Wash Hands – Eat Bread

church traditions

Wash hands- eat bread

Mark 7:1-13

1. Don’t turn your conviction into someone’s law
The problem that was going on was that the Pharisees saw the disciples eating without washing their hands. So what did they do? They found fault! v2 YOU CANT DO THIS- WE WASH HANDS
There are many traditions associated with Jewish hand washing. It must be clean water. It must not be used before. It must be poured from a vessel onto the hands (Elisha washing Elijahs hands).
The problem that the Pharisees had was that the disciples were not holding to a tradition that they thought was important- it meant something to them- Wanted to honor God
Interestingly enough- the modern Contemporary practice is now known by the Yiddish term negel vasser, meaning nail water. (Wikipedia) POUR 3 TIMES TO CLEANSE “Nail Water”
But here’s the catch- they were upset that the disciples weren’t doing as they did- WASH MAN
They had a traditional conviction that they wanted to put on these men who didn’t hold their convictions. They were looking for reasons to declare that these guys weren’t of God
Deuteronomy 5:32-33 READ that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.View image on Twitter

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These guys wanted to honor God- they wanted to do the right thing- the problem was they didn’t understand what Jesus was doing. They saw it as rebellion towards God and HIS ways
But what we will see in a moment is that it wasn’t that way at all- There is no Biblical demand for washing hands before eating except for priests- it had become a TRADITION
What does it mean to you?
People always attack based on their convictions and traditions however misguided they may be
Christianity is rife with traditions that are not biblical- Cut your hair, don’t cut your hair, don’t eat meat on Fridays, Do the sign of the cross, Worship before preaching, Pray before meals, musical instruments- yes or no. There are many Christians today that are modern day Pharisees- They want to put religion on people- Later on I’m going to ask those here to give their lives to Jesus- not religion
People want to put their convictions on other people- it reinforces us and denigrates them- we love it
Romans 14 is a great chapter to read for homework- describes what we should do for disputable matters
Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
There are many traditions that we do in Christianity that may not be biblical but they aren’t damaging
We don’t want to be like the Pharisees- We don’t want to put our convictions and traditions on someone else and say they are biblical when they are not- which is not to say we can’t have traditions
Romans 14: 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
Let the Holy Spirit do its work- God’s conviction is much stronger than yours.
Are there things we shouldn’t be doing? Of course there is! But we’re talking about traditions
I like to stand during worship. It’s a commitment that I made back in college- Honestly its because of Kevin- I saw him and thought- I’m never sitting down to worship again. I never though he’d be at my church- But its not a Biblical requirement to worship that way- Its just my conviction-
Here’s where it gets into a problems-

2. Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men v7
It becomes a problem when we put our convictions on others and say that it was God’s commands-
6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
The Pharisees hearts were in the right place- they wanted to be holy towards God- the problem comes when they try to pass it off as saying- this is a biblical requirement of God that you must do
Nah- they should have just said that this is something we do to honor God- not a requirement
Like our Daniel Fast we do every year- its not a requirement- A daniel Fast is something that someone made up- But I think it’s a good spiritual exercise- nothing wrong- Its when we say God command it
There are things we can do that are not biblical that are not anti biblical that are OK
There are things that are unbibical that are not OK that we wouldn’t do
1 Samuel 12:21 And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.
The danger is trying to turn a tradition into a commandment and then put it on someone else as BIBLE
And those things do no profit or deliver because they aren’t of God.
What does it mean to you?
Don’t try to twist your convictions into a command of God and require other people to do them
Know what your bible says- don’t try to pass on your convictions as something that God requires when he doesn’t- Those of you who are coming to Jesus the first time- God will speak- Read your Bible
It’s a slippery slope- We don’t want to encourage people to do things that lead to death- but we must be honest about what the scripture says and what it doesn’t say
This is exactly what was going on in Colossians 2

READ Col 2:4-23
Don’t lose the freedom that Christ has brought into your life and end up in bondage because of someone- Which isn’t to say we can’t be corrected or rebuked-
Again- there are things that Christians shouldn’t be doing, but lets have a scriptural discussion about it
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
Here’s the problem- washing cups doesn’t save you! Wash all you want- YOU NEED A HEART CHANGE
No different than coming to church and not drinking from the well- COME TO JESUS-
Church can become traditional- we just do it- but you need to REFLECT on what you are doing
When Crystal and I were dating- spend an hour getting ready- now 10 mins. Comfortable
We used to send people long letters- deployed to Bosnia- love letters- Now a text- where u at?
Worship God like he’s going to be there! Prepare your heart! WORSHIP YOU- Word? HEAR FROM YOU!

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3. Rejecting the commands of God to keep tradition
9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
There’s nothing wrong with traditions- the Bible teaches us to hold to tradition but we must be careful-
1 cor 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Paul said- 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
There are traditions of Men and Traditions of God.
It is our Tradition to worship on Sunday- I’m not against Saturday worship for others- I just don’t like it- I don’t want to have a Saturday Service. Is that being religious? No- I’m not putting that on other people- its just not my conviction. I like Sunday Mornings.
1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.
Paul admonished the churches to keep some traditions

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What does it mean to you?
Traditions in and of themselves are not bad, but not all of them are of God- they are merely traditions-
There are commands of God that we must keep- We must worship him, we must love him, we must love others. We must care for the members of the church
When does that get messed up? When we get wrapped up in the details of the ministry instead of the ministry- It doesn’t matter how many songs we sing- it matters if we worship, it doesn’t matter what chairs we sit in, what the lights look like, what instruments we use, what the colors are, who gets what parking spot, how we structure a service, who leads what, how we’ve done stuff in the past- what matters is the commands of God! (Things will constantly change here- this is what messes up churches- people wanting to vote on colors instead of worshipping God)
People leaving church because one way or the other, for whatever reason
Story of Guy who didn’t like many of the details of our church- but loved the people and God
Because here’s what matters- Is God being praised? Are we hearing from his word? Are people being saved? Are lives being changed? Keeping traditions don’t do that- keeping God’s word does! Because here’s what happens

4. Making the word of God of none affect v13
Jesus said in v 13 that these Pharisees were making the word of God of none effect. What they were requiring of others was actually doing the opposite of what they were trying to do-
They were making the word of God ineffectual. They wanted holiness but they got conformity to rules
Conformity to rules never pleases God- heart change does
What does it mean to you?
Don’t make the word of God of none effect by being a person who turns into a white washed tomb
Don’t merely go through the traditions and expect that you’re pleasing God
You want to get your heart and your mind involved. You want to truly believe what you’re saying
But don’t follow the rules of God and think that it pleases God- follow the rules of GOD make the word of God WORK in your life! Let it have effect
It WILL change your life if you let it!

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