Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
16th September 2019
Study 28 – CLEANSING MAN’S HEART FROM ALL DEFILEMENT
Text – Mark 7:14-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-5
Today’s study is a continuation of what we studied last week on the tradition of the elders, and the Pharisees’ complaint about the disciples of Christ that were not following their traditions of washing of the hands ceremonially. But Jesus Christ came to save and cleanse the hearts, and to show people that it is not the outward cleansing that matters but the inner cleansing of the heart. Jesus said, “… Hearken unto me everyone of you and understand: There is nothing from without man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” (Mark 7:14b-15) His disciples then came to Him privately for clarification and full understanding of the parable. It is not enough to come to the Bible Study, we must understand what is taught and how to apply it. “…. Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him: Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?” (Mark 7:19). Christ was saying here that the food you eat does not enter into the heart but your belly. However, there are things that enter the heart and even the brain that might affect you, the functions of the heart and what comes out of that heart. Also, when you take in your food, part nourishes your body, mixes with your blood and veins, helps the body to function well and gives strength and power. The useless parts that will not minister to your body is purged. Jesus went on to say, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders …….. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:20-23)
The reason Jesus explained all these to His disciples and to us is to know the way we ought to focus on our Christian lives and having cleansing, purging, purification, total freedom and the washing that is spiritual in our hearts. We are not to run after things that do not profit and making rules and regulations about what we eat and don’t eat. He says all things are given by God and they are sanctified to nourish our bodies; the nutrients are separated and the things that do not nurture the body are excreted. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:1,3-5). There are people who will depart from the faith and go back to the traditions of the elders. The Old Testament food laws, prohibitions and traditions are abolished, but the Pharisees were still committed to this and even went beyond to the religion of washing of the hands, but Jesus said that all that is gone. It is what comes out of your heart that matters now. The disciples did not understand this, so they came to Jesus to ask questions. It is good to ask scriptural, profitable and enlightening questions that will make you to have a better understanding and richer exposition of the word of God.
Point 1. CONFIRMING HIS TEACHINGS TO DEVELOP HIS TRANSFORMED SERVANTS
Mark 7:14,17-19; Matthew 6:24; John 8:30-32,36; Matthew 13:36-43; Mark 10:10,1-12; John 3:7-10,14-16; Acts 8:30-39
These were disciples and servants of Christ who had voluntarily, wholeheartedly, willingly followed the Lord. They were meek, teachable and were transformed. And now you have the confirmation of the teachings of Christ to develop His transformed servants. “And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand” “And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.” (Mark 7:14,17). He called the people to hearken, listen, pay attention; throw the traditions away and get the gospel truth He was presenting to them. Whatever enters a man cannot disqualify him from fellowship with God, true worship or going to Heaven because it enters not into the heart but into the belly. The point here is that the disciples came to Jesus, and it shows that they wanted to learn and understand; that they could not have two masters – Christ and the Pharisees. Thank God they chose the Lord Jesus, Master come from Heaven. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). You cannot have God as the Controller of your life and the Pharisees as well. You will choose Christ, and you will forsake all others; you are now following the Lord wholly as a transformed servant. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). As you have believed on the Lord and are transformed, you must not go back to traditions of the scribes and pharisees but continue in His word and the truth shall set you free. The Lord will make you perfectly whole and free indeed.
These transformed servants did not understand, so they came to Christ for clarification. “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field” (Matthew 13:36). If you hear and you don’t understand, it is like you have not heard. You hear of salvation and righteousness and you don’t understand, is like you have not heard. These disciples wanted to understand. “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38).The disciples were learning something new here, that it is not everybody that goes into the Synagogue or through the doors of any church that is a child of God. There are the children of God and those of the wicked one. Because they came, they were teachable and asked questions, and you could tell that they really wanted to know. The teachable servants of Christ were the people that come to ask for clarification of what they do not understand. “And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter” (Mark 10:10). He had given them the word in a general assembly and they were not clear, so as teachable transformed servants, they came to the house to ask Him question to clarify and confirm. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?” (John 3:8-9). Nicodemus did not understand, so he asked for clarification. To be transformed and teachable, we need to ask about what we do not understand, and explanation will lead us to understanding of the subject matter. You hear, and you don’t understand, then take time to ask questions; read it again, and when you understand, pray about it, so that it will enter your heart and transform you. “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30). This was Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch, and he was able to present Jesus Christ as Saviour to him. With the understanding the eunuch had, he had faith and received Him as Lord, was saved, baptized and went with the joy of salvation (Acts 8:30-39). Do you understand what you have read, learnt and heard? Understanding is very important if the teaching must get into your heart.