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Fault Finders – Religious Nitpickers (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2021 6:00 am

Fault Finders – Religious Nitpickers (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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May 24, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 7:1-23)

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All these evil things come from within and defile a man. So sin begins in the heart, not the stomach, or in the washing of hands.

All of us struggle with various things at various times. Ephesians chapter 1 verse 7. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace. He himself has done. He has given this grace.

It is his grace, not mine. Jesus may have been speaking in the Aramaic and Mark is translating his words using the Septuagint. And that's why if you look in your Bibles at Isaiah 29 where Christ is quoting, you may not see it word for word. But if you go to a translation of the Septuagint, then you will see it word for word.

No injustice, no corruption whatsoever. It's just the use of different words to say the same thing. It's a practice in writing.

You just don't want to keep using the same word over and over. Anyway, in their lives, they claimed Yahweh. In their speech, well in their speech they did, but not in their lives.

They went opposite. And he says, teaching us doctrines, the commandments of men. Well, by the time, of course, Christ comes to the earth, the rabbis had decided that to carry a loaf of bread from one house to another house on the Sabbath was work. See, this is the minutia.

And this is just a little bit, just a little bit. That if you put a lamp out on the Sabbath day, you were working. If you picked up a child and the child was holding a toy, anything, a rock, now you were violating the law. You could pick the child up on the Sabbath day, but the child could not carry anything. If you had studs on the bottom of your sandals for traction, you were violating the law. See, it just went out of the world. To this day in Israel, on the Sabbath day, the elevators in the hotels, they're on automatic.

You got to go to every floor. Because if you push that button on the Sabbath, you violated it. This is what Christ was up against. You really think this is what God had in mind for the people? And they did it everywhere.

Oh, look, another rule. Giving the Jewish people the Mishnah and the Talmud, which are just really useless writings. They already had Moses and the prophets. Why did they need those guys? Because someone had to tell them, if you pick up a child with a rock in his hand, it was a violation of the Sabbath. See, God didn't go far enough for these guys. They were smarter.

They were intelligent. The commandments and doctrines of men? Question mark, Paul asks. He's challenging it.

He's going after it. Titus 1.14, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. Well, Paul was Jewish, not anti-Semitic. It's anti-anti-Bible.

That's what it is. Verse 8 now, I forgot, we've got a lot of verses to go. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, the washing of pitchers of cups and many other such things you do. He's going to repeat that, many other such things you do.

Mark already hinted at it. Christ will say it twice. It's a tone of irritation.

Why are you doing this? So, the more they put into their tradition, the less they applied themselves to God. That is what happened then and that is what happens to this day. Their departure from God's word and God's truth ruined them. And I've already quoted, you know, Christ saying, you're mistaken not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. Why don't they know the power of God? Because they don't know God.

And how come that, why not? They don't have his word. They just think they can inherit. You know, if your parents are Christian, it doesn't mean you're one. If your child is a Christian, it doesn't mean you're one. You're going to be a Christian.

It's going to be one on one. You cannot inherit the faith. Not through flesh and blood or anything short of the confession of faith. So he says, you hold the tradition of men.

It's meaningless, it's burdensome, it's painful, it's imprisoning. Acts, I mentioned this earlier, Paul setting it straight. He says, now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Sorry, that's not Paul, Peter and James. Just not letting these traditions put a yoke on people. So you look at a bunch of people walking around in stocks and yokes of the law washing the cups. Nothing wrong with washing cups.

In fact, I prefer to drink out of a cup that's been washed. I routinely practice that. But they may turn it into a shackle, which is the essence of sin, to corrupt a decent thing. And many other such things you do, he'll mention that in verse 13.

He's upset with this bloated rule book that they're jamming down the throats of others. Christianity is not a matter of foot washings and head coverings and infant baptisms and such things. This is about trust and belief in Jesus Christ through his word. This is about the grace of God.

This is about looking for solutions to problems because of sin, not looking to imprison people because of sin. Anyway, verse 9, he said to them, all too well you reject the commandment of God that you may keep your tradition. He's slamming them. There's nothing they can say back to him.

But there you can see the smoke coming off of them as he's singeing them shot after shot. He's not letting up. It's like he was waiting for this moment. It's not all of it, but he was ready for this moment. Three times in this section, he hammers your tradition, your tradition. He keeps it in front of them.

So we catch it. He says, all too well, you're masters at this. You reject the commandment of God.

These are emphatic rebukes and they're not to be missed by us. The Greeks would come along. Well, they're already here. The Greeks deified the emotions, the God of love, you know, the God of fear, the God of levity. And they had a God for everything.

In fact, they even had one for the unknown things, the things that maybe we forgot one. We don't want that guy to get us, so we put a statue out for him too. Didn't they stop to think that if someone did that to them, I can't remember your name, but whoever you are, have a seat. That's kind of like not a wise thing to do with a God. So when the Thessalonians turned to Christ, because they were sick of that junk, Paul writes to them and he says about the reputation of these believers. He said, for they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you and how you turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God. The Pharisees did the opposite. They turned from the living God to serve their idols.

What were their idols? Their traditions. They created traditions like a man creates an idol. They did it intellectually, not physically. Idolatry does not have to have a figurine.

It can just have an idea. When people worship created things, they've lost communion with the Creator. You can't worship other things that are man-made. And these, of course, Christ defying their tradition, he blasphemed their idols. They would never have worded it that way.

They didn't have to. What they created became the standard of holiness and that's why they are attacking him. This is what makes a man holy. Not walking on water, raising the dead, preaching like you preach, none of that. What makes a person holy is he washes his hand before he eats his sandwich.

Busy finding fault where fault was not to be found. They made themselves opponents with God. They were out of communion. How can you walk in communion?

Can two walk together and they're not agreed? How are you going to walk with God and you're making up rules that even God would not make up? Verse 10, For Moses said, Arne, your father and your mother, and he who curses father or mother, let him be put to death. A basic law, but the rabbis weren't satisfied with that.

It was a thorough law. They felt it demanded a contribution from them, verse 11, but you say, if a man says to his father or mother, whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban, that is a gift of God. We paused there. Now, they would not say, well, you know, go tell your parents whatever gift they would have received, they're not going to get it now. They would just, they came up with a word, Corban. It's devoted to God. And so somebody would essentially say, sorry, Mom and Dad, I've dedicated my stuff to God. Now, God would never get benefit of this. The rabbis would get some of it and they would be free to keep the rest for themselves because it was for God in actual order. I'm serving God. This was a corruption of Deuteronomy 33, where God says, you don't put anybody before me.

Your family and nobody goes before me. So they just corrupted this way. Not very clever, but effective. You don't have to be clever to do evil, to be effective in doing evil. It doesn't take a genius to take advantage of people, to harm people. You know, it's not heroic to walk into a restaurant full of unarmed diners and shoot them down with a machine gun. There's no heroism in that.

Purely evil. Even Josephus talks, the Jewish historian talks about this Corban and this practice that was going on. Christ saw it all.

There is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account, Hebrews chapter 4 verse 13. Christ called it for what it was, a criminal act. Nobody else could stand up to these guys and say, who do you think you are?

You think nobody's on to you with this little racket you've got going on there and get your own parents? He did. He says, severe crime.

And he does it without, I don't know what tone he used, but there's nothing sensational about it. He just calls them out. Verse 13, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition, which you've handed down and many such things you do. There it is again. You've handed this down as a hand-me-down doctrine and you're so proud of it that you dare come to me and ask me why didn't you wash your hands? Let me hear you say that again.

I just want to know, are you still that dumb? Well, if he said that, they would have. Again, this is the beginning of the Talmud and the Mishnah that just imprisoned the people.

Still happening. Verse 14, when he had called all the multitude to himself, he said to them, hear me, everyone, and understand. You've got to love that moment. He says, I'm going to expose you in front of everybody because it looked fine.

You're that way. Hey, everybody, come here a minute. Listen to me about this. This is an intense lesson. The look on his face, the tone on his voice, the complete disregard for those who have no regard for God in God's name. These were beyond atheistic practices. This was militancy. They were militant against God's word. By the way, they handled it.

They turned it into something it never was. And I think there was even disgust in his voice. If not, it certainly is in his words.

Many such things you do. Verse 15, there is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him. But the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile him. Boy, these guys are angry at him. They're still listening to this as he's setting the record straight. He's saying, I've told you who these guys were. They may be fooling some of you, but they're not fooling me.

Just to this day. When a pompous somebody comes up and acts like they're, you know, a believer, when they have no intention of believing, what do you do with that person? There's just nothing you can do without their permission. Christianity is by consent. It's got to be the will. And you play games, you're just piling up the judgment. The word of God is so thorough, you can just pick any, a pastor can come into the pulpit on any Sunday, pick any section of scripture and just go through it and he will still be speaking to human beings. He will still be attacking sin. He will still be attacking hell and the practices of the flesh. He will still be making strong the believers because we need that. How fast does it take to become weak as a believer? Just like that.

Just so quickly. Leaky vessels, like sieves. God pours into us and it flows out. So he continues to pour into us if we will let him. Anybody have an objection with that? Verse 15, there's nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him, but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

That's what messes him up, not eating with hands with little, you know, dirt on them. It's talking of course in regard to morality and obedience to God. He's saying to them temptation is not a sin. Christ was tempted and the Bible makes it very clear that he was yet without sin. There's no sin in the temptation. The temptation is in the disregard for God.

Committing the act and especially when you have no intention of admitting that it's a sin. I see why the impenitent don't want to come to church because they don't want to hear it. This saying about the food is sort of a coming attraction that he's going to do away with the Old Testament system. And the New Testament precepts, they hammer this. We'll take one, Hebrews 8, 13. Paul speaking, I believe Paul, in that he says a new covenant. He has made the first obsolete.

Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. There are a lot of Christians that they love the Old Testament and they sort of ignore the New Testament. The New Testament is not as exciting to them. They don't get the benefit of these powerful lessons in the New Testament. Don't for one minute think that the Old Testament is better than the new. They are equally God's Word and you're just sort of revealing your lack of understanding if you think the Old Testament is to be emphasized and the new sort of just accepted. Well, verse 16, if anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. This is an exclusive expression of Christ in the Bible. He is the one that says this seven times while on earth and eight times after the ascension.

We come across it in, for example, the book of Revelation. If you have ears to hear, listen up. What should God say to us?

I gave you ears but don't use them? Of course, he wants us to hear what he is saying before anything else. And if you're hearing God speak, of course, it's going to be consistent with his revealed Word and it's going to involve love and solutions and moving forward and not belittling people for the sake of making yourself feel larger. Verse 17, when he had entered a house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

Well, the benefit to them, they get inside, they ask. Big mistake, not a big one, but he kind of scolds them. I don't like it. I don't like his response because I put my... Well, I mean, I'm subject to it, but I can't lie. I say, well, this is wonderful. I hope he says it to me. So what is he going to say? Well, look at verse 18.

And he said to them, are you thus without understanding also? I don't want to hear that. I want him to say, oh, you guys don't understand, Rick got it.

That's what I want. And anybody who says otherwise is kind of dopey, I think. I mean, no, I want to be yelled at. So he says, do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him? So he's putting a little pressure on them to learn, to think. Parents do it. My mom used to do it to me. So I enjoy doing it to my kids. No, I don't.

But you do have to, you know, kind of challenge them a little bit so they don't get comfortable with just coming up and asking without thinking. So he says to them, is it not obvious food never touches the spirit? That's what he's saying. Verse 19, because it does not enter in his heart but his stomach and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods. Some think that thus purifying all foods in verse 19 is Mark's comment to Jesus' lesson.

I don't know. It doesn't matter. It doesn't take away from anything. I think it is the words are the words of Christ. And he said, what comes out of a man that defiles a man. Well, until the bullet flies out the barrel, it's harmless.

But once it starts flying, it's trouble. The Gnostics, even some in Corinth, would later attempt to make sin abstract. And there are those today that try to make sin abstract. It's really not.

It's okay. We're covered. Sin is concrete and it damsels to this very moment. Just what it did to Cain, it does to anybody else who acts like Cain. John is very clear in his letter that Cain was evil.

But a man's heart directs his hands. That's what the scripture teaches. 1 Corinthians 8, we're almost done. Look at that.

Finish line is in view. 1 Corinthians 8, but food does not commend us to God. Well, neither if we eat are we better, nor if we do not eat are we worse. And yet we're very defensive about food. As you know, eating bananas is not a sin yet, but some of you like it. And just to hear me joke about it can offend you.

Like, you know what? I'm about sick of this banana stuff. Why are we like this? Why do we food fight? Why can't you just stop eating bananas? I mean, it happens with anything.

So, I'll tone it down because I want to live a little longer. I mean, banana people might be bananas. So, I'm just using it as an expression, you know. Anyway, and sports the same way.

It's okay to bash a sport you don't like. Don't mess with one, my kids are playing. Don't mess with one. Boy, you people.

Man, I don't do those things. Well, let's finish. Verse 21.

Well, where are we? Verse 21, For from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders. Alright, we'll just stop there for a moment at that verse. So, again, he is saying what is inside can create havoc on the outside in the lives of others. And all of us carry the activation codes within us for all sin. Every single sin under the sun, the codes are in there. Some may be buried down deeper than others.

Some may be up on the surface, but they're there. We are born in iniquity. We are born sinners. We're not sinners because we sin. We sin because we're born sinners. And we need a savior. And this is true of every single human being.

We need someone to rescue us from our condition. And that person has to be sinless himself. In fact, he's got to be the maker. And it is Jesus Christ by name and no other. And that, Christians, we love it and we applaud it. Verse 22, Theft, covetiveness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. Well, we'll just take some of these. No less than 13 items on this dreadful list. And these are the things that wreck homes and start wars and ruin lives and spread disease and make others miserable for as long as they can.

They have no shelf life on any of these. Oh, look at that. There's no more murders. They stopped back in the 50s. They'll be for every generation.

No technology, no serum, no vaccine. Nothing can stop sin except death. And, anyway, coming back to these very quickly. lewdness, unrestrained, shameless behavior is a very broad meaning that goes with that. A wide range. It can compound another sin. For instance, someone can be a thief and they can also be a shameless thief.

You've got a bigger problem with a shameless thief. The lewdness, again, covers a wide range. The evil eye, hostile envy, and not enough to just say, boy, I wish I had that. It's like, I wish I had that and I hate you for having it. Or in some other form, blasphemy, contempt, or lack of reverence for God.

Some of you may remember, well, I don't know, there's just various shows out there. They think it's kind of acute to be irreverent about God. A quick one, Daniel 5 illustrates it. This is Belshazzar, the last king of the Babylonians, because he died the night after Daniel laid it out on him. Daniel said, keep your gifts. Let's lavish this man with gifts of reading and handwriting on the wall.

I don't want that stuff. Anyway, this is Daniel telling Belshazzar what his condition is, his blasphemy. He said, you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of his house before you and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know, and the God who holds your breath in his hand and owns all your ways you have not glorified.

You know, that's the guy whose knees smote one against the other and he was dead that night. Verse 23, all these evil things come from within and defile a man. So sin begins in the heart, not the stomach or in the washing of hands.

All of us struggle with various things at various times. Ephesians chapter 1 verse 7, in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace. He himself has given this grace.

It is his grace, not mine. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-14 20:03:27 / 2023-11-14 20:13:21 / 10

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