According to the Bible, the unsaved person is dead in trespasses and sins. The unsaved person cannot understand spiritual things because the unsaved person is not spiritual, (born again), but is carnal, (in the unregenerate sinful nature) SOLD UNDER SIN. The Bible also says that the unsaved person has the devil’s nature and in fact belongs to the devil or is the devils seed. That is why the saved person is adopted when becoming born again. Take note that in the adoption process the parent always choses the child, the child does not choose the parent.
To be saved from sin means to be translated,(To change from one form, function, or state to another, convert or transform) from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of his dear Son. Changed from the old man into the born again man, having a new heart. So when the bible says to believe with the heart and you will be saved, what that verse is saying is, one must believe with the spirit that is born again.
It does not mean to have an intellectual (physical mind/body) assent to the gospel. Scripture tells us that even the devils believe the gospel. They believe that Jesus died for the sins of his elect and that he rose from the dead. That kind of belief does not save! Satan’s seed many times believe with the head the salvation message. Judas believed with the head. He walked with Jesus, saw all the miracles BUT he did not have divine revelation of Jesus in the same way that Peter did. Jesus was amazed that Peter knew who he was? Why? Because he knew that no one could really believe in the heart(spirit)unless the Father revealed who Jesus was.
Under the law, the Holy Spirit would come upon a person and reveal himself. That is how God had relationship with the prophets. However, those were temporary incidences. This is the experience Peter had because until Jesus rose from the dead and sprinkled his blood on the mercy seat and sent the Holy Spirit to make people born again. God’s elect back then were circumcised in the flesh under the law. Under the New Testament, however, to become one of God’s elect one must be circumcised by the Spirit in the heart. (spirit of man)
Another example of a person who believed with the head but not the heart is Simon the sorcerer. Simon believed but Peter told him that his heart (spirit) was not right before God. What was Peter saying? That Simon was not really saved. He was not born again. He “believed” with his intellect but he did not believe with the heart unto salvation.
“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then SIMON HIMSELF BELIEVED ALSO AND WHEN HE WAS BAPTIZED, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: FOR THEY HEART IS NOT RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” Acts, 8:9-24
Now let’s take a look at those who believed with the heart in the New Testament. Both Cornelius and Lydia were seeking the Lord. What did they each have in common? First of all they were seeking the Lord for his direction. Not their own purposes like Simon and APOSTATES do, wanting to have God’s power for selfish motivation (usually power, money, and the praises of men) but because the Lord was revealing himself to them, drawing them by his Holy Spirit, they were both called and chosen. In the book of Romans Paul says that the unsaved do not seek after God. They do not want him and nor is he in their thoughts but those the Father is drawing are true seekers.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10, 11
“He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” Heb 11:6
God was drawing Cornelius and Lydia to Himself. He sent someone to bring the Gospel to them and He opened their understanding so that they could believe the Gospel and be saved. In Romans chapter 10, Paul says that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth”. No longer are God’s elect under the law because the new covenant of grace is now here which has been provided for by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Under the new covenant one must be circumcised in the heart in order to put off the flesh rather than the physical act of circumcision under the law.
So we see that both Cornelius and Lydia were seeking the Lord and then the Lord send someone to preach the word of faith to them and then when they heard the word, they believed unto salvation and became born again into God’s kingdom. To believe with the heart means to receive the engrafted word into the spirit which was dead because of sin and to be born of God by being translated into a new creature. God must give the spirit of man life by his Holy Spirit and then being risen from the dead the person can believe. The preaching of the word is what produces that faith. Not preaching of man’s opinions but preaching scripture. However, remember that the word must be preached to opened hearts as Jesus said in his parable of the sower. The heart must be drawn and prepared by the Holy Spirit whose job is to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Then when the word is sown into a prepared heart faith comes and that person believes unto salvation.
The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELEIVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So FAITH COMES BY HEARING,(the ability to hear) and hearing(the ability to hear) by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. Romans 10:6-18
To believe with the heart Kardia in the Greek means to believe with the spirit (inner man) not the soul When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our spirits and then we are no longer in the flesh (carnal) but are spiritual, (in the spirit because we are joined to Gods Spirit) That is why Jesus said that “you must be born again to enter into Gods kingdom.”
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Being born again, not of corruptible seed,but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.1 Peter 1:23,
“And you hath he quickened, ( MADE ALIVE UNTO GOD) who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE THE CHILDREN OF WRATH, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath QUICKENED US TOGETHER IN CHRIST, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In conclusion, the Bible says to believe with the heart (spirit)in order to be saved, not the mind. Just so you know, the will is part of the mind, it is a function of the brain and there is scientific evidence to back that up. You must be born again to be saved, that is made alive in the spirit and born of God.