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The HEART of the Matter. Logos Bible Fellowship 11/14/2007. Breakdown of Passage. The Inadequacy of Tradition (vv.1-2) The Importance of Scripture (vv.3-6) The Indictment of Hypocrites (vv.7-9) The Inner Nature of Sin (vv.10-11, 15-20) The Impact on the Kingdom (vv.12-14)

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the heart of the matter

The HEART of the Matter

Logos Bible Fellowship


breakdown of passage
Breakdown of Passage
  • The Inadequacy of Tradition (vv.1-2)
  • The Importance of Scripture (vv.3-6)
  • The Indictment of Hypocrites (vv.7-9)
  • The Inner Nature of Sin (vv.10-11, 15-20)
  • The Impact on the Kingdom (vv.12-14)
  • Jesus speaks to the Pharisees (vv.1-9)
  • Jesus speaks to the crowd (vv.10-11)
  • Jesus speaks to the disciples (vv.12-20)
the confrontation vv 1 9
The Confrontation (vv.1-9)
  • The Pharisees and Scribes accused the disciples of eating bread with impure hands
  • Jesus charged them with setting aside, transgressing, and invalidating the commandment of God for the traditions of men
  • Jesus forcefully chastised them and indicted them on three charges:
          • Cold and heartless externalism
          • Vain/false worship
          • Elevation of tradition over Scripture
the inner nature of sin vv 10 11 15 20
The Inner Nature of Sin (vv.10-11, 15-20)

After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, "Hear and understand. "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.“…Peter said to Him, "Explain the parable to us." Jesus said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also? "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man. (Matthew 15:10-11,15-20)

clean hands or a clean heart
Clean Hands or a Clean Heart?
  • For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:16-17)
  • for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17-18)
  • Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully. (Psalm 24:3-4)
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
our high calling
Our High Calling
  • You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it…On these two commands depend the whole Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
  • We are commanded to: look for (Deut 4:29), seek (Jer 29:13), turn to (Deut 30:10), believe (Prov 4:4), trust (Prov 3:5), love (Deut 6:5), fear (Deut 10:12), serve (Deut 11:13), obey (Deut 30:2), follow (Deut 26:16), and rejoice in (Zeph 3:14) God all your heart!
  • Have you ever done anything with all your heart? Is it possible?
the pharisee s hearts were evil
The Pharisee’s Hearts Were Evil
  • You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. (Matthew 12:34-35)
  • So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:28)
all unregenerate hearts are evil
All Unregenerate Hearts are Evil
  • …the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth (Genesis 8:21)
  • The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; (Jeremiah 17:9)
  • But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself (Romans 2:5)
  • the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God…because of the hardness of their heart; (Ephesians 4:17)
unregenerate hearts love sin
Unregenerate Hearts Love Sin
  • for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)
  • This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)
  • all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thess. 2:12)
externalism the wrong solution
Externalism – The Wrong Solution
  • “Since food is merely physical, no one who eats it will defile his heart or inner person, which is spiritual. Physical pollution, no matter how corrupt, cannot cause spiritual or moral pollution. Neither can external ceremonies and rituals cleanse a person spiritually.” ~ John MacArthur
  • What does this say about nature versus nurture? What about the nature of sacraments/ordinances?
the new birth the only solution
The New Birth – The Only Solution
  • For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (Gal. 6:15)
  • Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart (Jer. 4:4)
  • But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit (Romans 2:29)
  • The LORD your God willcircumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. (Deut. 30:6)
the new birth the only solution1
The New Birth – The Only Solution
  • Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born [from above].' (John 3:5-7)
  • Then I will sprinkleclean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. "Moreover, I will give you a new heartand puta new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will putMy Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes (Ezekiel 36:25-27)
  • I will put My law within them and on their heartI will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jeremiah 31:33)
the new birth the word faith
The New Birth, the Word, & Faith
  • But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
  • He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5)
  • That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word (Ephesians 5:26)
  • A woman named Lydia…was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. (Acts 16:14)
  • What does this say about the power of God’s Word? What does it say about the character of an uncircumcised heart verses the character of a circumcised heart?
the impact on the kingdom vv 12 14
The Impact on the Kingdom (vv.12-14)

Then the disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?" But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Matthew 15:12-14)

the impact on the kingdom vv 12 141
The Impact on the Kingdom (vv.12-14)
  • An application of the parable of the wheat and tares (tares were planted by Satan, not God – c.f. John 8:44)
    • You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. (Jeremiah 12:2)
    • I willbuild them up and not tear them down; I willplant them and not uproot them.I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God (Jeremiah 24:6-7)
the bottom line
The Bottom Line

“When we remember that the Pharisees were the most highly regarded men of religion of their day, we see how shocking this is. By these words, Jesus was not only condemning their system, He was condemning the best of human religion, saying that all human efforts to please God are external and vain, and that the only thing that really matters is a radical change of heart.”

~ James Montgomery Boice

your choice
Your Choice…

“…a love of tradition more than a genuine love of God always leads to false religion [and] self-righteousness…[which] does not bring a person into heaven. Rather, it leads to judgment and death since the only possible basis for our justification before God is Christ’s righteousness, not our own.” ~ James Montgomery Boice

  • Do you stand before God with clean hands only or with a new, clean heart?
  • How will you reject unbiblical traditions and teach others to do the same?