The Paradise of God – Deric Bartlett

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Sermon Notes

This week, Pastor Deric continues the series “The Gospel of Mark: Servanthood and Sacrifice in a Selfie World” with a message titled ‘The Paradise of God’ based on Mark 7:1-23.
  1. Elevate tradition over __________: v. 1-5 
  2. Value appearance over ___________: v. 6-7 
  3. Observe legalism over _____________: v. 8-13
  4. Choose compliance over ______________: v. 14 & 18 
  5. Trust law over ________________: v. 15-23

ICEBREAKER: How handy are you when it comes to fixing things?

1. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day would have felt right at home during our pandemic with their emphasis on washing [Mark 7:1-4].  Why did their cleansing activities upset Jesus [cf. Matthew 23:25; Acts 10:28; and Colossians 2:8]?

2. The religious leaders were good at judging others but not so good at judging themselves [Mark 7:5]. Why is judging others so dangerous [cf. Matthew 7:1-5; Romans 2:1-11; and James 4:11-12]?

3. Why is hypocrisy a particularly heinous sin [Mark 7:6-8]? Consult Matthew 23:27-28; Luke 13:10-17; and Galatians 2:11-13 for more insights.

4. Having traditions is not necessarily evil [cf. 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15]. Why was Jesus taking issue with the traditions of the religious leaders [Mark 7:9-13]? Look up Proverbs 28:24; Matthew 23:23-26; and Galatians 1:14 for further clues.

5. Why are outward appearances poor indicators of a person’s spirituality [Mark 7:17-19]? Consider also 1 Samuel 16:6-7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; and Luke 16:15.

6. Jesus cut to the heart of the matter by stating that defilement derives from a person’s heart [Mark 7:20-23]. What can be done to cleanse a defiled heart [cf. Psalm 51:10, 17; Ezekiel 36:26; and Acts 15:9]?

7.What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?

“Hypocrisy can plunge the mind of a man into a dark abyss, when he believes his own self-flattery instead of God’s verdict.” (John Calvin)