For Wednesday, October 8, 2014
“The Profile of the Hypocrite”
Today is October 8, 2014, and you’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. Here is today’s Scripture:
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good (Rom. 12:9).
In her book The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans points out that, in each case of verbal abuse about which she has known, the abusive husband has only been verbally abusive when the husband and the wife were in private. He never acted that way in public.
This is called hypocrisy, and the Bible is extremely clear about its evils. In the original language, the word referred to an actor, one who perhaps would hold up a mask, pretending to be one person when, in actuality, he was another person.
Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrisy that I think is worthy for all of us to consider. Taking Jesus’ teachings from the book of Matthew, let’s look together at this seven-point profile of a hypocrite.
First, a hypocrite does what he does to be seen of men. During His sermon on the mount, Jesus described those who gave charitable gifts, prayed, and fasted all for the purpose of being seen by other people (Mat. 6). They didn’t care about doing it to God’s glory. In fact, they wanted all of the glory for themselves. Jesus said that they would not receive an eternal reward because they were already receiving their reward in their earthly life.
Second, the hypocrite holds other people to a standard that he does not follow. In Matthew 7:5, when Jesus is teaching about the proper kind of judgment, He mentions that we must first be willing to “remove the plank from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Paul mentions a similar situation in Romans 2:3.
Third, he professes one thing, but does another. Not only does the hypocrite tell people what to do when he doesn’t do it, he acts as though he is doing right, but he actually isn’t. He’s doing nothing more than playing church. Remember: he’s an actor! Jesus spoke of people who honored God with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him (Mat. 15:7). Further, the Lord spoke of those who would wash the outside of the cup and dish, but they would neglect the inside (Mat. 23:25, 27). In other words, they were fake. Their hearts weren’t right! This is hypocrisy.
Fourth, he turns a blind eye to the truth. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and the Sadducees who had a requested to see a sign from heaven. They sought to test the Lord rather than to believe in Him. Jesus said that they were not willing to see the very evidence in front of them (Mat. 16:3). Many people are playing religion, but they don’t really care to be changed by the power of the gospel. They see the truth, but are unwilling to apply it to their own lives.
Fifth, the hypocrite compromises other people’s salvation. In Matthew twenty three, the Lord said that the scribes and Pharisees had not only affected their own souls in their hypocrisy, but that they had also hindered others from seeing the truth. He said, “You travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Mat. 23:15).
Sixth, he strains at gnats and swallows camels. He takes God’s law and blows it way out of proportion. The hypocrite turns religion into some type of “checklist religion,” as though salvation is merited on works rather than by God’s grace coupled with our acts of obedience. As a result, Jesus said that they were “straining and gnats and swallowing camels” (Mat. 23:24).
Seventh, according to Jesus, hypocrites have a place in hell. This sounds harsh, doesn’t it? In Matthew twenty four, Jesus told of an evil servant who mistreated his fellow servants. When the master came back and saw what the evil servant had done, he “cut him in two and appointed him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Let’s wrap it up: There will be no hypocrites in heaven. Now I want you understand something. There’s a difference between a hypocrite and an imperfect human being. We all sin (Rom. 3:23) – even those of us who profess to be Christians. But we can be forgiven. We don’t have to pretend to be something that we’re not. We can be cleansed by Jesus’ blood as we continue to walk in the light (1 John 1:7).
James reminds us that “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
Memory Verse: It is only when we trust God and obey Him to the best of our ability that we have true and full assurance of God’s peace in our lives. This week’s verse clearly tells us that. Here’s Romans 8:28:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. New episodes of this broadcast are released each weekday, Monday through Friday, from The Light Network. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts are available there, too, at thelightnetwork.tv.
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This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!