“Why so many hypocrites in the Church?”
What hypocrisy is:
What hypocrisy isn’t:
Yes, the Church has a history of hypocrisy.
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.”
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.
Jesus was authentic. He was not a hypocrite.
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.
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.
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?