7/10/22 Time for Turning Point and Renewal (Mark 7:1-23)
Let’s reflect on our lives and experience a turning point and renewal in our lives.
1. Escape the life of hypocrisy
We see in the scriptures the Scribes criticizing Jesus and his disciples. They are not necessarily saying they are gross, but they aren’t following the traditions of Moses. Jesus responds, calling them hypocrites who preach the traditions of man as the commandments of man and whose hearts are furthest from God. The Greek word for hypocrite stems from the word “actor”. To act well, you need to lie well. Check your life today for hypocrisy, because it blocks our hearts from God’s greatest blessings. Am I really living a gospel-centered life? Jesus reminds us that it's not what’s outside a man that defiles him but what comes out of his heart. Religion argues that our behavior shows righteousness, but the gospel says it's our heart. When we truly believe in Jesus Christ and receive the greatest calling to be God’s evangelist, we have no choice but to change. However, when we only “act” like children of God on the outside, our hearts become furthest from God. Ask yourself, am I truely holding on to God’s word and Christ throughout the week? What’s leading your life? God’s word or your desires?
2. Renewal from lawlessness
There are some Christians who argue that now that they are saved, they can live doing whatever you want to do. Even the culture of the world tells us to live doing whatever we want to do to be happy. We call this lawlessness, and it blocks us from God’s greatest blessings and answers. Salvation is not determined by the law, but by the heart. If we pay close attention to the messages in the world’s culture, and those who live their lives by them. They seem so cool but are they truly happy? The Pharisees lived looking so righteous, but they twisted God’s law, such as “Corban”, enjoying the things of the world. When we are truly saved, we are not meant to live however we want, but for our souls to be renewed and revived, alive to Christ and not to sin. How? By restoring worship, and changing our priorities to prepare our hearts. By doing small things like praying and looking at God’s word even just a little bit every morning. Again, we are not doing these to not avoid punishment but to live the true life we were meant to live. Our salvation is not based on following the law but on our hearts. Actions cannot make us holy.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
3. Guard your heart with the Gospel
Renew even just a little bit. Turn from lawlessness and give yourselves to God, and hold on to his word.