Sermon – Jesus and the Stink in the Cellar (Mark 7:1 – 7:23) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Mark 2022

The Book of Mark is the shortest of the four gospels and was written by a close companion of apostles Peter and Paul. The book is thought to be a collection of Peter’s sermons, focusing more on Jesus’ actions than words. The first section of the book provides evidence for who Jesus claims to be; the Messiah. After chapter 8 the narrative shifts to focus on his ultimate mission; to go to the cross. Listen as Cornerstone preachers take us through the stories that reveal Jesus’ true glory and show us why we can trust our lives to Him.

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Sermon 11 of 16

Jesus and the Stink in the Cellar

Pete Woodcock, Mark 7:1 - 7:23, 13 November 2022

In the latest in our series in the book of Mark, Pete preaches from Mark 7:1-23. In these verses Jesus challenges the religious traditions, which have been setup to be more important that the word of God. Jesus shows us what it really means to be clean and made righteous before God.

Mark 7:1 - 7:23

7:1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

  “‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
  in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)—12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

If you'd like to take take up your bibles and turn to mark chapter 7, We've just prayed for our preachers, and Pete is going to come and preach this passage to us in just a moment. But, we are going to read Mark 7 and verse 1 to 23, it'll appear on the screen behind me. And you can follow along if you bought your own bible. The Pharaces and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is unwashed.

The pharisees and all the Jews do not eat Unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat, unless they wash, and they observed many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles. So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands? He replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written, these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.

They worship me in vain. Their teachings are merely human rules. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men. And he continued You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions. For Moses said, honor your father and mother, and anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death, but you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban, that is devoted to God, then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother, and thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down, and you do many things like that.

Again, Jesus called the crowd to him and said, Listen to me everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that files them. After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. Are you so dull he asked Don't you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?

For it doesn't go into their heart, but into their stomach and then out of the body. In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean. He went on. What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within.

Out of a person's heart, the evil thoughts come, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside. And defile a person. Thanks, Tom. We'll keep your hand in that passage.

Gonna have a look at that in a moment. It's been a fantastic week. I mean, it was only a week ago we were doing Mark drama and it feels like we've had so many events on it's been been extraordinary. And Mark drama was was just just amazing. And there's as Tom has indicated, loads of things coming up that I'm looking forward to anyway.

I think that the history, the walk at Kingston walking tour, which I'm running, has 2 spaces, 2 people have to come out. So if you're interested in coming on a walking tour, it's on at 2 o'clock till 3 30, We walk around Kingston, and I'm gonna tell you some lots of stories. Yeah? Even about that wall out there and particularly about that building there. So if you wanna come on that, see me first to get the tickets.

Let's pray. For the help us now, as we look at this passage, Please buy your spirit, talk to us, warn us, encourage us, all the things that we need, please. Be to us in this passage, we pray in Jesus' name. Oh, man. I think the older I get 1 of the most distressing things I discover about myself from time to time is the quality of motives that slosh around in the cellar of my house called character.

Sometimes I open the door at the top of the stairs that leads down into that cellar and I get a whiff or a horrible stench. That is lurking down there. All kinds of nauseating smells are down there. 1 of them self righteousness. Another is flattering myself that I'm doing okay and certainly better than others.

And you put those smells together and you get this cocktail, a vile hypocrisy that's covered over with a sort of surface of commitment to God. It's pretty vile. It's very easy to want to cover those smells up with all kinds of coverings. Hope that they go away. You can get the sprays out.

You can get the perfume bowls out. You can light the jostick, and light the smelly candles and put on the the odorant. And at times those smells those outward things cover enough of the stink down in the basement. To divert the nose and to convince the brain that all is well, but it actually hasn't dealt with the problem. And the problem is the heart.

The problem is what's down inside. The heart of the problem is, in fact, the problem of the heart. It doesn't take the sewer away. Now in in this passage, we have a conflict going on, and we've seen this conflict is is building up and it'll build up and up and up more and more so in Mark's Gospel. There's a conflict between the religious leaders, the Faraces, the teachers of the law, a conflict between the religious leaders and Jesus, and it's a conflict around cleanness.

What is it to be clean before God? The holy God, the holy, holy, holy God. How can we be clean before believing God? For the religious leaders, it's about following well worked out, worn, places and rules to to follow ceremonial washings and what to eat and what not to eat. It's all about that.

For Jesus, it goes much deeper. You can have a nice house looks clean, Smells clean with the candles there, but underneath the sewers downstairs are still stinking, and they need unblocking. I actually think the verse that really helps us understand Mark 7 is found in Mark 8 chapter 15. And if you turn to it, it says this. Be careful Jesus warned them.

Watch out for the yeast of the Pharaces and of herod. Now I think that little verse helps us understand this chapter. Be careful. Watch out for the ye of the Pharaces and of herod. And I think as I say, that's the key.

Jesus is warning his disciples in in that verse. That there's a really, really, really big danger, and it's a really big spiritual danger. And he describes it as yeast of the Faruses and of herod. Yeast is something that you put in dough, obviously. If you're gonna make bread, and you knead it in.

And the yeast goes to all the dough, it will it will influence all the dough and it rises up. So he's talking about something that affects everything. Be where? Be careful of an influence. Please beware, and he uses strong words.

Be careful. Watch out. Keep alert. Think. Watch out for the yeast of the Pharaces and of herod.

Now we've already seen the yeast of herod in chapter 6 where we looked at herod who said I would rather be an adulterer and live and marry my brother's wife, I would rather be unclean in that way than listen to the word of God, and he chops off the preacher's head. It's it's pretty obvious that 1. You can see the yeast of herod brewing up in him, I'm not gonna repent. There's no way I'm gonna repent. I'm not gonna follow God's word, and he shops off the head of the prophet, the preacher.

Blatantly rejects God's word. Beaware of rejecting God's word. Well, that that's an easy 1 to see, isn't it? But Jesus says, watch out for the east of herod and the pharisees of the pharisees and herod. Now how can you put those 2 groups together?

Herrod clearly chops the the head of the preacher off, in his adulterous way, but the pharisees and the teachers of the law, they're might meticulous in following washing laws and all kinds of eating rules and they were nothing like herod who had a party where he got drunk. And yet Jesus is saying, hey, hold it. It's the same yeast. You can reject God by violently chopping off the preacher and saying I don't want to hear him, or you can reject God like a pharisee. By being good on the outward, but missing what God wants to do in the heart.

And the outward religion is a way of hiding the sewage down in the cellar. So verse 1, look at it. The Faraces and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around Jesus. Now these have come from Jerusalem, the the city of religion, a hundred miles they've traveled, and they really want to expose Jesus, but what happens is Jesus exposes them. And there's a devastating critique of what's going on underneath the surface.

A devastating critique of the human heart. And he reveals, if that isn't washed out, it doesn't matter what perfumes you're spraying on the outside. So let's have a look at this. We'll see the battles between the conflicts that are going on. First point I want you to see is, religion versus relationship.

Religion versus relationship. Versus 1 to 7. Look at verse 1. Here's the issue. The pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of the disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is unwashed.

And then he tells us that they love washing all kinds of things if they've been in the marketplace. They're their cups and their sauces and stuff. Verse 5. So the pharisees and the teachers of the law asked Jesus, why do your disciples live why don't your disciples live according to the traditions of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled, unwashed hands. There's the issue.

Now many, many religions, if not all religions have have ritualistic and ceremonial washings as part of their worship. Hindus will wash in the Gandhi's river. I mean, it's absolutely 1 of the most filthy rivers in the world, but they'll wash there as some kind of purification. In the Muslim faith, the Quran says, oh ye, who believe, When you stand up for prayer, wash your faces and your and your hands up to your elbows. Pass your wet hands over your heads, and wash your feet and ankles.

And if you're unclean purists by yourself by bathing, lot of emphasis on washing and cleaning. If you go into the mosque, that's what you do. Take off your dirty shoes and wash. And in the old testament part of the bible, you have a lot of stuff about being clean and washing and foods to eat and not eat. These faraces were the best at all this washing stuff.

They were apt absolutely into ritual cleansing and washing. Cleensing, washing wasn't next to Godliness. It was godliness in their thinking. You have to be careful. You go out.

You go out in town and there's all these gentiles, non believers, all around. You're gonna get touched by them. You need to come back and you need to wash your hands and wash your plates. And this wash these rules and these things about washing behind the ears and the face and the and the hands and the ankles and the feet. It became a tradition that was passed down generation to generation to generation, word-of-mouth tradition.

And they've come to Jesus and they wanna know why the disciples of Jesus and actually probably Jesus himself were disregarding the traditions of washing. How can you be clean before God if you're so dirty? How could God listen to you if you haven't washed your hands and your feet and your ankles? How can God listen to you? So verse 5, why don't your disciples live according to the traditions of the elders?

To those looking on, the Pharaces were incredibly devoted to God, because they did wash. They looked like people that took their God seriously. They're they weren't part timers. They weren't sort of laid back religious people. If if if they were gonna have a cup of tea, you need to make sure that the inside of the tea was washed out.

Because a fly might have gone in it, or a horrible gentile might have touched it. They're the clean ones. To thus us looking on At this event, they're the clean ones. But to Jesus, it's a sham. It's it's it's just whitewash.

It's like whitewashing a tomb full of dead man's bones. Uncleanness, he's telling us, is relational, not just ritual, Look what he says. Listen to what he says in verses 6 and 7. He replied, Isaiah, that's a prophet in the old testament, was right when he prophesied about you crits as it is written. These people honor me with their lips.

But their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain. Their teachings are merely human rules. He calls them Hippocrits. They honor with lips only.

Their hearts are far away. They worship in vain. The Greek word, because this was originally written in Greek for for Hippocrats, is the word actor. The actors in on in a Greek play would wear masks, set masks. You would put a mask on.

If you're happy, you put the happy mask on. If you were acting sad, you put the sad mask on. It was an outward mask It didn't reflect the reality of the person wearing the mask. And Jesus is saying, you pharisees. Yeah.

Okay. You wash your hands and your feet. But your hearts are far from me. It's a mask. Your hypocrites.

You're not observing what God wants. Your lips say 1 thing, your heart say another. The house is nice and smelly full of candles, but the sewage is bubbling up underneath. You're playing the public role of being devoted but you don't know God. You have man made external rules, but inside there's no spiritual change or love for God.

It's all about you and what you do and how clean you look in comparison to other people. So Jesus goes for them, because he says God wants a pure heart. What are the 2 great commandments? Love the lord your God. With all your heart and soul and mind, and love others, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Love. God doesn't want just outward rituals. He's not impressed with that. He can smell the sewage. Imagine.

If I treated anne like this, I wanted to be a good husband. Wanna be the best husband. And so I did everything that I thought Anne wanted. I didn't even ask her if she wanted, but I bought flowers She may hate flowers. I don't know.

But I'm doing it anyway. I bought flowers for her when we were let's say when we were first married. I did the washing up. I cleaned all these things I actually do do. I fixed I fixed the car.

I I pay the bills. I I walk the dog. I make sure everything's happy in the home in that sense. I do all the outward things that a husband should do, but I never talk to her. We never make love.

We're never intimate. We just I just do stuff. Put up shelves. Make sure that everything's right, but we never talk. There's something wrong there, isn't there?

Outwardly, what a great husband he is, but there's no love What Jesus is saying is that uncleanness before God is primary a relationship problem. Not a ritual or behavior problem. We are so convinced that if I do religious things, I'll be a good person. But actually, if you don't love God, you're not a good person. Watch out for the yeast of the Farices.

Part of the yeast of the Farices is comparing ourselves with others. You notice the Faruses come to Jesus. They're looking your disciples don't do this, we do this. That's that's that's 1 of the big natures of pharisees. And you'll know if you've got Faracy in you, if you're constantly looking at others and thinking you're better than them.

Do you remember COVID? It's hard hard to forget. The COVID years, the lockdown years. You remember that? Didn't the interference come out?

Did you not notice your interference? You're wearing a mask, but he's not. You're on the bus wearing a mask. She's not. When she sneezes, she sneezed into the air.

It's disgusting. We noticed that you weren't wearing Didn't you notice the interference in you? There was at 1 point in in in the COVID years the lockdown years. I can't quite remember when it was, where the staff were washing down the hub, the offices. Where we meet and where we meet in the evening.

We were washing down the handles and where everybody touched and the and the and the toilets and the kitchen. We were cons and even the handles on the on the on the kettle and fridge and We were washing that down several times a day, and, you know, we we we took it in turns to do it. I know what it was. It was my turn. I got up early.

I'm washing down everything. Yeah? Nice spraying the stuff, washing it all down, outside the the the things And then 1 of the staff comes in. I won't name it, but it's on a bike. And he brings his biking.

Yeah. He starts walking around touching everything. I've just cleaned it and he's not washed his hands yet. First thing, wash your hand. What'd you put your bike in for?

You you're just dripping with COVID. And I've done all of this washed and you come in here and you expect me to greet you. That's that's what it's like if you work with me. The inner pharisee comes out. Now I didn't say that but I thought it.

And you know, what is going on here? Why is Dean such an idiot? And I and I feel I I felt self righteous. It's very easy to do that with religion. Very easy to do that with religion.

Where are the traditions or just feeling righteous? What are the traditions of the elders today? What are the outward signs that we think make people clean today? Don't you follow the the traditions and clap the NHS on a Thursday? Do you remember that 1?

Don't you do that? Don't you follow the traditions and wear a rainbow lanyard in honor of LGBTQ plus? Don't you don't don't you wear that? Don't you follow the traditions and take the knee? Don't you follow the traditions and wear a poppy?

I mean, you don't care about those who died for you? Don't you where follow the traditions and sign this petition against this group of people? Don't you do that? Don't you follow the traditions and hold your hands up in worship? Don't you hold your hands up in worship?

Or don't you follow the traditions and look bored and serious in worship, whichever one's the in thing. You can do all that outward sign, all that virtue signaling, and the motive is only just to follow the traditions and the heart has never changed, and you don't care about any of those subjects really. You just stick a puppy on because that's what people do. You can wear the t shirt and it looks like you're a club member. It's always makes me laugh when you go around Oxford and Cambridge.

How many people go to Oxford and Cambridge University, they're wearing the t shirt, and they've never been. Lips, but no heart, worship, but no reality. In the words of 1 old great Irish preacher from the last century, WP Nicholson, you can be baptized, confirmed, vaccinated, and still not be a Christian. A number of years ago, Tom and myself went to a Christian Resources exhibition. We'd been the year before and got into all kinds of sort of arguments, and I said to Tom, I'm not gonna say a word this time.

I'm not gonna open my mouth. And I did well, right to the end. Actually, I did do well, and there was an old lady there with a a a stack of a photocopy or printed, pictures of what she thought Jesus was like. And it was high. They were a 4 pictures of Jesus, and it was about that high off the ground and she was just standing in the corner and I walked past her and she said, would you like a picture of Jesus?

And I looked down and and thought, well, that's not how do you what? That's a blonde haired blue eyed American white man. So I said, oh, no. No. No.

No. Thanks because I wasn't gonna get into an argument. She said, oh, no. No. Please take a picture of Jesus.

And I said, well, I don't think Jesus would have looked like that. I mean, he would have not been white for instance. Oh, I might have a darker 1. And I said, no. No.

Seriously, thanks. Tom comes up. We were not wanting to get into an argument. But Tom, this argumentative young man comes up to her and starts talking to her. And then they got into a discussion and a bit of an argument.

And he told her a parable of Jesus as it's written in the bible. He told her a parable of Jesus and she said, would you be quiet young man, I don't like what I'm hearing. She looked devoted to Jesus. She was giving out pictures of him. But she did not like what he said.

Outwardly, we can conform. But the real Jesus, maybe our heart isn't there. That's the first point. Second point. Tradition versus the word of God.

You get that in verses 8 to 13. Let me read it quickly. You have let go of the commands of God and are not holding are are now holding on to human traditions. And he continued. You have a fine way of setting a side the commands of God in order to observe your traditions.

For Moses said, honor your father and mother. And anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father and mother is Corbyn, that is devoted to God, then no longer let them do anything for their father and mother. Thus, you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you hand down. And you do many things like that.

What we have here is a problem of tradition versus the Word of God. There are 2 authorities here, tradition and the Word of God. And who are you going to follow? Are you gonna follow what God says, or you're going to manipulate what God says by your tradition? You'll notice when it comes to the word of God, verse 8, you let go, verse 9, you set aside, verse 13, you nullify.

When it comes to tradition, You hold on verse 8, you observe verse 9, and verse 30 you hand 13 you hand down. And then Jesus illustrates it by their own tradition, Corbyn. Corbyn means devoted to God. This is how it went. I have a lump of money.

That money is going to provide for my family, parents, everything I have a lump of money. But what I do with that money is I don't wanna spend it so I give it to God, Corbyn. I devote that money to God. If the money is Corbyn, it's God's, but I don't give it to him quite yet. Because I can now use that money to invest to make money.

It's gods and it will be gods, but I can use it to make money for myself. I cannot use it because I've given it to God and it's God's to help my parents out. It's pathetic, isn't it? A manipulation of looking after your family while you make money and you look like you're serving God by being devoted to God. You're devoted to God and you don't care about your mom and dad.

No. You're not. You're not. Whatever your tradition says. You're pretending, and you have this horrible Corbyn, the barbarian way of living.

What a awful thing. Thus, you nullify the word of God by your tradition. You're using commitment and devotion to God, to not follow God. Now how can we do this? How can we do this?

You set aside the word of God for traditions. How do we do this? Well, you can do it by using lots of wonderful religious language. Some people do that. I love the religious language.

No 1 can understand what it says, but that doesn't matter, it feels nice. Well, that's a disaster. The good Samaritan story Jesus tells of people that are so committed to God, they got no time for someone who's just been beaten up. Permission to God where they don't care about people. No.

That's not right. Or what about the person that says, I used to love him or I used to love her but I've fallen out of love. And God is about love. This is how it goes, isn't it? No.

I don't know how many times I've heard this. See, God is about love. In fact, God is love. And if God is about love, and I don't love that person anymore and I love this person over there, then surely I can I can go away from my commitment that I made before the living God to honor and obey? I can give that up and I can go and have love over here.

God is about love. You see how we do it? I made commitments about serve it for for better, for worse, richer, poorer, sickness, health. Yeah, but he's so sick and she's so sick, I didn't mean that when I made that before God. See, how we twist and anyway God's about love and freedom, and I want to be loving and free.

I was devastated in a in a lecture that I heard the other day about Peter. If you know Peter in the book of Galatians, Peter, who was queuing up at a church lunch with the gentiles, people that worshiped differently that smelt differently, that were from a different nation to him and had different traditions to him. Suddenly Peter thought I'm not going to stand with those gentiles, I'll let them go and eat, and I'll eat with the Jews. And Paul goes to them. You're giving up on God in doing that.

If you're not happy enjoying people's other cultures, then you're giving up. If you say my culture is the 1 that's right, their culture, bit smelly, isn't it? Their food, that's too much garlic in. That's how you don't love, but look like you're faithful to the British Christianity. Beaware of traditions.

Beaware of traditions. Roman Catholic church in their second Vatican council, which is how you're going to live as a Roman Catholic says this. Sacred tradition, that's Roman Catholic tradition, and sacred scripture form 1 sacred deposit, of the word of God, which is committed to the church as an utter disaster. Tradition and the bible, they're putting hand in hand. And when you do that, you're in massive trouble.

That's why you have so much pedophilia going on, because you've stopped men marrying and doing normal things. Because of the tradition. Timothy says this, in 1 Timothy 4, just listen to these words, He says such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. Then listen. What's he gonna say?

The teachings that are gonna take people away from God. Is he gonna say, oh, it's all sort of pornography or wild living stuff. Listen to what he says. They forbid people to marry. They add a tradition.

They add a law. They forbid people to marry and order them to obstain from certain foods, which God created to receive with thanksgiving. So there are these traditions of forbidding and sustaining and religious, and we don't eat that, and we don't eat this, and we wash here. And in the end, those little things become the big things, and you nullify the word of God. You can.

Fiddle around with the choir boys as long as you don't get married. That's extraordinary, isn't it? Third, The third thing I want you to see. It's outside in versus inside out. You get this in versus 14 to 23.

Outside in versus inside out. As I've already said, the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. Our emotional, intellectual, spiritual, presence, if you like, whatever you wanna call it, our character comes from within. Look at verse 14. Again, Jesus called the crowd to him and said listen to me.

Anyone who listen to me. Everyone and understand this. Nothing outside of a person can defile them by going into them. Rather it is what comes out of the person that defiles them. And then it says, after he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.

Are you so dull he answered? Don't you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it does not go into their heart, but into their stomach and out of the body. He was saying this in saying this Jesus declared all foods clean. The heart is the problem.

Jeremiah, a prophet in the old testament says the heart is deceitful. Above all things and desperately sick who can understand it. It's what's going debt on down in the basement. In the heart that's the most important thing. Heart of mine.

So malicious and so full of gall. I'll give you an inch and you take a mile. You have to preach to your heart because your heart is not only deceitful, it's easily deceived. The heart loves the outward. The heart loves the smell.

The heart loves the rituals. What did Satan say? To Eve in the God of Eden to tempt her. What was the thing that tempted her? She'd had the word of God and denied the word of God in her ears and it was what she saw was good.

What she saw when she looked The heart is so deceived by the outward that it can deceive itself. Are you so dull says Jesus? Stupid is the word. Well, more than that, morally dull, illogical with your thinking because you're unwilling to think. That's what the word means.

Are you so dull? Are you so illogical with your thinking because you're not willing to think. That a lump of meat that goes into the body and out of the body is the very thing that causes you to be clean or unclean towards God. You need proper detoxing. People go off on weekends, don't they?

And detox. Oh, I just drunk cucumber drink for a whole weekend, and it cost me 3000 pounds. I feel so much better. Well, you might do. But 1 you're stupid to spend that money.

2, I could have given you some cucumbers. Come on my tour and I'll show you where to buy them cheap. And it doesn't detox you. Look at the detoxing Jesus talks about verse 20 to 23. He went on.

What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and follow all these come from within from within a person and defile them. You poke the heart. It's like poking a wasps nest and all the wasps come out with all their anger and sting you. Don't follow your heart.

The mantra today is to follow your heart, find yourself within. My goodness. You will find yourself within if you look within, but it's not nice. No 1 lies to you more than your heart. That's why you preach to your heart, heart of mine, so deceitful and so full of guile.

I'll give you an inch, you'll take a mile. Don't let your heart guide you. I mean, what does your heart tell you about evil thoughts? They're alright and they're nice. What does your heart tell you about sexual immorality?

It's okay. It's love. What does your heart tell you about theft? Well, look, he's already rich enough. What does your heart tell you about murder?

Well, okay, I've never really murdered someone but I can slaughter them by my words. What does your heart tell you about deceit? A little bit of deceit's okay, how are you gonna survive in this world? What does your heart tell you about adultery? It's okay.

She wanted it, What does your heart tell you about greed? It's alright to be greedy? I mean, I can't help it. No. We need God.

We need Christ in the heart. We need the fresh water of the Holy Spirit that will gush out all of the all the sewage. Number of years ago, we had a blocked sewer in our road and it all came into my garden. My neighbor's poo was in my garden, you know. I couldn't even plant a plant in it.

It was all bubbling up. It was disgusting. And we had to regularly ring up the council to come with those massive sucking machine that looked like an elephant to suckle a rubbish up. On 1 occasion, the stuff was bubbling over all over the place. Yeah.

People were walking past my house looking at me, with your poo. And, you know, and the council ordered. I rang the council up and they ordered 1 of those great big trucks. It came from looting, all the way from looting on a Friday night around the M 25. It took 4 hours to come from Luton to get to us.

When it got there, he stuck the elephant trunk down and suddenly it started sucking. And before you know it, there was poo and everything you could imagine. Flying out of the sucking machine. The bloke who was all dressed up in his gear said, what's going on here then? And he was sucking and there was stuff and then the machine out the back where there was a little sort of cover on the on the great big water fit, you know, the thing that he sucked it into burst open and poo threw out of it.

And then he said to me, oh, yeah, I forgot to empty it. You come all the way down from Luton and added to my problem. And then he went. I don't need some little sucking machine or a bit of religion to cover up. It was no good and going around spraying outside with a little apple blossom spray.

We needed a big sucking we needed someone who's gonna deal with the heart. We need the holy spirit of God who is like the water of life to gush through the through the sewers and to cleanse us, I need my heart cleaned of these things. And Jesus is the 1 that did it on the cross and the holy spirit is the 1 that applies the blood of Christ. That's how I'm clean before God. And when I'm now walking and I smell those smells, I need to bring them to God, not just cover up with religion.

When my motives A wrong. When I'm self righteous, I need to say, God, how can I be self righteous with a sewer like that? When those smells come up, it's not religion and ritual I need. It's relationship with God. Move my heart, father.

Though I may love you. It's not traditions I need. It's the very word of God to gush by his spirit through my life and cleanse me out. When I smell those devastating smells of adultery in my heart, I need to say lord, please gush that out. What you did on the cross was to save me from a life like this.

I repent. Change me. Make me right. I need Jesus in the cellar. I need the Holy Spirit in the cellar.

I need God the father in the cellar to do the work of cleansing me. And that's the Christian life. It's not putting on religion. It's not bettering yourself to be better than someone else. It's knowing that there is a great cleanser who will cleanse even my evil thoughts and sexual immorality and theft and murder and deceit and adultery and greed.

He'll keep on by his spirit, applying the blood of Christ and gush it out. What a savior we have. Who will make us clean before God, not ourselves. Let's bow our heads. And pray.

How many farther we pray that you would forgive us. And we are sorry for when the yeast of the Faracies can be so attractive to us. For when we like the idea of looking clean more than the reality of actually being clean. We pray that you would forgive us for our hypocritical instincts. For when we become satisfied just with appearing to be the real deal, whilst knowing that our hearts are actually far from you, And we pray that you'd forgive us for when little traditions take precedence over your word in our lives.

When we begin to even nullify your word and set it aside for the things that we think are more important. And, lord Jesus, we thank you that you are kind enough to really show us what our hearts are like. But we thank you that your grace is able to wash us from all of these sins. That the heart of the new covenant promise is a new heart and a new spirit within us. And we thank you.

Holy spirit for your ability and your willingness to cleanse us from the inside out through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. And we ask these things in his name. Our men.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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