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Saturday, August 25, 2018

2018.08.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Matthew 15:10-20

Questions for Littles: Who called the people to Himself in v10? What did He want them to do? What does not defile a man (v11)? What does defile a man? Who warned Jesus that the Pharisees were offended (v12)? What does Jesus say is the reason for the uprooting of some plants (people, v13)? What does Jesus tell the disciples to do with them in v14? What does He say will happen to those whom the Pharisees lead? Who asks Jesus for an explanation (v15)? What does Jesus say happens to our food, eventually (v17)? But where do our words come from (v18)? How long does that last? Apart from Christ, what kinds of things come out of our hearts (v19)? When that is what is coming out of our hearts, what does it do to us (v18,20)?
From the Scripture for this week’s sermon, we see one more of the changes that Jesus was making from the manmade religion of the Pharisees. Earlier in the chapter, we had seen that true religion is only that which has been invented by the Lord’s Word. Now, we see that true religion can only occur by the Lord’s power.

When Jesus rejects the tradition of the Pharisees outright in v11, they are offended. That’s not surprising. Have you ever told someone that something religiously important to them was invalid because it’s not part of the true religion in Scripture? Or maybe you’ve been told yourself.

It takes special humility to accept this, and to repent of and ruthlessly expunge everything from our religion that comes from ourselves. In fact, the required humility is so very special that Jesus says that it cannot come from man but only by the will and power of God (v13).

Lord, take away my blindness, because I cannot take it away from myself! Lord, give me faith, because I cannot give it to myself!

And that is actually the point of Jesus’s explanation in vv17-20. We can’t just wash our outsides in order to be clean before God. Why not? Because we’re rotten to the core of our hearts. The actual sins that proceed from us are literally just the tips of the spiritual icebergs in our hearts.

The only we can ever be clean before God is by receiving a spiritual heart transplant! Anything other than this Reformed doctrine of conversion is false religion, and the pit into which it causes people to stumble is horrifically deeper than the grave!
From where has your sin come? What can be done about it? Who can do this?
Suggested Songs: ARP51A-B “God, Be Merciful to Me” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”

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