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Summary: dealing with hypocrisy

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“Hypocrites in the Church”

Matthew 23

2/8.98

Intro: Have you ever noticed how some people always have an excuse for not coming to church? I found a solution for this: No Cop-Out Sunday. Read Article.

Probably the number one reason people give for not coming to church is “There are too many hypocrites there.” Probably the best comeback to that is, “that’s fine, there’s always room for one more.”

What is a “hypocrite”? The Greek term denoted a “pretender” or a “stage player, an actor”. someone who was just “playing a staged role.” The dictionary refers to a fake, imposter, charlatan.

What do you think of when I say “hypocrite?” Ask for answers!

What are hypocrites like? Describe them!

Why do we not like hypocrites?

This morning we will see that Jesus deals frequently with the hypocrites. Let’s look at Matthew 23.

Read Text - 23:1-12

Hypocrites are normally found among the religious, for the unchurched feel no need to pretend.

I. Hypocrites should never keep us from doing right. 1-4

*Obey leaders for their position if not for their lifestyle. You don’t ignore your boss at work because you don’t like the way he treats his wife. Respect his position. There may be hypocritical church leaders. That’s what Jesus found the most.

*True teaching can come from hypocritical leaders. Often one whose lifestyle is corrupt knows and teaches the truth.

*We come to church even though there may be hypocrites here.

II. Signs of Hypocrisy

A. Double Standards - 3-4

They speak one thing and live another. We tend to demand more from others.

Miss S. - if ahead, they can wait on us -- if behind, they should hurry up, we can’t wait on them

**you’re overweight - I’m just storing up for the winter.

***I know premarital sex and adultery are wrong, so excuse me, my soad opera is on right now!

17 and under stand: these are watching you adults!!!

B. Seek Recognition - 5-12

In their clothes - want to be noticed

In seating arrangements - need to feel important

In titles given - want to be called “Doctor” or “Reverend” - Most Reverend, on can be one

**humility is sign of greatness**

C. Self Centered - 13-15

They have to have their own way. Really have problems when you have two or more who have to have their own way.

*They criticize those who do things differently

Miss S. - “I sure hope they get to heaven, but . . .

D. Unreliable Promises - 16-22

They look for ways not to keep their word. They look for loopholes.

They try to justify wrongdoing. God says it is better not to take an oath than to make an oath and not fulfill it.

E. Partial Obedience - 23-24

They fail to fulfill the obligations of obedience. They appease their conscience in one area.

Giving vs. Right heart.

**You can’t be right with God just by putting a large check into the offering.

F. Outward Reformation - 25-28

Nice clothes never take away sinful hearts.

White tombs - filled with decay

##Illus: pitcher of mud and grime/ toilet water - but pour into a goblet.

G. Hate Truth (& truth-tellers) - 29-36

Profess they like old-fashioned preachers, but ignore their message.


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