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October 25, 2020 12:01 am
We cannot conquer sin merely by altering our behavior, for the root of our depravity lies in our own hearts. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his study of the book of Mark by examining the teaching of Jesus on the nature of sin.
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We all admit there were sinners. Nobody's perfect. We set up we still have this idea that sin is something peripheral to our existence.
Jesus is now the defilement comes from the very core of your being that doesn't come from your hands come from your heart as the principal was the second letter to his young protégé Timothy to a close, who told him to preach the word welcome to the Lord. The addition of Renewing Your Mind. I'm we went to Dr. RC Sproul recognize that Paul's expectation was directed to every pastor stepped in and that's exactly what RC did so faithfully every Sunday at St. Andrews Trenton where he served as co-pastor. He preached the word.
This is from a series of the gospel of Mark chapter 7 where Jesus identifies the source of our sin in our last treatments of this chapter, we saw that this discussion that Jesus had with the religious leaders of his day was provoked by their criticism of the disciples failure to go through the procedure of ritual cleansing with the washing of their hands before they ate and when we looked at that part of the discussion I mentioned that what the conflict was about here was about one form of legalism that we hear that word legalism bandied about, sometimes quite loosely in the Christian community and it can be confusing because there is more than one type of legalism by which the truth of God's word is distorted. In fact, there are several types of not going to go into all of them today, but I just want to mention three. Perhaps the three most common kinds of legalism that we encounter. The first is perhaps the most devastating that is that legalism, by which we believe that we can be justified in the presence of God by doing the works of the law.
That's called legalism because it undermines the way of salvation that God declares so plainly in Scripture that we are justified by faith and by faith alone and that the only righteousness that can possibly avail for us is an alien righteousness, not our own. It is the righteousness of Jesus. And if you are trusting in any other righteousness than the righteousness of Jesus than you have been caught in the snare of that type of legalism. The second type of legalism is the one we address the last time in this chapter where the traditions of men bind God's people where God has left them free. It is adding to the law of God things that God does not command or forbid and we've already as I said examined that the third most frequent form of legalism that we encounter is the one that is in view in the text that I just read before you. It's what I call loophole is him.
The legalist is the Philadelphia lawyer who looks at the law of God and tries to discern a way to get around it. He'll try somehow to adhere to the letter of the law but trample underfoot the whole point and spirit of the law we remember, for example, the prohibitions in Israel about limiting one's travel on the Sabbath to what was called a Sabbath day journey which was a very short distance and how the rabbis got around that was that they would have merchants during the week. Put one of their toothbrushes under a rock. So far from their home and then under another rock. The same distance away with another toothbrush because the rabbinic law allowed the establishing of residency by putting some article that you owned into a piece of real estate, so the Jews got around the law by putting toothbrushes along the road and they could go from domicile to domicile until they reach the destination that they desired clearly loophole is clearly an attempt to get around the law of God. Well, the rabbis were past Masters of this kind of casuistry and we see it in this encounter the Jesus as with them on this occasion with respect to the Old Testament principal of Corbin Corbin had to do with the giving of gifts or the setting aside of private property, or one's personal wealth to the devotion to God, which was a good principal but it was so twisted and distorted by the rabbis that they use the principle of Corbin as a loophole to get around. One of the most important laws of God.
That commandment that required people to honor their father and their mother. Let's listen to this exchange that goes on here between Jesus and the leaders, Jesus says to them all too well. You reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. Notice that Jesus doesn't say the problem with you is that you keep the law and the tradition. Rather, he said you get around the law and reject the law of God and replace the law of God with your tradition and in fact what you're doing is using your tradition as an excuse to keep from obeying the law of God. He makes specific reference here to the fifth commandment for Moses said honor your father and your mother, and he who curses father or mother, let him be put to death, but you say. Notice the contrast or Moses says and Moses is the spokesperson for God. Moses is delivering divine revelation.
These religious experts are delivering their opinions which fall far short of divine revelation. The Pharisees and the rabbis were not agents of divine revelation, but Moses wasn't so Jesus says Moses said this but you say that.
What is it that they say you say if a man says to his father or mother whatever profit you might have received from me is Corbin that is a gift to God.
Then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down in many such things you do, what's going on here.
The Jews developed a sense of deferred giving where a promise was made by one of the persons that upon their deaths. They would bestow all of their worldly goods to the church or to the work of God in this case to the tabernacle of the temple, and that meant that during their lifetime, they would not have to use their personal wealth for anything else, because it had already been committed to God.
And so, in the name of piety. A person could escape their obligation of caring for their parents in times of infirmity, or in their old age when they may have been too fragile to support them selves while I'm sorry mom, I'm sorry dad I like to help you out, but my finances are Corbin they're all committed to the Lord and I can't take the Lord's money and give it to you now course, what they could do is that they were allowed to spend as much of their own money on themselves as they wanted to during their lifetime, so the vowel of Corbin did not prohibit the individual from spending all the money they wanted to on themselves until they die they just couldn't spend it on anybody else. So here is a tradition that emerges the tries to sanctify a way to get out from under the responsibility that God puts upon his people to give honor to their parents. You know, one of the things that we notice about Jewish people.
Even to this day, that among ethnic groups in the world. There is no group that does more for the care of their aged parents, then the Jewish community.
Despite all of this rabbinic nonsense. The principles set forth in the Old Testament by Moses has been preserved even to this day where the family takes care of family and do not depend upon other institutions like the government to take care of their family in times of crisis, but there were those who tried to use this rabbinic tradition to avoid that responsibility. Again, be careful, there was a legitimate place for Corbin in the Bible, but a righteous interpretation of this principle could never be used, to cancel out another principles set forth by God herein is a lesson for us.
There is a science and theology, and in biblical studies that we call the science of hermeneutics. You've heard of hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is a plumber in Apopka though hermeneutics is the science of biblical interpretation. It teaches objective principles and rules that govern our treatment of the text, lest we turn the Bible into a wax nose shaped and formed for our own desires, which is what the Pharisees did and that the hearts of the theological principle of hermeneutics and reformed theology is the law that is called the analog EFE day, or the law of faith which says this quite simply that no portion of Scripture must ever be set against another portion of Scripture. What's the assumption here.
The assumption is that all of the Scripture is the word of God.
The second assumption is that God does not speak with a forked tongue that what God reveals in his truth is always coherent. It is consistent we been told that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, and if that adage is true, then we have to say that the tiniest mind to be found is the mind of God, but rather consistency is the sign of clarity of truth and God's word is consistent with itself and we ought not willy-nilly to set one portion of Scripture against another, we saw that happen in the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Remember that when Satan trying to seduce Jesus quote Scripture to him and says Jesus doesn't the Bible say that's the Lord will give his angels charge over you, lest you dash your foot against a stone and if that's true. One or two jump off the pinnacle of the temple and wait for the Angels to catch you see the nature of the temptation Satan takes the Scripture says let's see if the Scripture is true and what Jesus says Satan I hear your idea, but you're guilty of violating the analogy of faith you're operating with a poor hermeneutic care. You're setting Scripture against Scripture.
The Bible also says that thou shall not tempt or put to the test the Lord your God. And so if I were to be obedient to that I can't acquiesce to your suggestion. Jesus would not allow the word of God to be broken by any human suggestion or addition. And so that's what's up in in view here that these people with their traditions had done all kinds of contortions to get out from under the clear manifestation of the truth of God and Jesus said, you make the word of God of no effect through your tradition, the biggest theological controversy that ever took place in church history took place in the 16th century and on the surface it seemed as if the whole controversy raged over one doctrine and that was the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The gospel itself and when Luther was brought into disputes with the princes of the church.
They reminded Martin Luther that his understanding of justification was not the understanding of the tradition of the church that holy mother Church had explained justification in different categories.
From what Luther said that was a simple way to minute. Here's what the Bible says my conscience is held captive by the word of God. I've got to submit to that, not to your traditions so behind-the-scenes.
The secondary issue was the question of authority where it is the authority lie is it in the Scripture alone or is it in the Scripture and tradition and this is a tradition really trump everything else because the tradition is the binding interpretation of Scripture so and for all practical purposes.
This not only that you have two sources, Scripture and tradition which really have one tradition which becomes more important than the word itself. I really don't understand how any sentient creature could read the New Testament teaching, particularly in Paul's letter to the Romans about justification and draw from that. Anything that resembles the Roman Catholic doctrine which is based upon tradition, but again is not just Roman Catholics. The fall prey to this problem. We hope to we all begin to trust our traditions and give them more weight than the actual weight of Scripture. But we believe that the final arbiter on all theological and moral debate must be the word of God, dear friends, and that's what this debate is all about between Jesus and his contemporaries. You make the word of God of no effect by your traditions. That's the judgment so easy for us to look at that from 2000 years distance and say shame on those Pharisees. Shame on the rabbis. Shame on the medieval theologians of Rome aren't we glad that we never do that. This is a temptation to believers in every age and every Christian community to put our love lines to our own traditions give them more exalted authority than the teaching Scripture itself whereby we make the word of God of no effect is anything more diabolical than the make God's word of no effect. Jesus says that this activity that they do with the Corbin is not an isolated instance but he completes this rebuke by saying many such things you do. What's he saying to the religious leaders of that you guys do this all the you go out of your way to minimize the import of God's word and its binding character on your lives. Then he says to call them all to himself. Then he said, hear me, everyone knowledges, quickly on that when Jesus was here me listen everybody. He's calling them to attention to hear an authoritative pronouncement.
Jesus, as it were, is now giving an Oracle from God and listen to what he says there's nothing that enters a man from outside can defile him, but the things which come out of him. Those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear listen the six it's not what you eat this, not to drink. It's nothing from the outside that goes into you that the file to contaminate you these on the say what ever you ingest ghost your stomach and then is eliminated.
What God is concerned about here is not your stomach or your hands but your heart because that's where defilement arises in the very core of your being. We need to understand this because we all admit there were sinners auteurs human to forgive is divine. Nobody's perfect.
We said we still have this idea that sin is something on the edge tangential peripheral to our existence. Jesus is now the defilement comes from the very core of your being sin arises not from the stomach doesn't come from your hands come from your heart and the very center of your being, and what the Old Testament says about that as a man think it's in his heart so is he is a man thinks in his heart so is he strange is that because we usually think of the organ of thought being the brain, but the Bible doesn't say as a man thinks in his mind so is a because we've all kinds of thoughts and conflicting thoughts in our minds, but what we really believe is that which drives our behavior. We may have ideas that go in our ears and out the other side we entertain them for a while and are thinking but it's that which pierces the heart that drives how we live as a man thinks in his heart as a man thinks at the very core of his existence.
So is he. Jesus is theirs. Where defilement happens and then he concludes this discussion by giving a catalog of all kinds of sins I just read for you quickly. The disciples didn't get it either. And he said don't you understand whatever and enters a man thing outside The file and he said what comes out of a man that's what the file simply out of the heart, comes this evil thoughts, adultery, fornication's murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, the wide blasphemy, pride, foolishness, foolishness, right up there with adultery, deceitfulness, all of these things come from the heart and the only way we overcome them is when the heart is cleanse my reminder dear friends, that being born anew being converted to Christ does not automatically finally and fully cleanse the heart the cleansing of the heart is a lifelong pursuit. And that's one of the reasons we come to the table be strengthened, to be nurtured by our Redeemer that our hearts may be made clean.
Someone who follows Christ desires to be like Christ. Mortifying sin and pursuing righteousness. Glad you joined us for this Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind.
I'm Lee Webb and were making our way through the gospel of Mark, week by week.
Can I have to say that to every message so far in this series has been just as convicting and encouraging is the one we heard today.
If you've missed any of the messages along the way. Let me encourage you to request today's resource offer instructor scrolls commentary on the Gospel of Mark. This hardbound volume has nearly 400 pages of insight from RC and you can request it today when you give a donation of any about to look at your ministries. You can go online to do email@example.com again that's Renewing Your Mind.org. We thank you for your financial gift that you're not just giving to receive a helpful resource for you. You're really powering a movement to provide biblical trusted answers to Christians around the world. So on behalf of all of my colleagues here at later ministries. Let me express my gratitude to imagine the plight of the family in Jesus day, whose daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit. They had no prospect of hope for help until Jesus arrived. I hope you'll join us again next for another sermon by Dr. RC explore here on renewing your mom