What Defileth?

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Jul 8, 2018
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Matthew 15:11)

There are many applications of this principle. No external ceremonies really touch the soul. Indeed, nothing in this world has any power to defile a heart while it remains outside and is not allowed to enter. A man may be a coal-miner, always black and grimy, and always working in dirt, and yet he may have a soul white and unspotted. This is true of living amid temptations. So long as we keep them outside, they have no power to injure us.

Luther says somewhere that we cannot prevent the birds flying about our heads, but we can prevent them building their nest in our hair. We cannot prevent a great many evil things buzzing around us continually, but we can keep them from entering our hearts and nesting there. And so long as we do this, the worst thing in the world cannot lay a spot upon our souls.

The Saviour says further, that it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles. So, then, there may even be evil in the heart which does not defile unless it is allowed to shape itself in thoughts, words, or deeds. The suggestion of wrong-doing is not a sin until the suggestion is accepted and entertained.Temptation to sin is not itself sin. Jesus was tempted. Suggestions of evil were made to Him by Satan; yet He never sinned, because these suggestions never found any expressions in word or act, or even in thought. So, temptations come to us from without.These things we cannot help; we are not responsible for them; there is no sin in merely having these suggestions. But the sin begins the moment we open the door to one of these sinful solicitations. That which ''cometh out'' defileth.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ( 1 Corinthians 10:13)
Sep 4, 2012
Let no one being tested say, "I am tested from God," for God is beyond testing by evils and he himself tests no one. But each is tested by his own longing, being drawn away and entrapped. So then the longing having conceived gives birth to sin, and sin being completely formed brings forth death. Do not be misled, my beloved brethren. James 1:13-16

Now to whomever you forgive anything, I also do; for indeed, whatever I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, it is for your sake in the presence of Christ, in order that we may not be exploited by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his thoughts. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former longings in your ignorance: 1 Peter 1:13-14