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Hypocrisy - Text

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"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees". Matt. 16 : 6.

Pastor Dave Cox

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Introduction

Carbon Monoxide poisoning. It is a slow, almost unnoticed death. The gas creeps in unnoticed. It moves slowly, taking over the available oxygen in the air. The victim smells nothing but simply begins to get a little drowsy. Finally they fall asleep never to awaken.

Jesus warns of something similar. Leaven acted a little like CO. it work slowly but finally infested the whole lump. The doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees does the same thing.

Once summed up as hypocrisy. Hypocrisy creeps up. It works slowly upon it's victim until the whole man is lost to it. The Hypocrite most times, is not even aware of what is happening.

We get a helpful insight into what hypocrisy actually, a close up. This is in Matt.23 where Jesus takes the Scribes and Pharisees to task in an attempt to awaken them out of their dreadful situation. What does the hypocrite look like?

Glory Seekers.

Notice 23: 5-7. They want people to think well of them. They want to be thought of as some great spiritual authority. They also want that recognised.

They want to feel important and to be made feel important. They like the 'tags' that go with ministry; Teacher, Father, Pastor, Missionary, Elder; and love to hear them used.

Sadly, such people are more in the spirit of anti-Christ than Christ. Anti-Christ sets himself up in the temple of God as God and opposes what Christ is seeking to do. 23: 8-10.

These, rather than the great ones among us, are the least in the kingdom; if they are even in it at all! 23: 12a.

Obsessed with Externals.

Quite understandable seeing they live for the praise of men. But sadly, their perceived spirituality is a mere shell. What you see on the outside is all you will see because there is nothing else to them.

These are people who will dribble out lengthy prayers then turn and devour the belongings of the poor. They are selfish and have no good thought toward you. 23: 14.

Such people are rebuked by our Lord as they who worship God with their mouths while their hearts are far from Him. It is a show, a pretence, fake. They are a feature of wicked days and condemned by Scripture:

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away". 2 Tim. 3 : 5.

Jesus is brief and blunt and to the point; 23: 25-28. Jesus has no time for such fools and deceivers ad wants them exposed.

Heartless.

They are strangers to Christ and to His way of gentleness; 23: 23. All they know is a rigid, merciless religion of dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

There is nothing about them that is gentle, meek, compassionate as Christ is. No concern for the lost and erring; just a smug, superior "do-better" attitude.

They make poor leaders. Like Pharaoh, they give you no straw but insist on a full tally of holiness bricks of your own making.

Jehu drove his chariot furiously and so these people drive the flock of God without pity. All this cruelty masked in the name of holiness and honour to God's name. Yet it is so unchristian.

Jesus dealt tenderly with sinners, sought to bring back the lost and delighted to show compassion even to the worse. But these hypocrites will read how Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery and condemn Jesus as being weak.

They would join with James and John in calling fire down from heaven upon the unrepentant not knowing what manner of spirit it is that possessed them.

23: 4. Expect no help from such leaders; no grace, no encouragement, no forgiveness. Woe to them and woe to those who are ruled by them. May God bring you out of such an Egypt!

Destroyers of Souls.

Perhaps the most chilling accusation. 23: 13, 15.

What must it be to go to Hell soaked in the blood of others? It would be to go to the lake of fire doused in petrol.

The woes announced here carry an extra chill having been spoken by the Good Shepherd Himself; He who gave His life for the sheep, who tenderly carries the lambs in His breast and feeds them by still waters! What will He do to those who dare harm His little ones?

Hypocrites set themselves up as shepherds over God's people ut will not point the sheep to Christ. Instead they impose a terrible and impossible burden of "do better". They sink you further into guilt and perdition than ever you were before.

They are all for holiness and purging but not by the precious blood of Christ. No, it has to be your own sweat and blood that redeems you. A double curse on them; Gal.1: 8-9.

Jesus offered rest, life, peace, food and drink. No wonder sinner flocked to Him. No wonder these self-righteous hypocrites wanted to bring Him down.

Conclusion.

Death by stealth, this is CO poisoning. Eternal death by stealth comes from the leaven of hypocrisy. 23: 33. How indeed?!

Praise God there is a way to be saved. It is the way the hypocrite least likes but is the only appointed way; GRACE.

2 Tim.1: 13-15 is a testimony from a self-confessed hypocrite. One opposing the work of Christ. See what happened to him?

God made Christ who knew no sin, to be sin for us. Christ was made to be a hypocrite and suffer as a hypocrite in order to save hypocrites.

Be ashamed of your heartlessness, pride, desire for men's applause. Repentance is commanded and promised to be rewarded. Turn by faith back to Christ and His gentleness and find rest for your souls. He will receive; He will wash; He will not deal with you as you deserve, as you do with others. Learn from Him for he is meek and humble and His load is light.

Amen

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Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 18:30  

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