What does the bible mean by Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength?
Matthew 22:37 is also written in Luke and Mark, however these two writers include “strength” in their list. God is basically saying that he wants everything we have to obey him, and he uses these four words to explain that.
Luk 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Here is an expert from a paper that I wrote, How to Wage Spiritual Warfare that explains each of these words.
When we are under the law of Moses, still in the church, we can look good to
the world and appear to be righteous, but God knows what is really in our hearts.
At this point we are still carnal, the beast just appears to be tamed to some degree
in the outward.
Let’s look at what Christ says on the matter. When the scribes asked Christ what
the is the greatest commandment, here is his response:
Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear,
O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first
What does this mean? Here is the definition of love.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous.
So we are to keep his commandments in our hearts, our souls, our minds and
with our strength.
How is this done?
First we must believe all of his commandments.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and
with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The word for “Soul” in the New Testament is G5590 (psuche). The word is used
105 times in the NT, 36 times it is translated as “life”. We are being commanded
to obey with our entire life, in every way possible.
Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall
eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the
life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will
lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mar 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
We are to give up our old life and live a new obedient life in Christ.
We are also told to obey with our minds.
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself
against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to
the obedience of Christ;
Christ makes it clear that outward obedience is no longer enough, he wants our
every thought to be in obedience. It is not enough to simply restrain from killing our brothers, we must not even be angry with our brothers.
Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his
brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou
fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Finally we are to obey with all of our strength.
1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man
minister, let him do it as of the ability (strength) which God giveth: that
God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ…
All of this goes to show that that repentance and cleaning the outside of the cup is
not the end goal. God wants complete obedience in our beliefs, our minds, and
our actions. It is necessary that we go through this first part of our walk on our
way to completion.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which
is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.