expressed with lips and internal adoption in the heart (Rom 10:9-10). But man can respond negatively to gifts offered him by God. Wandering in their thinking he indulges in idolatry, and as a consequence his heart plunges into darkness (Rom 1:21). For Paul wandering in thinking and bad behavior is a manifestation of God’s wrath. Only the adoption of the light of Gospel can deliver him from such a State. But if man allows his heart to donate to the lusts (Rom 1:24), they become prey to all kinds of ritual impurity, cultic and sexualabuse. Especially the latter contributes to its degradation. The man confirmed as unable to understand the change of mindset, the conversion results in the accumulation of anger in the day of judgment (Rom 2:5-6), in place of good works. Such a degraded man does not serve Christ, but only their own lusts. And by far deceives those who have not experienced evil (Rom 16:18). So it is impossible for a perverse heart not to bring negative conseąuences to other people.Paul used interesting references to his heart (he kardia mou, he eme kardia) writing about his great desire for the salvation of his countrymen. He saw clearly the danger of exclusion of Israel as a result of their rejection of the Gospel. Therefore, first he wrote about his great sorrow and unceasing pain (Rom 9:1-2), and then with great desire and prayers for their salvation (Rom 10:1).

  • Issue Year: 23/2015
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 113-116
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish
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