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Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Emotions and Living by Faith



1.  Emotions express our convictions and attitudes (right and wrong).

2.  Emotions can deceive (Acts 26:9-11). We’ve told denominationalists this for years (feeling saved v. the plan of salvation).

3.  Two extremes regarding emotions among Christians:

  a.  Remove all emotions, lest we be charged with emotionalism.

  b.  A push for more emotional responses in life and worship has led to unauthorized attitudes, doctrines, and actions.

4.  What is the role of emotions as we live by faith (2 Cor. 5:7)? How do legitimate emotions occur when we serve Christ? What do we need to guard against when examining our emotions and our faith?



  A.  Emotions do not Determine True Doctrine, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

    1.  Revealed word sets truth (faith comes from hearing, Rom. 10:17).

    2.  Understanding come from what is written, 2 Tim. 2:7.

  B.  Emotions do not Determine our Life of Faith, 2 Cor. 5:7.

    1.  Walk of faith is based on truth, not sight (appearance, senses).

    2.  cf. Obedience, 2 Cor. 10:3-5 (Matt. 7:21).

    3.  Our senses and emotions often deceive us, Prov. 14:12; Jer. 10:23.

      -“I feel; therefore I know” v. “I know; therefore I feel.”

  C.  Worthy Emotions Grow Out of Truth-Based Convictions.

     -When emotions grow out of the truth they promote and prompt godly actions, not external demonstrations.

    1.  cf. Godly sorrow, 2 Cor. 7:9-10.

      a.  Comes from conviction of sin, Acts 2:37 (Peter, Matt. 26:75).

      b.  Result: Repentance, Acts 2:42; 2 Cor. 7:10 (Peter, Lk. 22:31-32).

    2.  cf. Joy and gladness, Phil. 4:4 (John 16:22, 33)

      a.  Comes from conviction that all blessings are obtained in Christ, Eph. 1:3 (Matt. 5:3-12).

      b.  Result: Forbearance (not anxiety), prayer, and peace, Phil. 4:5-7.  A way of life, not hyped-up emotional displays.

    3.  cf. Provoked and grieved over the sins of others, Mark 3:5.

      a.  Comes from knowing the value of the soul and what sin does, Matt. 16:26; Rom. 6:23.

      b.  Result: Compassionate, diligent evangelism, Matt. 9:36-38.

  D.  Summary: Emotions are Good and Beneficial when Produced by Conviction Based on Truth.

    1.  However, when the message is defective, emotions become misplaced and unreliable, Gen. 37:33-35.

    2.  Emotions based on truth will express our convictions, our attitudes, and our life of faith, Acts 8:39.



  A.  When Emotions Rule Us, the Authority of God’s Word Becomes Clouded and Minimized:

    1.  In teaching:

      a.  Plan of salvation v. “feel saved,” 2 Kings 5:11 (Raise hand, etc.).

      b.  Good people still lost v. “feel they must be saved” (Acts 11:14).

      c.  Filled with the Holy Spirit: Emotion v. relationship of fellowship (1 John 3:24).

         -Eph. 5:17-18: Relationship with the Spirit by obeying truth.

      d.  Personal experiences (testimonies, witnessing, Acts 1:8) v. being drawn to salvation by the gospel, 2 Thess. 2:14.

    2.  In worship:

      a.  Emotional, external displays become the focus of worship (dimmed lights, candles, swaying, clapping, etc.).

      b.  Worship is reverential homage to God and is based on truth (John 4:24), not emotional displays that minimize the content of worship while emphasizing the feeling of worship.

    3.  In evangelism:

      a.  “Meet people at the level of their felt need” v. Meeting sinners with their real need (Salvation from sin through the gospel).

      b.  Woman at the well, John 4:

        1)  She felt she needed water, 4:7.

        2)  She really needed living water, 4:10, 13-15.

        3)  Jesus didn’t first give her water, He explained her need and helped her confront her sin, 4:16-18. Her true need was to repent and receive the “water” (salvation) the Messiah gives, 4:41-42.

      c.  “Must make an emotional tie with a person before they can be converted” v. trusting the truth of God to convert the lost.

        1)  Luke 19:5-10: Zacchaeus saved because of his faith to repent, not due to a prior emotional connection with Jesus.

        2)  Acts 2: No prior emotional ties, yet about 3,000 saved.



1.  It is our responsibility to keep our emotions in their proper place.

  a.  Godly emotions that result from the power of truth in our lives (Acts 8:39).

  b.  Guard against letting your emotions rule you (Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 9:27).

2.  Obey the gospel and walk by faith, not by sight. Do not lose heart, but be renewed in your faith daily (2 Cor. 5:7; 4:16-18).



By: Joe R. Price

Posted April 27, 2021