Everyone is a hypocrite – including ME.
One of the biggest reasons people do not want to become Christian is because of
“Christians”. One Christian author said that we should never be surprised when we hear of a Christian brother falling to temptation, because we all sin – I am a hypocrite; there I said it, but so are you. In Ch 2 Paul has established that nobody can live up to their own human standards and rules let alone God’s. Paul even called himself the chief sinner. Here in Ch 3 religious people cannot live up to what they claim to be right. It is sad that people judge God because of our hypocrisy. In this section of Romans Paul is saying that no one can judge God just because his people are not perfect. God is above our failures. Everyone is a hypocrite to one degree or another which consequently also makes everyone a liar. But God is above that. He is righteous and he will hold all men accountable. Just because I fail to live up to the standards which I know are right, doesn’t negate God’s righteousness and certainly doesn’t let us off the hook. Jesus on the other hand did live up to God’s standard. He was perfect in his life on Earth, thus you will have to answer to him. Pointing out my failures as a hypocritical Christian will not excuse you from yours when you stand before his throne.
3 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. 3 What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:“So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”
5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our trademark question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who reveals himself to those who seek me and I have revealed myself to the whole world so that I am not liable of non-disclosure. No man can say that they did not know of me. I have left a testimony about myself to the world; through nature –Rom 1:20 , “so men are without excuse”; and through the written word – Rom 3:2 , “So that you may be proved right and prevail when you judge us”. Whether or not man accepts these testimonies is another thing. I gave my word to man because I want all men to know me and have left it up to them to spread the good news to the entire world. If you do not know my testimony, it is not my fault.
I AM the living Word incarnate who lived among you. I have recorded my life’s message in the Bible so that you can know me. I AM Emmanuel – “God with us”. I want you to know me personally so I came to your world to reveal the Father to you.
I AM the way, the truth, the life. Now you know what truth is. If you would have eternal life, you must come through my Son Jesus Christ. There is no other way. All other religions are false. They may do good deeds in this world which is commendable, but they are still lost and unable to achieve my perfect righteousness on their own.
I AM the fulfillment of the Law and the sacrifices. I gave you my laws to show you my holiness. No religious duties in the world can make you righteous before me. I gave you my righteous law to show you how sinful you are compared to me, and so that you would realize that you need my forgiveness and grace. This is why I came, to show you that I AM the embodiment of the Law and the prophets. Only I could perfectly obey them as I walked this Earth. Consequently if your religiousness is not as holy as my perfection, you are lost and need my forgiveness.
Christians are still sinners, just forgiven sinners
In keeping with Paul’s themes showing how all men are sinful, Religions are the hardest people to reach because they think that they are accepted by their good works. Some of the nicest people on earth are those who are the most lost. They are the most lost because they think that they are on the right track in their religion. It is hard to save someone who believes that they are not lost. Christians are not perfect people, they just know that they are lost and need a savior. Unfortunately, there are people who are watching us and judging our every wrong. We Christians often times take for granted our saved position in Christ and forget to live like Christ. We Christians also have an enemy in the devil who is constantly trying to tear us down and trip us up before the eyes of the unsaved world. Church is not a goody two shoes club which is there because we are so good. No, we go to church to remind ourselves of our savior who forgave us so we can worship him all the more. This does not make us hypocrites; it makes us honest with ourselves. We may be saved and forever forgiven, but we are still sinners at the core of our nature and need him to change us daily. Instead of a religious pride, it should foster humble compassion in us for others.
“It’s not about me”
Christianity is not about me per se, it is about Christ. It is about how he made humanity to reveal his glory to as well as for them to live eternally with Him in heaven. It is about how he wanted free agents to choose to love him even though he knew that they would choose otherwise. It is about how God himself would make a way to redeem men from the price of sin so that they could be reunited. But mostly it is about how God came to save man so that God could dwell inside of man to live with him forever and change him from the inside out giving him a new divine nature capable of living eternally as God’s companion – his Bride. It is about how God pleased himself in my stead by paying the price for my sin and offering me forgiveness and son-ship in spite of my sinful propensity so that He might receive all praise and honor and glory forever more.
Religion on the other hand is about me – my earning salvation by good works. God will have none of that because who gets the glory for it? Me. This is precisely what Satan offers. He has always tried to take God’s spot light and place it on himself; and that is what he tries to get us to do with religion. Thus in my estimation, I believe that God hates religion (maybe not how religions meet the physical needs of others, but the self reliance inherent in them). It is an affront to his glory, grace, mercy, forgiveness and praise because it places the emphasis on me. Thus heaven is nothing but a reward to be earned and the glory is mine.
You call it hypocrisy
In conclusion, every sin which the Christian commits should drive him to his knees in humility, contriteness, prayer and thanksgiving for Christ’s forgiveness and that is always a good thing. The Law was given to show the Jews that they were not righteous, thus they would have to go to the tent of meeting to offer a sacrifice and receive pardon. When we Christians sin, we can now go directly to God’s throne of grace to confess our sin and re-establish our fellowship with the Father. I am not saying that sin is good, as God hates sin and will not allow it in his presence. God says: “When we harbor sin in our hearts, God will not hear us”. When we sin but then recognize it, just like a child who runs to his father, weeping over his wrong actions, we can go to God with contrite hearts and that is a good thing for us to do. God also says: 1 Jn 1:9 says:“If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. You might call my sin hypocrisy (which it is) but I call it an opportunity to humble myself before my God and take responsibility for it to make it right. I did this today. And it is just like the prodigal son returning to a Father who accepts us with open arms because of his Son Jesus in us. Church is full of hypocritical sinners because everyone is such; but true Christians (not the pretend kind) realize it and go to church in order to let God teach them how to change.
More to come,