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Hypocrites and Sinners. - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 13th January, 2014 @ 09:21:04 PM

The word “hypocrite” is being thrown about way too often.

It’s a good Bible word. It is a pure word.

That means it is, in its Greek form, one of those “words of the earth,” that God has selected, and refined like silver seven times in a furnace, sanctifying (setting it apart) for His use in the Holy Scriptures.

The Lord used the word when He walked here.  He reserved it for particular sorts of persons: the Pharisees, Scribes, and the like. These were persons with an agenda. Insincere. Conniving. Jealous. Hateful. Ceaselessly plotting against the Lord Himself. As they do against His servants. As the Lord said: Woe to them.

The word itself is the compound Greek word hypokrites meaning under judgment, or under discernment. This gives us important keys to he meaning of the word. It can be rendered “play actor” because in the ancient theatre, play actors held masks over their faces to portray their inward characteristics. The sophisticated cinema of today masks those masks, and requires the player to project those cunning characteristics of the hypocrite in various ways.

The wearing of a mask, or play-acting is the important characteristic of the hypocrite. In any society you can see such people, but it is rare indeed that someone would point them out publicly. They put on a show, oftentimes to make you think they are friendly, but equally often to disguise not only who they are, but their bad intentions. Like the Sadducees, they may give themselves off as knowledgeable Bible guys, when, as the Lord said, they are ignorant. In any case, as false prophets , they show themselves as pious, when inwardly they are ravening wolves.

So, a hypocrite is no ordinary sinner. The hypocrite is an intentional, inward, purveyor of ill-will and hatred, driven as he is by envy, greed, and other corrupt motives. He’s not failing when he sins, he’s succeeding.

No, an ordinary sinner, such as all of us, yields to his weakness. He is overcome by the fatal flaws of every man. He cannot do what he should do, and he cannot fail to do what he shouldn’t.

A sinner is no hypocrite when he fails to do what he thinks he should. He is no hypocrite when he does what he should not. He is a normal sinner.

Today, you will discover people calling normal sinners, “hypocrites.” They would disqualify the righteous man, who speaks God’s word, and portrays him accurately, because that righteous man sins just as they do.

The Lord never judges men in this way, and will not. He desires his children to reason with Him about sin and see it the way he does.

He socialized with sinners, sat and ate with them, made himself available to them. He still does. You will not find the Lord Jesus among the hypocrites. They hated Him. They stirred up other sinners to have Him killed. They succeeded at His death.

But a normal sinner is not a hypocrite when he says what is right and what is wrong, even when he doesn’t or does do the right or wrong.

Instead, he’s just a sinner, warts and all, and no hypocrite.

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