Sermon #37                                                 Series: Matthew


            Title:            THREE RELIGION – MORE INWARD THAN OUTWARD       
            Text:             Matthew 15:10-20

            Subject:        Heart Worship

            Readings:    Office: L. Campbell Aud. Rex Bartley

            Date:           Tuesday Evening – March 21, 1995
            Tape:            R – 14




            In All aspects of worship, faith, and obedience to God, the most important thing is the attitude of our hearts. I do not suggest that outward obedience is insignificant. We must never become negligent in matters of worship and obedience to our God. Public worship, the ordinances of divine service, the reading of Holy Scripture and prayer are matters of great importance and must be maliciously observed in strict accordance with divine Revelation. However, if we observe all things outwardly, but fail to approach God with grace, and faith, and love to Christ, the most careful and strict observance of outward duties is an abomination to God  - (Isa. 66:3; Pro. 15:8; 21:27).


            Having said that, I want you to turn with me to Matthew 15:10-20. I want to address this subject tonight – True Religion – More Inward Than Outward. Let’s read the text together – I want to show you – three things from the Word of God. These are matters of utmost importance.


I.  First, Our Savior Here Teaches Us That False Doctrine Must Be Rooted Up – (vv. 10-14).


            He says, “Every plant that my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone “With those words, the Son of God declares that…



A.  Without question, our text may be applied to individuals, to all who profess faith in Christ and are numbered with his people in this world.


            If our religion is not wholly of God, if our faith is not a God given faith, if our salvation is not a God wrought salvation, it shall be rooted up! It will come to an end. And that end will be everlasting destruction!


            “No matter how fair the flower, if the Father hath not planted it, its doom is sealed: I shall not be pruned, but ‘rooted up.’” (C.H. Spurgeon).


  1. By the trials of providence (Matt. 13:21).
  2. By the temptations of satan (Matt. 13:22).
  3. By the preaching of the truth (John 6:66).


Those who are uprooted by the Word are uprooted indeed!


B.  But, primarily, this text is talking about those who teach and preach another gospel – (The Pharisees – v. 12).


            The disciples were shocked that the Lord had so spoken, so bluntly, to the Pharisees and had offended them. But the Master here shows that he intended to afford them. He shows us that those who teach “for doctrines the commandments of men” are people to whom we are to show no mercy or kindness. It mattered nothing to him that they were planted in high office, if his Father had not planted them. It mattered nothing to him how highly they were esteemed in their own eyes or in the eyes of men.


1.       Those who are the enemies of the cross are the enemies of men’s souls – (Phil. 3:18-19).

2.       Those who are the enemies of our God must be accounted by us as our enemies. God commands us to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us; but we are not to love and pray for his enemies.



a.           God’s servants must expose, denounce, and condemn them and their doctrine.

b.           God’s people must forsake them (Rev. 18:4). II Cor. 6:14-7:1 “Let them alone!”


If you submit yourself and your family to the counsel of the ungodly and the doctrines of antichrist, your blood and the blood of your children, and of all who are influenced by you will be upon your head. It is never right to follow the blind into a ditch!


c.            God will overthrow that doctrine that opposes him, and those who preach it. Babylon must and shall fall – The sooner, the better (Rev. 18:1, 2, 20).


NOTE: Babylon is the religion of this world – Arminian – Freewill – Works Religion!


NOTE:  The weapons of our warfare are spiritual, not carnal. We do not fight with the sword, or even the ballot box – But with the gospel (II Cor. 10:4-5).


II.  Secondly, Our Master Teaches Us That The Source of All Sin and Defilement Is The Heart of Man (vv. 15-20).


            The Pharisees of old, like the religionists of our day, taught that holiness, righteousness, and godliness depended upon abstaining from certain meats and drinks and carefully observing religious ceremonies of washings and purifications. Our Savior overthrows this doctrine by declaring two things.


A.  It is not what you put in your body that defiles you, but what comes out of your mouth.



Material things cannot defile your soul by using them. And material ceremonies cannot cleanse your soul by enduring them. Carnal things can neither corrupt nor cleanse the soul!


If we would worship and serve God, we must have something more than a separated life and a form of godliness. We must have a heart that is clean and upright before God, a clean heart and a right spirit!


B.  All sin and defilement originates in and springs from the heart.



God looks on the heart; but we prefer outward things –



III.  Thirdly, The Overall Doctrine of This Text, and Indeed of All The Bible Is This – True Religion Is More Inward Than Outward.


            The state of our hearts before God is the main thing. Do not be content with church attendance, religious duties, and outward behavior. Make certain that your heart is right in the sight of God.



A.  What is a heart that is right in the sight of God?


  1. A Broken Heart (Ps. 51:17).
  2. A Believing Heart (Rom. 10:9-10).


B.   How can I get such a heart? – By looking to Christ – (Zech. 12:10).




            Let us never forget that our greatest enemy is our own heart. The world and the devil combined are not so dangerous as our hearts. So let us keep our hearts with all diligence!


  1. The only way to keep your heart is to keep it full of Christ – (Phil. 4:1-8).
  2. May God graciously keep us so that we may keep our hearts for him.
  3. Remember this – “He that trustest in his heart is a fool” (Pro. 28:26).