Mark 7.14-23


  • Pharisees challenged Jesus about eating without ritual hand-washing
  • Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for twisting Scripture. They were wearing the lenses of tradition not God's Word.


  • We're all guilty of things in vv.21-22
  • The heart was the centre of one's being, not just emotions.
  • We can't shift the blame for our actions, we have to own them.

Sexual Immorality

  • Mentioned first on the list.
  • Also adultery, self-indulgence (debauchery)
  • Cultural view is that all sex is okay if consensual
  • Jesus view grounded in Torah
    • Lev 22.16-17 sex with an unmarried woman meant the couple must get married
    • Adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, incest punishable by death (Lev 20.10, 13, 16)
    • i.e. sex is reserved for heterosexual marriage (monogamous in light of Jesus other teaching)
  • Gen 2.24 onward, sex is a sacred gift from God

Biblical View of Sexuality

How do we form a biblical view.

  1. The Bible consistently condemns extra-marital sex.
  2. Our culture makes sex primary but the Bible elevates singleness and celibacy
  3. The gospel has power to overcome sin and temptation
  4. Temptation is not sin. Same sex attraction is not sinful.
  5. We are all sexually broken and need grace, compassion, love, understanding

Other Sins

  • Thefts, murders, adulteries, greed and 'evil actions' all ion the plural. Invites us to reflect on them beyond obvious sins 
  • e.g. consumerism
  • Deceit, self-indulgence (debauchery), envy, slander, pride, foolishness all speak to the state of the heart
  • None of us untouched by sin


Three common responses:

  • Diminish sin but sin kills! It's serious
  • Judge sinners harshly (e.g. 'cancel culture') but this makes us hypocrites
  • Change the rules but this makes God's Word subject to us, not vice versa

We need to remember:

  • God is holy and his word eternal
  • Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth (1Cor 13)
  • Jesus fulfilled the Law

The Gospel!

  • The gospel confronts sin without compromise
  • Repent and believe!
  • Jesus delivers, heals, forgives, dies to reconcile us to God
  • We have power through the gospel

2Pet. 1.3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

"God is the film-maker creating a masterpiece of grace."

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions


  • Re-read the passage in a couple of different translations
  • Retell the passage in your own words 
  • Is there anything you don’t understand?


  • Sin is a difficult topic and Christian values are often out of step with the world...
  • How can we respond to sin with both truth and grace?
  • Christians sometimes say we are to 'love the sinner but hate the sin.' Is this a legitimate saying? How can we do it?
  • What can/should we do if we or someone we know sins?


  • What is God saying to you?
  • What are you going to do as a result?
  • Who are you going to tell?