Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the foregoing message we pointed out that in chapter seven the opposition of the Pharisees and scribes gave the Lord Jesus an excellent opportunity to expose man’s inward condition, the condition of man’s heart.
In 7:15 the Lord said to the crowd, “There is nothing outside of a man which entering into him can defile him, but the things coming out of a man are the things which defile a man.” When He had entered into a house, His disciples questioned Him concerning this saying. Then the Lord went on to say, “Are you also in the same manner without understanding? Do you not perceive that everything from outside entering into a man cannot defile him, because it does not enter into his heart, but into the stomach, and goes out into the drain, making all foods clean?” (vv. 18-19). In verse 19 the Lord refers to the heart. In verse 20 He continues, “That which goes out of a man, that defiles a man.” Following this, the Lord gives a list of some of the evil things that proceed out of man’s heart (vv. 21-22).
In 7:21 and 22 the Lord says, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil reasonings, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, a wicked eye, blasphemy, arrogance, foolishness.” Here the Lord designates that part of man from which evil things proceed—the heart. Man’s heart is rotten, corrupt. The heart of fallen man is corrupt to such an extent that it is incurable (Jer. 17:9). Therefore, we should not think that we are good in our heart. Perhaps you are good outwardly, but there is nothing good in your heart. For this reason, Paul could confess that nothing good dwelt within him (Rom. 7:18).
In this chapter the depth of man’s condition is exposed by the Slave-Savior. In our preaching of the gospel we also should touch the condition of man’s heart. However, much of today’s gospel preaching fails to do this.
We need to see from the Lord’s word in chapter seven of the Gospel of Mark what our inward condition really is. The actual condition of our heart is that it is a constitution of evils. Because our heart is corrupt, we should never think that it is good. To believe that our heart is good is to be deceived and to believe a lie. Anyone who thinks that he has a good heart is deceived. Our heart is corrupt, and we should not have any trust in it.
In verse 21 the Lord Jesus uses the word “proceed.” According to this verse, evil reasonings, fornications, thefts, and murders proceed out of the heart of men. The word “proceed” implies continuation. Not only do evil things come out of man’s heart; they continually proceed out from his heart, coming forth one after another.
The first item listed by the Slave-Savior as proceeding out of man’s heart is evil reasonings. Reasonings, of course, come from the mind. The New Testament tells us that the mind of fallen man is reprobate, disapproved (Rom. 1:28). Because man’s mind is reprobate, nothing that comes out of it can be accepted by God or justified by Him. Rather, the reasonings of the fallen mind of man are condemned and rejected by God. Because our fallen mind is reprobate, our reasonings are evil, no matter how good they may seem to be.
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