Summary: "Out of the Mouth of Christians", is a study on those things that we do that sure do not meet up with the will of and the Word of God and often make incredibly poor impressions on the unsaved.
"Judge not, that you be not judged.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matt 7:1-5 NKJV
This week's message is entitled "Out of the Mouth of Christians", and is a study on those things that we do that sure do not meet up with the will of and the Word of God. First up, the topic of hypocrisy.
The Greek word for hypocrisy (hi-poc'-ri-sy) is the word hupokrisis (hoop-ok'-ree-sis). It is a term from the theater, one who puts on a mask.
Of all of the reasons that I hear from people why they don't belong to a local church is "they're all hypocrites". Well, two things come to mind: the first is what a fellow from a church out our way used to tell them: "Come out and join us then, you will fit right in!". The second is that we should not adopt hypocrisy in our lives--in other words, be genuine. The sin of deceit, fuels this sin. If you are being a hypocrite, you are being deceitful. You are being someone you are not, you are "wearing a mask".
To someone that is not saved, our hypocrisy can well be a stumbling block to them as mentioned above. There is a common misconception among the unsaved that Christians preach a perfect life and should live one, and when we don't we are hypocrites. Aren't you thankful for God's grace through Jesus Christ in this regard!
Let's face facts. We all play the part of the hypocrite from time to time. It is almost criminal how we look for faults in others but do not see them in ourselves, but also take it to the level of putting on an act as if we are oh so pious. Be genuine...be honest...not just with others, but with yourself.
Two Types of Hypocrites
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Matt 23:25-26, KJV
Nelson's Bible Dictionary defines hypocrisy as "Pretending to be what one is not. The New Testament meaning of hypocrisy and hypocrite reflects its use in Greek drama. In the Greek theater, a hypocrite was one who wore a mask and played a part on the stage, imitating the speech, mannerisms, and conduct of the character portrayed."
There are two types of hypocrites in the world from what I can see. The first type are those people that are saved but continually put on an act, acting all prim and proper and never acknowledging any sin on their behalf. We studied that type of hypocrite yesterday.
The second type are those that have no relationship at all with Jesus Christ, but put on a pretty good act. They really do wear the mask. They may attend church every Sunday, every Bible study, every church function. They too look pretty respectable, but it is all just for show.
The Pharisees as a whole would have been people that most of us would have wanted to attend our church. From respectable families, good tithers, fundamental in their doctrine. But they had reduced the Word of God from a living Word to a system of do's and don'ts. A system that rendered God's Word inert by their traditions. And if you were a Jew that did not fit exactly into their mold of legalism, you were looked down upon and often persecuted.
Jesus speaks here about the Pharisees and how they looked good on the outside. They looked all clean and proper outside, but inside were not clean. Their "faith" was a sham. And because of their blindness toward the Word, they did not see Jesus in the light of the Scriptures that they claimed to be so proficient in. They viewed Him as a threat, not as the Messiah that had been prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures.
Sometimes, in our haste to act all prim and proper, we forget that we need to address the root of the problem--unresolved sin in our hearts. Ask God today to reveal those things that you are trying to mask in your heart that are not pleasing to Him.