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Verses 18-20. Christ proceeds to state what does defile the man, or render him a sinner:

(1.) Evil thoughts. These are the first things. These are the fountains of all others. Thought precedes action. Thought, or purpose, or motive, gives its character to conduct. All evil thoughts are here intended. Though we labour to suppress them, yet they defile us. They leave pollution behind them.

(2.) Murders. Taking the life of others with malice. The malice has its seat in the heart, and the murder therefore proceeds from the heart, 1 Jo 3:15.

(3.) Adulteries, fornications. See Mt 5:28.

(4.) Thefts. Theft is the taking and carrying away the goods of others without their knowledge or consent. They are produced by coveting the property of others. They proceed, therefore, from the heart, and violate at the same time two commandments—the tenth in thought, and the eighth in act.

(5.) False witness. Giving wrong testimony. Concealing the truth, or stating what we know to be false, contrary to the ninth commandment. It proceeds from a desire to injure others, to take away their character or property, or to do them injustice. It proceeds thus from the heart.

(6.) Blasphemies. See Barnes "Mt 9:3".

Blasphemy proceeds from opposition to God, hatred of his character, Ro 8:7 and from a desire that there should be no God. It proceeds from the heart. See Ps 14:1. Mark adds,

(7.) Covetousness, always proceeding from the heart—the unlawful desire of what others possess.

(8.) Wickedness. The original here means malice, or a desire of injuring others, Ro 1:29.

(9.) Deceit; i.e. fraud, concealment, cheating, in trade. This proceeds from a desire to benefit ourselves by doing injustice to others, and thus proceeds from the heart.

(10.) Lasciviousness. Lust, obscenity, unbridled passion—a strong, evil desire of the heart.

(11.) An evil eye. That is, an eye sour, malignant, proud, devising or purposing evil. See Mt 5:28; 20:15; 2 Pe 2:14, "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin."

(12.) Pride. An improper estimate of our own importance—thinking that we are of much more consequence than we really are—always the work of an evil heart.

(13.) Foolishness. Not want of intellect. Man is not to blame for that. But moral folly, consisting in choosing bad ends, and bad means of gaining them; or, in other words, sin and wickedness. All sin is folly. It is foolish for a man to disobey God; and foolish for any one to go to hell.

These are the things which defile a man. What an array of crimes to proceed from the heart of man! What a proof of guilt! What strictness is there in the law of God! How universal is depravity!

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