Summary: We should have the freedom to be honest before God and others without putting on airs.
Hypocrisy vs. Integrity
March 18, 2012 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We should have the freedom to be honest before God and others without putting on airs.
Focus Passage: Acts 5:1-11
Supplemental Passage: Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, (Isaiah 29:13 NASB)
Introduction: Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. John Wooden, former coach of the UCLA Bruins
Hypocrisy is being holier in public than you are when you are alone.
Integrity is being the as holy in public as you are when you are alone.
I. The Sin
a. The sin was not that they kept some of the money for themselves. Peter made it clear that they didn’t “owe” the church anything.
b. The sin was that they conspired together to deceive the church; to make them look better than they really were.
c. Read list of verses below of Jesus lambasting hypocrites.
II. The Danger
a. We know that we aren’t perfect, but we pretend to be perfect in front of others so that they “won’t think bad about God” or “think bad about the church”
b. Our family, our friends & our co-workers know exactly who we are, sometimes better than we know ourselves. When they see inconsistencies, THAT is the condemnation upon you, then upon the church.
c. When prominent Christians fall, the world sighs a breath of relief because it justifies their own thoughts that “Christianity is no different than any other religion” and it gives them an excuse to disregard God.
III. The Remedy
a. "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4 NASB)
b. "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6 NASB)
c. "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:17-18 NASB)
Invitation: Someone has written, “I met the strangest man and woman the other day. They said they believe the Bible but never read it. They said they think well of the church of which they are a member, but they never attend it. They said a man should be honest with God in money matters, but they never tithe. They said the younger generation needs the Lord, but they never show up for visitation. They said the church needs dedicated Christians, but they were not one. They said the church should do more ministering to people, but they never lift a hand to help. They are critical of how the church is run, but they never participate. They said that prayer will change things, but they never come to prayer meeting. They were a strange man and woman indeed!”
"So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:2 NASB)
"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:5 NASB)
"Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (Matthew 6:16 NASB)
"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:3-5 NASB)
… And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. ..(Matthew 15:6-7 NASB)