Summary: If you have a physical heart problem, you can ignore it and take the consequences or adjust to the problem and make the best of it; the same is true when it comes to our invisible, inner being.We are going to discuss this inner heart problem.

Diagnosis: You Have A Heart Problem!

(Mark 7:14-23)

1. Joke: Man in church inherited 1 million dollars; afraid the shock would kill him…

Asked pastor to break news. Pastor asked, “Charlie, if you inherited 1 million dollars, what would you do?” Charline: “Give ½ to church.” And the minister fell over dead.

In 2006, I had trouble breathing when Marylu and I would take walks. I went to the doctor and began tests; eventually, they scheduled me for a catheterization to see if I needed a stent.

2. The week before the procedure, I started huffing and puffing and hate to take breaks walking up the stairs. The Sunday night before the Monday procedure, we had a baptismal service here, but I could not get into the baptistery. Curt Hoeksema, at that time Elders’ chair, did the baptizing.

3. That Monday, they saw I needed a stent and put it in. All of a sudden, I felt 20 years younger. That particular heart problem had been cured.

4. Since our hearts are so crucial to our physical well-being, we came to use the term “heart” for the invisible center of our being — who we are deep down.

5. Biblical term for heart sometimes kidneys, intestines — means our innermost being. Used interchangeably with “mind” in the Bible. You can think with your heart and feel with your mind. This is different from our common western thinking.

Main Idea: If you have a physical heart problem, you can ignore it and take the consequences or adjust to the problem and make the best of it; the same is true when it comes to our invisible, inner being.

We are going to discuss this inner heart problem by addressing four key questions.

I. Does Diet Affect Our SOULS?

What prompted this teaching? The issue about washing hands…

Jesus is commenting on the Law from Deuteronomy, dealing with passages about how God must circumcise our hears if we are to follow him because our stubborn hearts are the problem (Deuteronomy 5:28-29, 30:6). Deuteronomy also states the Kosher Laws (Deuteronomy 12), and Jesus is prioritizing one above the other.

A. Kosher food is about being JEWISH, not intrinsically moral

1. “declaring all food clean” is not a change, but an underlying truth

2. gentiles never were under the Law and God never expected the gentiles to eat kosher… Jews were to eat kosher to set them apart from the rest of mankind, but the kosher diet is not a moral issue in itself, except that God commanded it (making it moral to the Jews)

3. We need to be considerate of others with whom we disagree …. Hindu vegetarians in a fast food restaurant….sued to go to India for purification ritual… Catholics who cannot eat meat on Fridays during lent… Jewish

4. We know this isn’t moral, but they do not

B. Our food does affect our health, but not our STANDING with God

1. People today try to make food a moral issue; it can be a life issue, but not a moral one. Paul writes:

I Timothy 3:4-5, “ …[false teachers] forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”

2. Always a step removed between a text and an application or wisdom principle applied… have to stick to the text for others…

3. New legalisms, new forms of spiritual bullying…which is what legalism is!

II. Why Are We PRONE to Sin?

A. We have sinful HEARTS

1. ENVIRONMENT affects sin (the world) — rough neighborhoods

2. Original sin and HEREDITY affect us

(the flesh, predisposed, but not predetermined)

3. Satan and demons ENTICE sin as well

4. Jesus LISTS the types of sin that originate within (21)

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Proverbs 28:26, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

B. Jesus did not have this same PREDISPOSITION

1. Reason he was virgin conceived

2. He speaks as an outsider

3. Notice how he says, “you,” not “we” in Luke 11:13

Luke 11:13, “ If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

We sin because we are sinners, and we are sinners because we sin (circle)

III. How Can We ADDRESS This Problem?


1. Salvation begins with a legal exchange, but not a cure all

2. Why we are told to make disciples (learners), not just get numbers

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