In the Christian experience, which comes first: feelings or facts?

We are emotional because we are human. Feelings like devotion for the Creator, compassion for the lost and hatred of evil are good. But many who call themselves followers of Christ believe “Feelings comes first, then knowledge comes later.” But the basis of Christianity is not build on feelings rather it is build on knowing Christ (Ephesians 2:20). The Christian doesn’t establish his faith on feelings rather than facts. The Christian’s experience is set primarily on the Truth (John 16:13).

Christians are called to be spiritual people (Galatians 6:1). We are “partakers of…spiritual things” (Romans 15:27). We are to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We must “worship the Father in spirit” (John 4:23-24). We are building a “spiritual house…to offer up spiritual sacrifices” (1 Peter 2:5).

Israel had “a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2). The Holy Spirit educates the mind to accept God’s call (Acts 2:14-37). Therefore, we get saved after we have “come to the knowledge of the Truth” (1 Timothy 2:4) and “receive with meekness the implanted word” (James 1:21). And we rejoice after receiving the Word of God (Acts 8:26-39).

The Christian praises God with his feelings “with uprightness of heart” but only after learning God’s righteous judgments (Psalm 119:7). Worship and adoration comes after the knowledge of the truth (John 4:24; 17:17). And we can be spiritual after accepting “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17) and learning “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-6:1).

Should the truth stir our souls with feelings? Sure. But, Christianity should not be rooted in feelings. Christianity is grounded in God’s Word. Our salvation is dependent on knowing God’s will. The Bible states that “[F]aith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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