Summary: THIS SERMON DISCRIBES HYPOCROSIY IN THE CHURCH
Will the real hypocrites please stand up ?
WHITEWASHED ON THE OUT SIDE, DIRTY ON THE INSIDE
PRETENDERS IN THE PEWS
This message this morning is not only for the body of Christ but to us as individuals so that we may evaluate were we stand in this Christian walk.
There are so many people committing hypocrisy and don’t realize it and may realize it and refuse to acknowledge it.
The text this morning deals with a group of people who think that they are in the right but actually in the wrong an therefore causing others to stumble, causing those who would come to Christ to otherwise turn away.
Pharisees and Sadducees appeared righteous outwardly and inwardly their motives were evil. They did more to drive people away from God than lead them to Him.
They were experts at appearing good from the outside, when they were actually unfaithful on the inside. When they fasted, they would pretend to act like they didn’t want anyone to know, but they would disfigure their face or find some round about way for others to find out so
before we go too much further, we need to know who the scribes and Pharisees are. We need to know who it is that Jesus is giving such a hard time to. Well, the Pharisees were a relatively small group, possibly no more than 6,000 of them. Scribes, whose job was writing in a world where most people didn’t read or write, were very often Pharisees, so they tended to get lumped together by Jesus. Pharisees were the religious people who studied the scriptures and taught the faith
We need to go back to in history to understaND something of the background of the Pharisees and the scribes. You may recall that after the Babylonian exile when the Israelites returned to their land there was a very strong feeling that their exile had been as a result of their failure to keep God’s laws. And as a result there was a new emphasis on understanding and studying the Scriptures, and the scribes and later the Pharisees were right at the heart of that. So, they were grounded in a heritage of commitment to scripture and the law of the Lord.
About 150 years BC, there was an attempt to force Greek education on the Jews, and in this period, the Pharisees became staunch defenders of the Jewish religion and traditions. In this cause, they developed a national system of education so that, in theory at least, all Jewish boys were taught the Torah. This development was of great importance, and it was their desire and intention that everyone in Israel achieves holiness through the study of the Torah. So, we see that the Pharisees were committed to teaching and education, and the Pharisees consequently found their main function in teaching and preaching.
The purpose of their teaching was for people to achieve holiness, and to that end, they believed that the application of Gods laws to one’s life was crucial. They were committed to holiness of living. The Pharisees sought to integrate the priestly standards of purity into their private lives.
So, we see that the Pharisees were commended by Jesus for their righteousness. We see that the Pharisees were devoted to the law of the Lord. We see that the Pharisees were committed to teaching and preaching, and involved in ensuring education for all. We see that the Pharisees were committed to purity of living.
In addition, we, like Jesus, would have to commend them. For there is nothing here with which could disagree in any way. These are values to which we assent in this church today.
BUT… The Pharisees had become distracted from the law of the Lord to the details of the law. They had become diverted from service to status, and they had degenerated from holiness of living to an unholy mess of pretence. The Pharisee tendency had set in.
Hypocrites play the game for worldly gain: recognition and self-glorification, but deep down inside they are miserable. Hypocrisy is among the top ten reasons people don’t come to church.
Let us now define hypocrisy:
1. One who pretends to have virtues, feelings, and qualities that he/she does not possess
There are a lot of pretenders in the church today
2. Hypocrisy is the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that we don’t really have: falseness…” People who profess to have a higher standard of living, but don’t live by it; who pretend to care about others when they really don’t, and who put on a show of righteousness to keep up apropos for others are hypocrites: Fakers.
a. They are the first ones at the door come time for prayer and bible study. But don’t know how to speak to people in a godly manner in the church or outside of the church.