Why You Should Listen to Christian Hypocrites
Man looks at the external appearance, while God judges the heart (1 Sam 16:7). The unbeliever looks at the Christian, and he quickly concludes the Christian is a hypocrite. Is the unbeliever’s judgment wrong?
When a Christian examines himself, what does he find? He is still a sinner, saying, “O wretched man that I am (Rom 7:24)!” He experiences an internal, civil war. What makes him a Christian is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11). It is the Spirit warring against this man’s sinful flesh that exposes an apparent hypocrisy to the unbeliever (Gal 5:17).
It is the sinful unbeliever who is consistent. His sin nature is compliant with Satan, sin, and the world system (Eph 2:3). His rebellion against God is in alignment with his unbelief. He claims he is using logic, and he has reasoned that there is no god (Ps 14:1; 53:1). Sinners sin…it’s what they do.
When a person is converted to Christ, he is given the gift of the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13; Acts 2:38; 10:45), who gives him the gift of faith (Phil 1:29; Gal 3:22; 5:22–23). By this, the man is now justified before the judgment throne of God (Rom 3:28). He is declared righteous, but that does not mean he is practicing righteousness to the extent he now desires for himself. Sin nature is not removed from the Christian; rather, it is the invasion of grace which begins the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:16; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).
As grace begins to reign in the Christian’s life, he is growing in grace and the knowledge of the truth (2 Pet 3:18). The Christian, who believes the Bible, God’s Word of truth, begins to speak of the Law of truth. The Christian says, “All sexual deviance is sin,” but then she struggles with pornography. The Christian says, “The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” but then he struggles with smoking or obesity. Hypocrisy!
Why does the Christian do the opposite of what he or she says is the right thing to do? It is because the Christian is a work in progress. The Holy Spirit, who began a good work in each born again believer in Jesus, will bring the work of sanctification to perfection on the day of Christ Jesus. Until then, there will be this inconsistency, even apparent hypocrisy.
Sanctification is the purifying work of the Holy Spirit to make the Christian holy. The one instrument used by the Spirit of truth, to produce holiness in the saint, is the Word of truth, the Holy Bible (Jn 17:17). Learning the truth and doing truth take time to align with one another.
God disciplines His children, in love (Heb 12:4–17). This means He is purposefully working in each Christian’s soul to bring her into conformity to the image of Christ Jesus (Rom 8:29), who is the icon of God (2 Cor 4:4). God sets the regimen and the timetable for doers of the Word.
It is wise for Christians to be open and forthright about their inconsistency and projection of hypocrisy. It is an important element to one’s Christian testimony.
Failing to be transparent about our obvious moral and ethical failings, leaves our observers with a sour taste for the good things of God. The essential remedy is the Gospel message itself. Most unbelievers think Christianity is a moralistic, good works-based religion. It is not that at all.
When a Christian confesses his sins and his failure to keep the Law of God, it causes the unbeliever to take note, “If you have failed to do what the Bible says is the right thing to do, then how do you claim to be a Christian?” The right response is the counter-claim that Jesus Christ is Christianity, and that He alone causes one to become a Christian (1 Pet 1:3).
Friend, if you have been led astray into believing that Christians are all hypocrites, it is because you have not clearly understood what the Christian Gospel message is proclaiming. Consider this…
God created man in His image, male and female, He created them. Tempted by the serpent, man joined Satan’s rebellion against God. All people are conceived in original sin and born with a sin nature. There is no one good in God’s assessment and no good works can make a person right with God. Man is subject to death and eternal punishment in fiery hell (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
But God has chosen to have mercy on some people. He sent His only begotten Son into the world to save His chosen people from their sins. He suffered and died on the cross, shedding His blood, as punishment and as full payment for the incalculable debt of sin. God’s Holy Spirit is sent to God’s elect to cause them to be born again to a new life. This new life is given to them as a gift. It is Christ living in the heart of the person, made alive by the presence of the Spirit. She believes in Jesus, not by a silly leap of faith, but because a spiritual reality has overtaken her.
As noted, this new spiritual life is at war with the sinful flesh of the Christian. This means she is not a hypocrite, even though she obviously appears to be a hypocrite, to those who do not understand the conversion of a Christian. This internal war, for the believer in Jesus, ends on the day of her death, and the victory gained in the soul will be the same, at the resurrection of the body on the day of judgment. On that day, the appearance of hypocrisy will be no more. Until then, please take time to listen to the Christian hypocrite, you may be surprised by what she tells you has happened to her.
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 11, 2022