He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” Mark 7:20-23 (NIV)
Jesus cleanses from the inside out. He does not seek to clean up the outside of our cups (our actions) first. Our actions are a result of the state of our hearts and minds. God begins with the mind which goes to the heart which will flows to the hands. Our minds and hearts will direct our hands. As a man thinks, so He goes. That is why Paul writes in Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV): “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
We are all born broken – every.last.one.of.us. That is why we all so desperately need a Savior and praise God we have One in Jesus. As sinners we cannot stand before a holy God as our unrighteousness precludes it. Jesus came and lived a perfect life and became the “Lamb without blemish” to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV): God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. When God looks down upon a believer in Jesus, He sees the righteousness of Christ – amazing. Not only that, He empowers every believer in Christ with the Holy Spirit equipping us to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. We cannot do this in our own strength, which is in reality no strength at all as flesh will always fail us. We may be able to muster it up for a while, but it is fleeting, nonetheless. God wants us to walk as Jesus walked through His power and for His glory. His desire is for us to shine like the stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life. Quick repentance is key here. We are all in process. None of us is home yet. When we are convicted of sin in our hearts we are to run to the foot of the cross for forgiveness and restoration. He will never turn away a repentant heart – even from the vilest of offenders. Repentance actually means a turning back from the point of departure. And when we do, His grace is sufficient to cover all our sins.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)