SPF 131: Christian Hypocrisy (Deceit & An Opportunity for the Gospel)

Can Christians be deceived by their own hypocrisy? Today I’m going to share a few surprisingly common ways we all fall into hypocrisy as Christians and what we can do to avoid that deception.

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Hypocrisy

Definition:

Mirriam Webster definition: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

In Greek a hypocrite is an actor under an assumed character, and a dissembler (someone who hides under a false appearance and pretender.

Affects of Hypocrisy:

Because hypocrisy is damaging to our testimony of our Savior who is the only way to the Father.

It also is damaging to our own faith - we are going from relying on something that is true to relying on something that is false and it starts to crumble.

Wisdom from Scripture on Hypocrisy:

Romans 1:28-32, 2:1-5

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

Job 8

“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish where there is no water? While yet in flower and not cut down, they wither before any other plant. Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish. His confidence is severed, and his trust is a spider’s web.” Job 8:11-14

Papyrus:

  • Papyrus is a type of plant that grows in marsh lands. It needs water. At the slightest drought it withers and wind easily shakes it around. There is no substance or stability in it.

  • We see papyrus thrives in good conditions, but it is only maintained in times of prosperity. The hypocrites profession is maintained only in times of prosperity.

Oak:

  • Deep roots by stream

  • Leaves are always green and do not wither even in drought

  • Always bears fruit

Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening Devotion:

"Can the rush grow up without mire?"

Job 8:11

The rush is spongy and hollow, and even so is a hypocrite; there is no substance or stability in him. It is shaken to and fro in every wind just as formalists yield to every influence; for this reason the rush is not broken by the tempest, neither are hypocrites troubled with persecution. I would not willingly be a deceiver or be deceived; perhaps the text for this day may help me to try myself whether I be a hypocrite or no. The rush by nature lives in water, and owes its very existence to the mire and moisture wherein it has taken root; let the mire become dry, and the rush withers very quickly. Its greenness is absolutely dependent upon circumstances, a present abundance of water makes it flourish, and a drought destroys it at once. Is this my case? Do I only serve God when I am in good company, or when religion is profitable and respectable? Do I love the Lord only when temporal comforts are received from his hands? If so I am a base hypocrite, and like the withering rush, I shall perish when death deprives me of outward joys. But can I honestly assert that when bodily comforts have been few, and my surroundings have been rather adverse to grace than at all helpful to it, I have still held fast my integrity? Then have I hope that there is genuine vital godliness in me. The rush cannot grow without mire, but plants of the Lord's right hand planting can and do flourish even in the year of drought. A godly man often grows best when his worldly circumstances decay. He who follows Christ for his bag is a Judas; they who follow for loaves and fishes are children of the devil; but they who attend him out of love to himself are his own beloved ones. Lord, let me find my life in thee, and not in the mire of this world's favour or gain.

Defeating Deceit

For the Christian it’s an opportunity for us to examine our own lives.

What am I condemning publicly that I am also committing privately (i.e. gossip fretting)?

Where am I not thinking and acting like a Christian?

What parts of my life am not submitting to Christ where I should be?

Where do my beliefs not aligned with the word of Christ God‘s thoughts on everything should be my thoughts on anything?

Repent when what you say you believe is not in line with how you are actually living and go and make things right if you have wronged anyone with your sinful choices.

Resources

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