North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

CONTACT
Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200
em@npac.org.hk

ADDRESS
2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

Deepening Faith Nurturing in the Intellect, Emotions, Volition and Practice

By Rev. Wayne Cheung

March 10, 2024

       The Bible teaches that believers should not “merely listen to the word” but also “do what it says” (James 1:22). Otherwise, we will be deceiving ourselves and wasting God’s grace. The exhortation God’s people in the Old Testament and the church community in the New Testament receive from the LORD is the same – that they should listen to the word, understand it, obey and follow. They should follow His commands and do what the word says. When man does this, he will be able to experience the grace and blessings of the LORD in everyday life. This is an abiding promise of God.

      Nevertheless, due to our different temperaments and characters, our life journeys between “knowing” the word and “doing” what it says are different. Some people are determined. They discipline themselves and proceed against all odds. They rely on the Holy Spirit. They are firm in faith and strong in action. But many others are undecisive. They are like seeds fallen among the thorns. They are bound by worldly concerns and money matters and their lives cannot bear fruit.

      Educational psychology points out that the nurturing of individuals’ morals rests on their growth and process in the intellectual, emotional, volitional and practical dimensions. Applied to Christian life, more attention to the characteristics and connection between “intellect” and “practice,” especially their interactions with “emotions” and “volition” and what they bring, will help believers to put the word into action after understanding it, to practice our faith and transform our spiritual life.

      Man is an emotional being and will inevitably have feelings, emotions, longings and reactions towards the people and things around them. In good times, we are happy and gratified. In bad times, we are worried and frustrated. The Old Testament psalmists always remind us to speak our hearts to the LORD – to tell Him all our feelings and emotions be they bitter or sweet. In doing so, we will receive comfort and peace from the LORD and be able to step forward.

     Therefore, we must not ignore our emotional longings and responses. While equipping ourselves to grow in faith, we should be alert to our feelings, in particular our pressure and negative emotions. After all, spiritual nourishment cannot be separated from reality. The burden and worries of reality often in turn affect our aspirations and motivation to practice the word of God. We need the Holy Spirit our Counselor to help, relieve and watch over our emotions so that our knowledge and actions will be in sync in the practice of faith.

     Meanwhile, man is also a willpower being. The will may at times be weak and shaky, and at other times firm and resolute. Faith requires the nurturing of the “intellect” and “emotions.” As such, if we respond to the grace of God, be determined, pray and commit everything to Him, imitate the example of Christ and take concrete action in receiving training and getting equipped, we can be effective and be used by God, benefitting not only ourselves but also the entire church community.

     Equipping Sunday is a day we encourage believers to put words into action. When we are in touch with our concerns in the intellectual, emotional, volitional and practical dimensions, that will certainly help us to better respond to the call of the LORD to practice the truth. We will be disciples of Christ whose inner and outer man are one and the same, glorifying the holy name of God.