And when He later entered a house, away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding as well? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the person from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thereby He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, “That which comes out of the person, that is what defiles the person. For from within, out of the hearts of people, come the evil thoughts, acts of sexual immorality, thefts, murders, acts of adultery, deeds of greed, wickedness, deceit, indecent behavior, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile the person.” Mark 7:14-23 NASB
In recent days have heard of wonderful stories of reconciliation in a marriage. Of how God worked all things together for good for those who loved Him and are loved by Him and are called according to His purpose. Prayers must continue in the lives of those who've taken such steps. Prayers are by which God does what God does.
We live in a world that certainly is bent on blaming everything except for the person involved when evil happens.
We blame the sibling, the spouse, the stranger on the street. The politicians, the Supervisor, the Boss, and yes even God gets blamed.
We have people blaming genetics and supposed predisposition towards feelings as to why people do what they do.
The real problem is a sin problem.
The real issue isn't physical it's spiritual.
We cannot medicate or use surgery or psychology to fix a sin problem. If anything man could do to address a sin problem were possible in a cure for it, then again, as we have seen Jesus died needlessly. He would be just another way, not The Way.
He tells plainly to His Disciples exactly what is needed to be known about the human condition.
Of how all the window dressing in the world cannot hide where sinful wants and desires come from.
Sin is in the hearts of every single man, woman and child. Everyone was born in sin and suffers from sin's influence.
We get taught how to nurture coveting. We already have the seeds of it in our hearts.
We get taught how to nurture idolatry. We already have the seeds of it in our hearts.
We get taught how to nurture lying. We already have the seeds of it in our hearts.
We get taught how to put ourselves first in life. The seeds of it are already in our hearts.
We get taught in this world how to nurture every type of sinful attribute and activity.
As Jesus has said here in Mark, these things are in our hearts. He says at a different time in the Gospels that we are to deny ourselves, take up our own cross and follow Him.
We have no trouble lying to others.
We have no trouble deceiving others.
We have no trouble showing idolatry to others. No trouble because we have been taught to embrace it all our lives. We label it peer pressure. The pressure to conform isn't really much. We want to be accepted so we learn quite easily to go with the flow. We learn that conformity is easy if we don't think about the consequences.
We even lie to ourselves in saying there's nothing wrong with our lives. That we are good people and that if God judges us as unworthy of Heaven, well, He must be wrong!
We want what we want when we want it.
We are a culture that spans generations that lives for self.
We are a culture impacted by sin, which has been cultivated by Satan in order to thwart the plans of God.
We believe we aren't bad people.
We believe we can rewrite the Bible to suit our beliefs and appease our conscience.
We think all this can change God's mind concerning sin. My Dear Reader, there's no way, no chance, no possible outcome of anything mankind can come up with that will ever do that.
The events in this world are all a direct result of sin and its consequences. Even in the two treks of Israel in the wilderness were impacted by sin in them.
We cannot fight a spiritual battle within us without the power of Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit. It's impossible to learn how to please God in our hearts without evicting the deeds of our natural sin nature. We need the Spirit to usurp the desires of our hearts, regardless of what those might appear to be, in order to grow in Christ the way He intended us to.
Our best intentions are rubbish.
Our best efforts are trash.
Our best of anything we do will always fall short of whatever is needed to fight against sin's influence in us. We need the Spirit to empower us, to guide us. We are dead until the Spirit makes us alive in Christ. A dead person cannot do anything. A person who is alive in Christ can do all things in Christ Jesus.
Families cannot truly be families without Christ as a part of it.
Marriages cannot truly be marriages without Christ as part of it.
A life isn't being lived without Christ being a part of it.
We can legislate away everything man made and mankind will still continue in sin.
We can destroy every means of destroying one another and the sinful heart will devise new ways to destroy life. It is exactly as Jesus said here in Mark 7.
Jesus is the answer to sin's issue. He became sin on the cross to destroy sin by taking on the full wrath of God His Father.
In Revelation, we see aspects of the wrath of God in judgment. We do not see the full wrath of God concerning those alive at that time concerning sin. There would be no need for 7 years. God's wrath could wipe out mankind in its entirety with a thought. Why doesn't He?
2 Peter 3:9 NASB "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance."
He wants to save all who would come to Christ Jesus for salvation. Giving everyone the opportunity. Everyone WILL have an opportunity because Scripture also says that everyone will be without excuse.
Wars and rumors of wars are found in the sinful hearts of mankind. It's also a prelude to Christ returning.
In the New Testament we are instructed to pray for our leaders and those in authority over us.
We can't fight what comes from our hearts without the Spirit to do the fighting for us. The weapons of our warfare aren't possible without the Spirit of God. The full armor of God is only found in God.
Look at your life today. Are you indeed thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to? Romans 12 again.
Look at what motivates you. Look for signs of these things that Jesus mentioned. Look for anything in your life not bearing fruit that leads to repentance.
What does your heart say about you?