I want to share an old illustration that is well known. What makes the story special to me is that I heard it from Dr. Dennis Kinlaw when he held a revival at the church where I pastored. He reported the story as he saw it happen.
The story took place on the campus of Asbury college in Kentucky. A chapel speaker brought up a student to the platform. He asked the student to hold an empty glass at arms length. Carefully, the speaker filled the glass with water.
The speaker then took hold of the young man’s arm and began to shake it. Water spilled everywhere and the Chapel roared in laughter. Turning to the student he asked the question, “Why did water spill out of the glass?”
The student, feeling a bit on the spot, replied, “It spilled because you shook my arm.”
The speaker pressed a little further, “Listen to my question again: why did water spill out of the glass?”
Trying to provide a more scientific answer, the young man said, “Because my arm was vibrating?”
“Listen carefully,” the speaker repeated, “Why did water spill out of the glass?”
By now, everyone in the Chapel knew the answer. Water spilled out of the glass because water was in the glass.
Hear and understand this:
What you put into your mouth cannot make you clean or unclean;
it is what comes out of your mouth that can make you unclean
(Matthew 15:10, The Voice).