Read: Mark 7:1-23

Last Sunday Pastor Ken closed out our series, Jesus the Christ, with Philippians 2:12-18. This Sunday he will continue our series in “Mark, Who Do You Say that I Am?,” with a message from Mark 7:1-23. As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, let these words from Dr. Akin encourage you and move you to further consider the state of your heart before God.

Heart Preparation

One thing Jesus consistently did was call out hypocrites and expose them for who they truly were. Jesus makes no reference to the conduct of His disciples. Instead, He exposes the heart of the matter: Is the true source of spiritual authority “traditions of men,” or is it the “Word of God”? What will determine how you think and live your life? Jesus begins with a scathing indictment, calling the Pharisees and scribes “hypocrites”! They were nothing more than religious actors and pretenders. The prophet Isaiah also condemned their hypocritical religion (Isa 29: 13). They say the right things about God, but their hearts are still ungodly. Their religion is all words and show. The result was vain, purposeless worship— worship that God neither welcomes nor receives.

For evidence, Jesus says they teach as doctrines the commands of men, and they abandon the command of God and hold to the traditions of man. They held that the ultimate authority for spiritual life was both Scripture and tradition, but if there was a conflict between the two, tradition won out every time. Sometimes the Bible wasn’t even considered. “We have our traditions. That is all we need.” Some potential examples of this legalism in the contemporary church can be found in church business meetings, deacons meetings, church discipline, and religious practices (e.g., church names, meeting times, dress, worship styles, public invitation or no invitation). If we have all the right boxes checked, we’re good! But lists are so easy to check off. Examining our hearts isn’t. Can you provide a scriptural basis for what you believe and do? Are you a text-driven or tradition-driven Christian? The difference is crucial.

Excerpt from Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Mark, by Daniel L. Akin, pp. 152-153.


Song List for Sunday

  1. Hosanna, Christy Nockels Arrangement
  2. Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery, by Matt Papa
  3. Come Thou Fount (Above All Else), by Shane and Shane
  4. The Heart of Worship, Shane and Shane Arrangement
  5. Grace and Peace, by Sovereign Grace Music

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