Skip to content


October 27, 2014

Garden of Eden 3Many believe a person sins when outside forces conspire to tempt or trap an otherwise well meaning person into disobeying God’s commands. Many act as if we were all like Eve, innocent until duped into doing something bad. Nothing could farther from the truth. They think this because they also mistakenly believe that a person is made righteous or unrighteous by his deeds. In Mark 7 Jesus confronts the Pharisees mistaken notions that moral cleanness was a matter of following traditions, rituals and commands. Jesus reveals the heart of their error by showing that the heart is the source of all sin. To do so, He details the depravity that bubbles out of that cesspool of wickedness that is the human heart. Man is defiled because his heart is defiled and out of that defiled heart springs every form of defiled behavior. Bacon, Gentile dirt and communicable diseases do not defile the man. R-rated movies, rock songs and smoking do not defile the man. Man is defiled by his heart. And then Mark changes the subject. Full stop, end of discussion. No concluding words to mitigate our guilt or assuage our conscience. We are defiled because our heart is entirely wicked.

Mark abruptly ends the matter because he has already given the answer to the heart’s problem. Throughout the gospel Mark has proven on awesome truth, Jesus is God the Savior. The person and work of Jesus is the solution to the defiiled human heart. The solution to the defiled heart is never better behavior. That’s like washing and detailing a ’72 Pinto with a blown engine and no transmission. It’s still junk, just a little cleaner junk. The solution to a defiled heart is rightly responding to Jesus, Savior and God. The right response to Jesus has been illustrated over and over again in the gospel of Mark. It is the response of a paralyzed man who can do nothing but lay in front of Jesus and believe. It is the response of an afflicted woman who can do nothing but in faith reach out a trembling hand. It is the response of a demon possessed man who could not even cry out on his own behalf. The solution to the defiled heart is faith in Jesus that receives His salvation and applies it to one’s own guilt.

When one believes to salvation, the defilement is removed. The Christian is given a new heart, made dead to sin and alive unto righteousness. He is made righteous. The new heart rages against the old flesh, and the Holy Spirit inevitably changes the believer into Christlikeness. However, a caution must be given. The Christian can never imagine that his actions somehow deserve, secure or increase his righteousness. All the believers righteousness is Christ’s righteousness granted to him at salvation. Additional righteousness need not apply. The righteous deeds of the Christian are now the working out of the righteousness that has been placed within him. The unsaved man practices wicked behavior because his heart is defiled. The Christian can now practice righteous behavior because his heart has been made righteous by Jesus. Because the Christian is now right with God, he can go out and please God by living in obedience to God’s commands.


Comments are closed.