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March 29, 2021 1:51 pm
Is a lot of contamination and pollution in the world is that we been waiting massive, but we can take the mask off if you like doing the message we wear masks to minimize the risk of getting or giving Corbett 19 experts warn us over and over again of the harmful pollutants that are in the food we eat and what we drink it even what we agreed, atmosphere and oceans are Caesar rivers are parts in the forest are increasingly become contaminated. I know that three or four years ago good and I would on a cruise in the Caribbean. We were saddened to see the pollution in the beautiful Caribbean Sea world is becoming polluted, contaminated, and is right that we should be concerned about that, but that's not my subject this morning because there's a pollution far far worse than the pollution around us in our environments and our creation. I'm referring of course to spiritual contamination.
I'm referring to spiritual defilement. I'm referring to the defilement of the heart of the of the mind of her very soul. In our study of Matthew.
Some of you will recall the beautiful words of the Lord in Matthew five we call them the Beatitudes and one of them says there's blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. That would be singing about God's and our hearts are being moved as we been brought to the throne room of God. This morning, but I wonder if your heart is pure Jesus is saying that it is the pure in heart, who will see God. We live in a very dirty world, a world of moral and spiritual pollution which impacts us, and so my question to you is I was your heart. They have a pure heart whereby your mind is your mind pure in a passage today. The religious leaders accuse the disciples of Jesus on the thing with unwashed hands and the accusation then is one of the defilement is one of contamination and Jesus takes the opportunity in this very important passage to give us a sink exposition of what constitutes spiritual defilement and in doing so he gives us a warning about ritualism without reality of formalism without faith of legalism without life of salmon it without Christ of religion without relationship. We done with me in your Bible to Matthew chapter 15. Encourage her to come out with your Bible before covered with Bibles in the pew, but it's even better if you have your own if you don't have a Bible, we would be delighted to give your Bible will serve the wardroom with the Bibles there. Matthew chapter 5 was going to be looking at the first 20 verses today, but first of all I want to read the first nine verses here is the word of God to you and to me today. Matthew 15 then the Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders, for they do not wash their hands when they eat answered them, why did you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition, for God commanded.
Honor your father and your mother, and whoever reviles father and mother must surely die. But you say if anyone tells his father or his mother what you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honor his father. So for the sake of your tradition, you've made volleyed the word of God, you hypocrites, well did Isaiah the prophet of you prophesy of you when he said 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 think of the cutting penetrating truth of Jesus is once again he and the religious leader real rulers out in conflict. I want us to learn first of all, that religion cannot erase personal contamination religion and it comes in thousands of ways. Whenever you describe it, it cannot erase personal contamination we could describe religion in many ways. But religion is always man-made and man centered and focuses on mine. It exalts man is made by man in here in this passage is read the Pharisees and the scribe are emphasizing their traditions, their traditions which have been handed diving orally from generation to generation. The Pharisees are the leading Jewish sect describes the legal experts where the lawyers they interpret the law they expiring the law.
They spend their time in the minutiae of the law.
These two groups call Israel to adhere to their strengths are very strict on their very pedantic interpretations which they regarded as almost of equal authority day to Scripture. This is key. They have the tradition that they deny the word of God that they say we don't believe the Old Testament there. Scripture, the Torah, of course not, they uphold the Scriptures, but as their interpretations and the rules and the regulations of develop down through the centuries.
At the time of Jesus there traditions at the word of God are almost of equal authority. The conflict arises as the disciples of Jesus are not following their legalistic interpretations and traditions. See, there always have been two ways to basic ways of approaching God is religion or there's the grace of God as a say religion is man made religion loves the palm splendor of the rules and regulations. The formalities the sound of manes. The high the excitement that is ultimately man centered, trying to please God reach God by our own efforts. Religion says in some farms do the best you can follow the rules comply with rituals be good grace grace of God. Biblical Christianity is always God centered and God exulting a good test of his other religion is. Who is it exulting who is exalted as we worship God. What about you, you're here obviously regard yourself to a greater or lesser extent is a spiritual person you find yourself in a church service early in the morning here in Charlotte, North Carolina. What about you, you caught up in an outward farm, whatever that is or do you have an inward faith. Do you have religion or do you have a true relationship with God. Biblical Christianity looks not to the extent notice… Is not that that are not externals but true Christianity looks to what God has done in Christ Jesus.
It looks to the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ, his death, his burial and his resurrection.
So Paul can write in Titus three verse seven. So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. What is it that saves us.
It is the grace of God and religion can do many things can religion can make you look and can make you feel very very good. We can say in this contacts religion can cleanse your hands, but it can never ever ever cleanse your heart rate here in verse one that the Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem.
This is a in a sense a kind of official delegation and they, and they criticize as they've done before they criticize the disciples of Jesus. They say there's a breach of our religious tradition, ceremonial washing verse two. Why did why do you disciples break the tradition of the elders, for they do not wash their hands when they eat is in the amount of hygiene matters that you got actually deft on your hands and you, your mother was a make sure your hands are washed, that's not the point. It is religious defilement. It is a ceremonial washing defilement was obtained in many ways contact with an unclean animal eating unclean foods touching a dead body, touching a dead animal coming into contact with a Gentile imputed day after any defilement is restored by a ritualistic washing. So the issue here is not one of hygiene is one of ceremonial cleanliness and the Pharisees and scribes.
They do have the thickness to ridiculous lengths. Religion loves the externals the ritualism set of more nihilism and equates these things with through spirituality at there's a certain comfort with religion isn't there, but such ritualism and such a legalistic observance leads to pride. It leads to hypocrisy which is the accusation Jesus makes against the religious leaders and it leads to judge mentalism never been part of a group that judges you by the externals, but easy, isn't it. Jesus responds by demonstrating that hypocrisy. Notice what he says in the verse three he says and the fact you're accusing my disciples of breaking the traditions of the elders you have broken the commandments of God. What's greater your traditions are the commandments of God and then in verses three through six.
He gives an example of this.
First of all, he reminds them and they knew the Scripture. He quotes from Isaiah 29 verse 13 in verse seven in verses eight and nine. He says you hypocrites verse seven well did Isaiah prophesy of you that prophecy 750 years ago, Mr. fantasy and Mr. scribe was directed. In fact, to you because you honor God when your lips but your heart is far from God in vain do you worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of God.
Notice in verse nine he describes their worship as they as MT coming from the lips, but not from the heart steadily convicting because here we are this morning and were singing and were praying and we are presenting our worship to the Lord as it is it possible that all of that could be in vain. Yes, very possible. It is not from your heart because what God is concerned about is not just your profession. Religion makes you look good. Religion makes you feel good.
But Jesus is saying to the Pharisees, you are in fact hypocrites and your worship is absolutely empty. It's hollow as hypocritical because what you say sounds so good but your heart did you notice that in verse eight.
Your heart is far from sitting today listening on Lifestream Facebook and your heart is far from God.
Some of us in worshiping, perhaps even standing on this platform and our hearts are far from jitters. The outward profession is that unimportant know it's not unimportant, but it is very very second-rate what God is concerned about is not your outward profession by the end what the reality is religion is always more concerned with the externals rather than a contractor to a living in a vibrant relationship with the living God is a do we know whether we've embraced a form of cultural religion here on whether there is true worship whether there is authentic Christianity.
Calvary church says that our mission is being is making authentic followers of Jesus Christ, not hypocritical followers, not people just sounding good on Sunday morning and then lived like the devil during the week but that we authentic followers of Jesus Christ. I'll give you very basic test. In fact, the one which was Jesus gives us in the passage is that religion always displaces the word of God is pick religion. Religion displaces God's living word here, the Pharisees and scribes are teaching their traditions with the authority of God's work. Jesus gives an example of their tradition making Farid God's word in verses three through six, verse three.
Why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition. In fact, your tradition is being demonstrated in such a way that the body commandments of God are broken. Verse six. So for the sake of your tradition.
You have made all way that the word of God that please notice the scribes and the Pharisees are not outwardly denying the word of God, they would say we believe the word of God. We honor the word of God. I was trying to it with a friend all over time reading and dissecting and expiring during other Toyota of the Hebrew Scriptures Jesus I know you've made it of no effect to gives an example is an example for the 10 Commandments. One of the 10 Commandments as you shall honor your father and mother you hear that children students on your father. You hear that moms and dads honor your father and older father and older mother rubs her that they're very old types in the 80s of the 90s. Do you stop honoring your father and mother will urinate when you reach 18 no know there's a time when you get married when you when you leave them when the primary responsibility in your life is to your spouse that is true, but as followers of Jesus we are always to honor our father and mother and the scribes and the Pharisees would agree with that but here's the point here is an older couple and they find themselves financially – the church and or their son or their daughter are quite well-off I wandering of father mother would mean that that you do in the position financially to help them you should do so is my mother in Scotland July with the Lord, which is in the ladies are 90s. I remember having a conversation with my brothers.
How is mom taking care for financially. We're her sons.
We all had had more money than our mother had a re-able to take care of her.
Yes, going to take care of mom.
That's what it means to honor your father and mother isn't long-term savanna six and the stripes. What would you do you go through the formality of sin called by you going to give a gift to your parents probably and often exhibit no you going to give it to the Lord and an act of worship.
You're going to say God, here is the money I'm going to give to my parents, but you don't give it no is delayed and of course it may never be given to them and in that way you have manipulated the very commandments of God and your traditions and your legalistic interpretation of the 10 Commandments have resulted that the clear word of God. Honor your father and mother is rendered null and void. This is Jesus verse seven, it is my pocket say. He says in verse 14 very strongly leave them alone have nothing to do with these hypocrites with the scribes and Pharisees mask. Is there anything added to the word of God today in religion and examples on the give you three examples one example of the Roman Catholic Church room in a courtroom is catechism I'm not making this up, this is not anti-Roman Catholic is just stating what they believe Roman Catholics and what they call the magisterium. The traditions doubled in Scripture. Here is a quotation from the catechism of the Roman Catholic church unit is as a result of the church and in the Roman Catholic Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted. Notice that does not derive Herceptin today about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone underline the word alone. Both Scripture and tradition must be accepted and honored with equal underline the word equal with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence so Catholic theology, Roman Catholic practice today believe in the Bible. Yes, of course, they believe in the Bible, but they also believe in the tradition magisterium of the church and today is the statement says are to be accepted than on the with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence so their tradition is added to the authority of Scripture is another quote from the task of interpreting the word of God authentically has been entrusted solely notice the word solely to the magisterium of the church that is to the pulpit and to the bishops in communion with him, and other words not on the way.
Do we have tradition and Scripture on an equal footing so that the Bible and tradition are two streams, as it were flowing into the fountain of the word of God. That's rooms position. Not only that, but we the church will interpret because we alone have been given the task of interpreting the word of God, adding to the word of God tradition is another example number two example of Mormonism.
I remember walking the streets in these two young Mormons approached me and they said to me, do you ever read the Bible. I suggest something about and they then said, do you ever wonder why God didn't give us another book that you know we were going with it and I said no I've never wondered that all they said why would wonder that I said when God has given us one perfect book, why would we need another one. If the Bible is perfect. If it is God's word containing all we need for our salvation and sanctification. Why would God add something else within Mormonism you talk to Mormon that they believe the Bible, yet we believe the Bible, but we also believe the book of Mormon, the pearl of great price because Joseph Smith with these magical classes with this wonderful Angel little nine gave him these and other Scriptures and so the word of God is being displaced and another authority is being added to give you another example, perhaps a more controversial example but we have more and more today, self-professed prophets unit abandon profits.
People who call themselves apostles, we are number of them prophesying very strongly that Donald Trump was going to win the election. When Joseph Biden, but God had given them. These revelations, I am a prophet and prophesying to the congregation that Donald Trump was going to be was going to be elected again. They got it wrong, very wrong and at least one of them had the grace through admits that he had myself although he continues to call himself a prophet or you get these preachers who claim these revelations.
These visions from God. Extra biblical revelation that God told me to tell you.
And so what we have in these cases. Revelation so-called being added to the word of God, the magisterium of the church. The book of Mormon someone sprung for say someone's vision and in all these cases when anything is been added to the word of God. In practice, what becomes important is not the word of God, but to what you read in sunroom tradition becomes more important than Scripture. Sadly Mormonism is a continuing revelation which which goes on today becomes much more important than Scripture. So it is in churches which are emphasized by celebrity preachers and prophets and apostles what they say always becomes more important. That's religion, displacing the living word of God and that of course can never ever ever do with your personal contamination. Thank you. The personal contamination secondly comes from within and not from without limiting what Jesus says Matthew 15 verse 10 he called the people to himself and said he had and understand your hearing and understanding. This is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person. But what comes of the mouth.
This defiles a person together. Then the disciples and came to him and said do not know that the Pharisees were offended when the head fits understatements right you see John today. Someone's going to be offended should you say these things. Yes, people are offended, we don't stop preaching because someone's offended thank you for your emails which will follow. Do you not do know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard the saying answer them notice this every plant that my heavenly father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone. They are blind guides, and if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit warning against the false teacher warning against the false religion. But Peter said to him explain the parable to us. He said he also still without understanding is not yet got the points you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is expelled. But what comes out of the mouth, proceeds from the heart and this defiles a person for the right of the heart, evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, that Paul's witness landed. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands. That is not the file. Anyone wearing credible teacher was the Lord Jesus you love is teaching over.
This is technically convicting basic point, the externals do not contaminate us.
Failure to adhere to religious traditions such as eating with ceremonially unwashed hands doesn't result in spiritual pollution, spiritual pollution, spiritual contamination is not an external problem, but this internal problem. The problem of the heart contamination is not what is outside coming in is what is inside going out.
It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person. But what comes of the mouth. This defiles a person. This is this is a very, very important passage for all kinds of of reasons.
Understand this your basic problem in my basic problem is not the family you can from you have come from a dysfunctional family. You may have noticed horrific past your basic problem is not not that your basic problem is not your lack of self-esteem, as were told today and your basic problem is not your unhappiness, your unfulfilled dreams.
Your basic problem I'm talking to you each one of you. Your basic problem is the defilement of your heart. I hope you recognize you have a heart problem. Jeremiah in the Old Testament said in chapter 17 verse nine the heart is deceitful and desperately. Your heart is desperately wicked and Jesus in verse 19 gives a list of things which the finalists going to go through. This is very very convicting.
This is going to hit every single one of us. I guarantee it. So as a go through the list.
I'm asking you yes you I'm asking you to pray that the Holy Spirit will review where you are spiritually contaminated. Will you do with the first one verse 19 right of the heart, evil thoughts, evil thoughts, you see the outward acts is preceded by an inward thoughts so would would would you think about when you daydream about what do you fantasize about what you think your exercising in the in the gym or driving is about to go to sleep in your free time will witness your mind go evil and evil thoughts that you have.
Paul tells us in Philippians 4 verse eight he says.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there's anything worthy of praise, think about these things are your thoughts are your thoughts lovely are your thoughts honorable.
Jesus said this is a problem out of the heart come evil thoughts, here's the second one murder is there what I'm I'm okay with that. Take many innocent lives whether it is the taking of innocent lives. Well have you forgotten the teaching of Jesus in Matthew five. Let me remind you, Matthew five verse 21 you handed it was said to those of old, you shall not murder, and whoever murders will be liable to judgment back to the 10 Commandments, you shall not murder but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment. Whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council and whoever says you fool will be liable to the hell of Winston which the mark doesn't the murders in Atlanta on the murders in Colorado that they begin with the begin with, hates and the shooters heart anger regarding people as fools rage. So many people angry and rage. No you may not actually go out it's and commit murder. You may not actually take innocent life, but that is anger in your heart was the next one. Adultery. Adultery begins not with love was there when I love that person know I never experienced such love, until I met so-and-so, no, no, no adultery didn't begin with love, adultery begins with last last in the heart.
Listen again to Jesus in Matthew five on this very subject. Matthew 527. You've heard it was said, you shall not commit adultery but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart, Jesus thing. That's the problem before. That is the outward act of physical adultery that is adultery in the heart. Anyone guilty of that your heart, adultery, in the heart with Matthew chapter 19 so in five there. Matthew 19 the next one, Matthew 50 mother. Verse 19 flag of the heart comes evil thoughts more dirt adultery, sexual immorality as a lot of the nurses site is. This is a translation of the Greek word for now translated here in English on the retina sexual immorality from their we've all had of pornography come from this work. That's what premier is a general term for all sexual activity outside of marriage that begins to Jesus. Again, not with the act. It begins in the heart. It begins in the inner heart immorality, sexual immorality, any of that in your heart. This is why please hear me.
Pornography is so deadly is an epidemic. We are told in our society wise and so deadly. People say it's harmless. There is no victim to its divine want to look at certain pictures on my computer I can do it. And there's nothing wrong with it. That is everything wrong with it. It is in their pollution of the heart. It is a sin of the heart. It leads to last at least immorality is for male sexual immorality. My scriptures tell us that women are to dress modestly, but man don't blame how women dress for your own sake, I've had men blaming woman. No real problem is not there are problems in your heart. It is true. Women are to dress modestly, but the main problem man is in your heart. Sexual immorality here is another one that is why I wouldn't steal something from a shop store when of non-Christians who have known the pastor who stole from store unbelievable dishonesty. The desire for something which doesn't belong to you, dishonesty in your heart to that that greed that covetousness then results in action, not paying your taxes were coming up the tax season. The government is giving an extension and the summer you're thinking how you can fiddle your taxes and thank you may boast about how you are able to defraud the IRS and you say well they're going to to misplace my money. My money is hard earned nothing to give it to the government. Yes, you are to pay your to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and if you're not doing that. It is theft about taking property from someone else about at work not working the hours for which you pay what about thinking of how you can swindle people had Christians brag how they were able to swindle someone in some negotiation and some business transaction. Don't do that. It is theft and that begins in the heart. There's another one falls witness lying giving false testimony. Perjury is giving is lying under oath. She doing lying you cheat lying there thinking how you can get better grades at school by cheating, thinking how you can work that business deal deal with that customer.
But you have to bear false witness it with a lie about something material and that's in the heart is needed and you wonder how is God going to bless you and that is this evil in your heart. Here's the final one slender abusive speech defamation all speech which harms others doesn't begin with the mouth and comes out of the mouth, but it begins in the heart. You see your heart is your basic problem. Sin pollutes the crops of the files.
Sin contaminates us in anything we can contain our sin. We can contain the sin in our minds know what is in the mind is going to come out is what Jesus is saying if it deal with the root of the problem.
The problem is not there. The problem is in here is a well how can I do with this spiritual contamination.
Only Jesus Christ can conjure heart. This is the good news of the gospel. This is incredible news. You know the religion you can go through all of the trappings of religion, but that will never ever cleanse your heart. Only Jesus Christ can cleanse and change your heart. Religion is powerless to cleanse your heart.
Legalism is powerless to cleanse your heart, ritualism is powerless to cleanse your heart, they deal with the externals, but we are seeing the real problem is internal you convicted of this this morning. I hope so you see before there's going to be cleansing. There's got to be an admission by you that you have spiritual contamination. We admit that your pigs never complain about the dirt they enjoyed. They don't know that Dr. they don't know their smelly happy in the filthy condition. I hope you're not happy in your filthy condition. I hope through the word of God today.is convicting you realize. Yes, in my heart is defilement. Hope you don't enjoy your enjoy your dirt. You see, God sees your heart and unless you realize before God, that your heart is the filed unless you confess that sin you will never know the cleansing power of our Lord Jesus Christ David was a king sin very very badly, but he was a man after God's own heart. Listen to what he says regarding his sin. In Psalm 51 begins it by saying, have mercy on me. Oh God, that's grace you need mercy, have mercy on me all God according to your steadfast love that God loves you in spite of the sin according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions, wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and claims to be from my sin, but I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. David realizes he's a sinful heart which is manifested itself in very sinful deeds.
And now he's asking God in this great prayer of repentance and restoration for God to have mercy on him and God's grace to be on him. He doesn't deserve it. And he wants God to blot out his sin and to cleanse them from his transgressions to how is how is the holy God, and we began by singing of the holiness of God.
How is it that a holy God who dwells in lines who hates the darkness. How can this God who knows my heart. How can this God cleanse me so that I can walk out of Calvary church this morning, totally cleanse torch relay forgiven was in the words of Jesus words of John regarding Jesus first John first John one verse seven. This is the gospel listen to these wonderful words if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves to say mother's note defilement in my heart you're deceiving yourself your hearts hardened. You don't realize it. You don't realize how dirty you are, you deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Verse nine if we confess our sins you are you going to do that this morning. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. By the power of Jesus Christ. It is so powerful that the blood of Jesus Christ is so powerful that however deep you sin and however far you have strayed that the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which flowed from the cross that blood is so powerful that they can forgive your sins and cleanse you from all on righteousness. The beautiful, to be cleanse to be forgiven of a humble heart to come to Christ. Some of your followers of Christ, but you've allowed the evil to be in your heart is going through that list you said under the conviction of the Holy Spirit that that's that's me being dishonest and have been for the moral thoughts over the evil thoughts of angry, slanderous thoughts about the brother assisted about someone, perhaps a neighbor that has to be confess and as we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive you of all of your transgressions declined you from all unrighteousness here is Isaiah the prophet chapter 1 come now. He says according the words of the Lord come now and reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson shall be as will your sin is read this you come to Christ to wash you as white as snow. Though your sins be red like crimson, they shall be as will we sometimes saying sin had left a crimson stain, washed it, I did wash it white as snow center this morning that the very center of our being of a heart that is the spiritual contamination. This defilement which only the blood of Jesus can cleanse. Religion cannot do it at this thing than the guilt of our sin was taken by Lord Jesus Christ when he died on the cross for our sin. He took out guilty to crochet.
He took out defilement on himself. He the sinless Christ, he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Therefore, come to Christ, therefore, kneel at the foot of the cross and confess your sin and experience that forgiveness so that you can leave totally clients we come this morning to Jesus for cleansing and restoration witnessing an old gospel hymn one of the best essays.
There's nothing in my hand I bring is when you come to Christ, nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross look at it on the roof simply to the thy cross I cling naked come to the fore dress helpless look to the four grace file line to the Farmington fly wash me Savior or a guy. Here is the only place the only place of forgiveness only place of cleansing is to humbly come to the cross of Christ and confess your sin and ask price to forgive you and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved we do that, let me pause and ask you to pray more than a stand and sing this old gospel song, but I trust will speak to holy father. We we bow before you just put it is convicting this to your word of the contamination of our heart and perhaps with hardly been aware of it until would be confronted by your word. We thank you for looking at.
I know that others search a soul garden nor heart try me and see if there's any wicked way in me, lead us in the paths of righteousness. We pray for some here and have never yet come to Christ that embraced a form of religion to put their trust in some ritual and some experience in some feeling but never yet come to Christ. Father I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin will show them the sinless Christ restart still stands in size, give you rest. Each one of us, find rest, fine cleansing find forgiveness. We pray in Christ name