Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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    New York, NY
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BAC Sermons

Dangers of Defilement

2005-09-18 Mark 7:14-23

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14  When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 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 a man.

16  "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"

17  When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18  So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19  "because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?" 20  And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.

21  "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22  "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. Cf Mt 15:19

23  "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."


Col 2: 23  These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.


Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21  envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.


I. Defile = be made unclean or unfit (indistinct=common) for service

, originally by contact with prohibited foods and activities,  but now by embracing a set of thinking, values, and responses that renders a believer indistinguishable from worldlings, ie, unholy. God doesn’t enable, use, bless or reward those that look just like everyone else because it’s not obvious that the person is being blessed for following Christ, or because His faithfulness, love, and justice require Him to discipline a person in such a condition of disobedience.



II. Our ideas of what’s good/bad right/wrong need to be based upon God’s Revelation.

When we respond appropriately, we’re worshipping.


A. Evil thoughts:  incorrect actions are always preceded by incorrect thinking (dia logos almost always used negatively, frequently with doubt {Plan B} when we don’t want to accept the truth in front of us {God’s Plan A})  (Js 2:4 partiality for gain)


B. Adulteries: sex with a married person violating one’s covenant of faithfulness and loyalty, because of a lack of a fulfilling relationship with God and one’s spouse; used metaphorically of seeking power (security/significance), pleasure and possessions outside one’s dependent relationship with God; 1st of fruit of the flesh Gal 5:19 above


C. Fornications: sex between unmarried people, seeking immediate/temporal gratification from lack of self-control and trust in God’s wisdom and strength because of a lack of a fulfilling relationship with God 1Th 4:3 will of God; Col 3:5 mortify; 1Co5 6:18 flee

Used in Mt of unfaithfulness during the betrothal period (Jewish cultural practice) distinct from adultery. (See divorce outline)


D. Murders: a desire to harm someone because of the way they make us feel (insecure/inadequate/embarrassed/guilty) and/or we perceive them to be standing in the way of what we think will make us temporally happy or at least feel better. (Mt 5:21-22)


E. Thefts: taking something that is not rightfully ours which we believe in necessary for our happiness, doubting God’s wisdom and provision


F. Covetousness: the desire to have something that is not rightfully ours resulting in neglect of our obligations before God and others

Col 3:5 put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Eph 5:3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 2Pt 2:3,14

1Co 5:11  But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner——not even to eat with such a person.

1Co 6:10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:5 no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.


G. Wickedness: desires and purposes contrary to God’s influenced by demons (Eph 6:12) from which God will turn us Ac 3:26 as we submit

Ac 3:26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one from your iniquities.

Eph 6:12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


H. Deceit: an attempt to portray reality inaccurately so we can achieve our temporal goals, frequently by making ourselves look too good

1Pe 2:1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

1Pe 3:10  For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.

Re 14:5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.


I. Lewdness: acknowledging of no restraints (Lordship), the insolent doing of whatever one’s caprice may suggest to gratify desires.

1Pe 4:3  For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles——when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

Jude 1:4…ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 4:19  who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.


J. Evil eye: a self-centered perspective on life (purpose)  that colors both perception and actions

Mt 6:21  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22  "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23  "But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Cf Lu 11:34 


K. Blasphemy: speech designed to harm the reputation of another for the sake of preserving or boosting one’s own worth

Eph 4:31  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Col 3:8   But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

1Ti 6:4  he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling/slander/blasphemy, evil suspicions,


L. False witness: saying things that aren’t in accord with reality for the sake of temporal power, pleasure, or possessions.

Eph 4:15  but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head——Christ——

Eph 4:25  Therefore, putting away lying, "[Let] each one [of you] speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.


M. Pride: an attempt to appear superior to others (even God) resulting in a lack of submission and teachableness and eventual harm

2Ti 3:2  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 1Pe 5:5  Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."   Cf  Jas 4:6 


N. Foolishness: choosing the wrong (temporal) objectives or the wrong way of achieving them (opposite of wisdom, no Fear of the Lord)

Eph 5:17  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord [is].

1Pe 2:15  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men——



III. We are cleansed within when we:

admit our problem, seek and submit to God’s solution in transforming/renewing our minds/values/feelings/actions (Rom 12:1-2), keep dependent and sensitive to the Holy Spirit by walking in the Light with likeminded believers.


Dt 10:16  circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.  30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Mt 23:26; Rm 2:29

Col 2:11 In Him you were/are also circumcised with the circumc made w/o hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumc of Christ,

Ezek 11:18…they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19  "Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh 20  "that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21  "But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord GOD.


Jas 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded

1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. John 8:31-32

1Jn 1:7 if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Heb 9:14  how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Ps 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 119:35  Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. 36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness. 37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. 38 Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You.


2Co 7:1 having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Ro 8:13  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (See TOYL Sanctification)

2Tim 2:21 if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. Why do we have trouble recognizing and/or acknowledging sin in our culture and ourselves? What can help the identification process?

2. On whom do the Scriptures place the responsibility for our inner cleansing? What’s the relationship between God’s work and ours?

3. Why do some people struggle more with one sin than another, or more than other people? Is there a level playing field in Christ?

4. Should we spend more effort on putting to death the deeds of the flesh, or developing the fruit of the Spirit, or abiding in Jesus?

5. What steps do you believe God wants you to take this week so He can get you to the place of useful service and blessings?