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Jesus Called Them Hypocrites!
The Church is Full of Hypocrites?
We see in many, many passages of the Bible where Jesus Himself rebukes those He calls “HYPOCRITES!”
People, whether IN the church or OUTSIDE of the church, claim the church is FILLED with HYPOCRITES! Where they err is that they are of the belief system that Christians don’t sin. Many cults today are focused on salvation by works to an extreme! Not only are there HYPOCRITES in the Christian church, it is indeed a HUGE practice of those who make these accusations against God's children! 1 John 1:10 states, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." Even the Apostle Paul struggled with sin in his flesh (carnality) as shown in Romans 7:15-8:2. 1 John 1:9 states to Christians, that "If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." So, Christians DO sin ~ because we are flesh! There’s got to be more to the truth, then? Yes. Read on.
If we were to accept this mistaken belief system Abraham, David, Peter, Thomas and Paul were ALL HYPOCRITES! Abraham, of whose generations are promised the Kingdom of God, lied about the identity of his wife in Genesis 12:10-20 and chapter 20:1-18! David, the very lineage of Christ, caused the husband's death of the woman he committed adultery with! Peter was rebuked by Jesus as though he were Satan and denied Christ three times the night of His arrest; Thomas doubted Jesus; and the Apostle Paul killed Christians before he got saved, and was even present when Jesus’ disciple Stephen was stoned to death!
Definition of Hypocrite
So, the belief system shown above CAN’T BE RIGHT. In order to understand what a HYPOCRITE is, let’s first look at the definitions used in the Bible. The Old Testament word for “hypocrite” is #2611 chaneph (khaw-nafe’); from 2610 (to soil, espec. in a moral sense); soiled (i.e. with sin), impious:-hypocrite (-cal).
The New Testament word for “hypocrite” is 5273 hupokrites (hoop-ok-ree-tace’); from 5271 (to decide [speak or act] under a false part, i.e. (fig.) dissemble [pretend]:-feign); an actor under an assumed character (stage-player), i.e. (fig.) a dissembler.
Biblical Examples of Hypocrites
Now that we’ve looked at the literal definition of the word, now let’s look at scriptural EXAMPLES of “HYPOCRITES”, starting with the Old Testament. Job spoke to a group of Jewish physicians that accused him (Job 13:4), using the Word of God! They were referred to as “HYPOCRITES (godless)” in verse 13. Furthermore, the entire book of Job is a record of the scriptural refuting between these HYPOCRITES and Job, a true man of God. Proverbs 11:9 states, “With his mouth, the HYPOCRITE destroys his neighbor, but with knowledge the righteous shall be delivered” (as was the case with Job).
Who did Jesus Himself call “HYPOCRITES” in the New Testament? First, we see that hypocrite can be one who pretends or is an actor. 2 Timothy 3:5 states "they have the form of godliness, but deny the power thereof." Look at Matthew 6:5: "And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."
Indeed, HYPOCRITES are those who attempt to destroy others, even using the Word of God! (Matthew 7:5; Luke 6:42). Likewise, HYPOCRITES criticize others in order to exalt themselves. Do you see that the word HYPOCRITICAL contains HYPO and CRITICAL? Hypo is used in words such as hypoglycemic, hypodermic needle, hypothyroidism (meaning UNDER). So to be hypocritical means to cut someone down!
Conclusion of Truth
NOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT A HYPOCRITE DOES, we are exhorted not to call a brother in Christ such, because his/her body of sin wrestles against the Spirit. This is the truth: those in Christ are "blameless/sinless" in the eyes of God, but while sin is still evident in our flesh, we are convicted of our sin and must repent of it, and thus have the forgiveness already given us through the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Those who accuse believers of not truly being saved because they went over the speed limit, or whatever the case, are practicing HYPOCRICY! Don't try to dissemble the saved in Christ. And furthermore, don't doubt your salvation if you haven't been able to master sin in your flesh. The Lord will empower us to overcome and to "die daily" to the flesh. Remember this: the love of Christ EDIFIES. AMEN.