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How is the study and writing of a report on cancer different from personally experiencing the reality of the disease in your life?

How does this example relate to the difference between spiritual, head, and heart knowledge?

Read Question and Answer 2 of the Heidelberg Catechism.

Q. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
A. Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.

What type of knowledge is spoken of in this question and answer? Why?

Does heart knowledge exclude head knowledge? How does it differ?

We must try to avoid both the danger of overvaluing and of undervaluing historical faith.

When overvaluing historical faith, we view head knowledge as heart knowledge, mental agreement as saving agreement, studying about biblical truths as the personal experiencing of these truths, and historical faith as true saving faith. The overvaluing of historical faith is deceiving; it causes persons to spiritually rest short of a Spirit-worked, experiential knowledge of these truths.

When undervaluing historical faith, we view historical, head, knowledge as unimportant and neglect God's means of grace. God commands us to search His Word, to study His truths. Historical faith is the field upon which God generally plants true saving faith. Historical faith also serves as a means to restrain sin, to keep a person from doctrinal errors, and to instruct others in scriptural truths. Therefore, we may never despise the gift of historical faith, but we must strive to increase it.

The following chart provides biblical examples of overvaluing and undervaluing historical faith.


Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.

- Matthew 7:21

How then shall they call on Him on 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?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

- Romans 10:14,17

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

- John 3:3

Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.

- John 5:39

But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

- James 1:22

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

- Acts 17:11

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

- Luke 6:49

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

- Deuteronomy 11:19

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