“Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:7-9.
The definition of hypocrisy is honoring God with ones mouth while worshipping Him in vain and teaching doctrines of man. The hypocrite refuses to believe they are in unbelief while their teachings reveal their unbelief. For example, their belief may be to fast for 21 days to overcome sin. While fasting is scriptural, when done with the wrong motivation it is a religious act of works to have victory over sin. The doctrines of men become as taskmasters to overcome sin and the harder we try the tighter the bondage becomes. The Christian sitting under these doctrines go from one bondage to another with no victory. Sadly, all too often, the guilt and condemnation of this bondage causes one to turn from religion back to their sinful lifestyle. The hypocrite teaching these doctrines does not necessarily condemn the fallen disciple but welcomes them back into the fold to try the next fad that has come down the pipe.
This entire time, the hypocrite worships in vain. They partake in rituals, ceremonies and other religious acts that feeds their flesh but profits their spirit nothing. They cannot see nor do they believe their unbelief in God. If they believed in the power of God to deliver one from the bondage of sin, they wouldn’t be pointing the Believer to man’s methods (works) but to faith in the Cross of Jesus for deliverance…they do not believe their unbelief.
The following is a quote from a friend, a young person who is in bondage. He has gone back and forth from the bondage of religion to the bondage of drugs with no victory.
“I’m a heretic I’m a sinner I’m a hypocrite I’m just going to expose myself anyway because God is going to do it eventually anyway my life is spiraling out of control I’m on my own my life’s Been getting me nowhere I’ve been controlled by medications that have intoxicated my body I have nobody to blame but myself I’ve known better yet still rebelled I’ve let my God down I’ve probably lost my salvation and probably going to hell there I said it’s whatever I give up.”
You see, this young man is not the hypocrite. He hates sin, even his own sin, but he does not know how to maintain victory over his sin nature so he is being tossed to and fro. What method of man would the unbelieving Believer recommend for this young man? Has anyone told him that he cannot overcome sin on his own? If he could, the Cross of Jesus would have been in vain. I know, the self righteous will be the first to declare “Well, if he is a Christian he wouldn’t have that problem…Christians don’t sin!” Does this young man realize his faith has been placed on his works and his self efforts to overcome his sin nature because the self righteous and the hypocrites have told him “he can do it”? Or perhaps they have told him when the temptation comes to do 50 sit ups instead. I’m sorry but 50 sit ups or any other kind of “distraction” does not overcome sin. Jesus Christ is the only One Who defeated sin and if we want victory over such sin we look to Him, the One Who defeated sin, Jesus Christ to deliver us…not methods of man taught by those who worship Him in vain.
The unbelieving Believers do not recognize their unbelief because they believe in Jesus for their Salvation but they preach another gospel for sanctification. When faced with faith in Jesus’ finished work for sanctification, they always reply “we must do our part”. “Our part” being the religious works, methods and commandments they’re teaching at the time. “Our part” often changes depending on the latest fad. The hypocrites have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5). They simply do not believe the Lord Jesus Christ can and will deliver a Saint from their bondage through simple, yet powerful, faith in Him. They cannot believe that Jesus can remove that desire and break those bondages of sin if our faith is placed exclusively on Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Just as the Pharisees of old, they have added to the finished work of Jesus.
There are thousands of men and women who feel the same way that young man who failed the Lord feels. They simply do not know how to overcome their sin nature. Faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified will allow the Holy Spirit to dethrone the sin nature given to all because of Adam’s fall. You never know when that may be your son or daughter looking for deliverance. In whom will you point the lost to for Salvation and victory over sin? Preach deliverance to the captives, preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. -Donna Clark Warren