Tom McCormick

The Unclean Heart

The Gospel of Mark
Jul 16, 2023
Mark 7:14-23

In this message, Pastor Tom teaches from Mark 7:14-23. My heart is defiled from the inside out; NOTHING on the outside can defile me more than I already am. That is what we explore in this sermon.

Sermon Notes


Mark 7:14-23 // The Unclean Heart

Mark 7:14-23 “And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus, he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”


My heart is defiled from the inside out; NOTHING on the outside can defile me more than I already am.


Truth: God always wants us to understand what His truth is no matter how challenging it is to our former teaching or culture.


Truth: The origin of our depravity and defilement comes out of our heart.  

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” -Mark 7:16  

Almost 24,000 separate manuscripts of the NT.

99.99% the same.

27 originals autographs.

1500 manuscripts of the book of Mark alone.

More than 900 versions of the Bible translated into the English language.

There were no copy machines in the 1st century.


"And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”-Matthew 15:10-14


Sexual immorality: Any sexual sin outside marriage.

Stealing what isn’t yours.

To personally slaughter/slay someone.

To have relationship while married with someone who’s not your spouse or while unmarried with someone who is married.

Desiring to have more than one’s due, greediness.

Having no moral or social values.

To take advantage through craft and underhanded methods.

Lack of self-constraint; insatiable desire for pleasure.

Love for possessions with the meaning of malice with stinginess.

Speech that denigrates or defames, reviling, disrespect.

An undue sense of one’s importance bordering on insolence (rude or disrespectful behavior), arrogance.

A lack of prudence (plan for the future), good judgment.  


“The heart is deceitful about all things, and desperately wicked: Who can know it?” -Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)   

The defilement Jesus speaks of here is spiritual and not physical.


God’s expectations of us and man’s expectation of us are almost always diametrically opposed to one another. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

In our fallenness, we find it easier to make a rule we can follow rather that to follow the commandments of God. Sincerity is not obedience.

God gave us pastors to oversee and shepherd our souls.

No one’s heart is originally clean.

Since we cannot and did not defile ourselves, we also likewise cannot make ourselves clean.

We need to know the truth about defilement to be saved.

For everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved.” -Romans 10:13

Being defiled from conception does not justify why we should not seek to live a practically holy life.      

SERMON IN A SENTENCE: My heart is defiled from the inside out; NOTHING on the outside can defile me more than I already am.

What is already in you is what has defiled you.

“There is no one righteous, not even one.” -Romans 3:10

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” -Romans 6:23

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” -Romans 10:9

“For everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved.” -Romans 10:13  

My heart alone is what defiles me.

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