Topical Sermons                                                                                                       

Power Point Show

MP3 audio

Scripture Reading:  Acts 26:9-11

Emotions, not Emotionalism


1.  Emotions express our convictions & attitudes; whether right or wrong.

2.  Emotions can deceive, Acts 26:9-11.  We’ve told denominationalists this for years! (Feel saved vs. plan of salvation)

3.  Two extremes regarding emotions among Christians:

  a.  Removal of all emotions, lest we be charged with emotionalism.

  b.  A push for more emotional responses in life & worship toward Christ that has led to unauthorized attitudes, doctrines & actions.

4.  What is the role of emotions within the life of faith (2 Cor. 5:7)?  How do legitimate emotions (in serving Christ) occur?  What do we need to guard against when dealing with our emotions and our Christianity?



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

    1.  Revealed truth sets doctrine. (Faith from hearing, Rom. 10:17.)

    2.  Understanding 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 founded upon truth, not sight (appearance, senses).

    2.  cf. Obedience, 2 Cor. 10:3-6. (Matt. 7:21)

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

        -“I feel, therefore I know” vs. “I know, therefore I feel.”

  C.  Worthy Emotions Grow out of Convictions that are Based Upon Revealed Truth.

      -(When emotions grow out of the truth, they help promote & prompt godly action, not merely external demonstrations.)

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

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

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

    2.  cf. Joy & gladness, Phil. 4:4 (Jno. 16:22-23, 33)

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

      b.  Result: Forbearance, no anxiety, prayer & peace, Phil. 4:5-7.  (A way of life, not hyped-up demonstrations of emotion.)

    3.  cf. Provoked & grieved over the sins of others, Mk. 3:5.

      a.  Comes from knowing the value of the soul & the effect of sin, Matt. 16:26; Rom. 6:23.

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

  D.  Emotions are Good & Beneficial when Produced by a Conviction that is Based upon Truth.

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

    2.  Emotions based on truth are the expressions of one’s convictions, attitudes & life of faith, cf. Acts 8:39.



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

    1.  Areas of doctrine:

      a.  Plan of salvation vs. “feel saved.” (Raise your hand, etc.)

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

      c.  Filled w/ HS: Emotion vs. relationship of fellowship (1 Jno. 3:24).

         -Eph. 5:17-18: Relationship via obeying truth.

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

    2.  Areas of worship:

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

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

    3.  Areas of evangelism:

      a.  “Meet people at the level of their felt need” vs. Meeting sinners with their real need -- Salvation from sin through the gospel of Christ!

      b.  Woman at the well, John 4:

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

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

        3)  4:16-18: Jesus confronted her with her sin. Her true need was to repent & receive the “water” (salvation) he, as Messiah, gives, 4:41-42.

      c.  “Must be an emotional tie w/ person before you can convert” vs. trusting that the truth of God will convert the lost.

        1)  Zacchaeus (Lk. 19:5-9): Saved because of repentance, not a prior friendship of Jesus.

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



1.  We must keep emotions in their proper place:

  a.  Let emotions result from the power of truth in your life (Acts 8:39).

  b.  Guard against letting our emotions rule us (Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 9:25).

2.  Obey the gospel & walk by faith, not by sight; never losing heart, but daily renewed in our faith (2 Cor. 5:7; 4:16-18).