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Why God?: Week 5

Why God?: Week 5

“Why so many hypocrites in the Church?”

What hypocrisy is:

  • A conflict between a person’s actions and stated convictions.
  • Someone who doesn’t practice what they preach.
  • A person whose religion/behavior depends on a place, time of day, or day of the week.
  • The Greek hupokrités (hoop-ok-ree-tace’) (lit: a stage-player): a hypocrite, dissembler, pretender, a performer under a mask.

What hypocrisy isn’t:

  • Someone who sins or makes a mistake and is honest about themselves and what they did, and takes responsibility with honesty and humility.

Yes, the Church has a history of hypocrisy.

  • The Crusades, The Inquisition, slavery, televangelist scandals, financial/sexual/over the top lifestyle, and many more. That doesn’t make every Christian a hypocrite.

Origin: It started in the garden.

Genesis 3:9-12 (NIV) 9But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

    • Cover, hide, blame, lack of humility, no ownership of wrong committed.

Jesus’ disdain for hypocrites: Jesus openly acknowledged and despised hypocrisy.

Matthew 6 (NIV) … 2 So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. … 5And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. … 16When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting.

    • What to do and what not to do concerning hypocrisy.
    • Giving, prayer, and fasting.

Matthew 23

    • Take time to read this whole chapter on your own or in your group.
    • Jesus is very clear on His thoughts and feelings toward hypocrisy.

Jesus was authentic. He was not a hypocrite.

  • Who He is: He is God! He can’t be, and won’t be, judged by us!
  • What He did: He lived a sinless life here on Earth, He endured the cross and the wrath of God, He became sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God, and He conquered death and rose from grave.
  • He is the remedy for hypocrisy.

Christians/disciples have a responsibility to be authentic. A lifestyle of authenticity protects us from hypocrisy.

1 John 1:5-10 (NIV) 5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

    • Be honest with yourself.
    • Walk in the light (not hiding anything) and be in fellowship/relationship with others.
    • Live in the humility of forgiveness, not self righteousness.
    • Be honest with yourself.
    • Be honest and in agreement with God, and live in His righteousness, not your own.
    • Make room for God’s word in your life.

John 13:34-35 (NIV) 34A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

    • Jesus is the model, and we are His disciples.

Colossians 3:5-17

    • Time to change the wardrobe!

What the world experiences from the church when we are authentic!

Generosity, hospitals, benevolence, orphanages, open homes, hospitality, recovery, acceptance, hope, freedom, love, kindness, opportunity, etc.

Discussion questions for home or Life Group:

1. What’s a working definition of “hypocrite”? A) What has been your experience with hypocrisy?

2. Take a look at John 8:2-11 or James 1:22 -27 & 5:16. What do you think are the differences between hypocrisy and the process of becoming like Jesus?

3. Christianity is centered around following Jesus, being changed by Him, and joining Him in His mission. A) What helps you get a clearer picture of who Jesus is and what He is like? B) What do you admire about Jesus?

4. After hearing the sermon, how would you answer someone who is skeptical about Christianity because of hypocritical people?

5. What stood out to you personally in the Why God series?

  • What will you apply to your own walk with Jesus?
  • What do you need to explore more?
  • How is this impacting how you interact with those who don’t know Jesus yet, or the young ones in your life?