“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
Am I a hypocrite? Those that are critical or are enemies of the church like to say, “the church is full of hypocrites!” to which many a well meaning believer might confess to. But is this well meaning believer correct? What is a hypocrite? The original languages would define a hypocrite as profane and hypocrisy as dissimulation. A hypocrite is someone who will condemn or judge another and then take part in that which was condemned or judged and retain a self righteous attitude.
As a preacher/teacher of Scripture I must confess that sin remains within. Paul calls it the old man, the carnal nature, or the flesh. He states that the flesh wars against the spirit. When I was saved from my sin by the Lord Jesus, my Saviour I was delivered from the penalty of sin; the power or bondage of sin; the pleasure of sin or the pleasuring in the pleasure of sin but not from the presence of sin.
Martin Luther proclaimed that the Christ-ian is “Simul justus et Peccator” (Tattoo worthy) which is Latin for “Saint and sinner simultaneously.” We are the new creature/creation in Christ. The Christ-ian is a saint that sins and sorrows but the sinner is just the same sinner that sins and does so happily. One main difference between the two (2) is pleasure and or satisfaction.. The sinner sins and takes pleasure therein and s/he sees no real wrong in their actions. Whereas the Christ-ian may take part in sin but the pleasure is not present nor is there any satisfaction. If you were to give a sinner the option of ridding themselves of their sin, would they?
“Hey, I can take that urge, that desire, that whatever away from you if you want me to” many a sinner would not take you up on that offer because s/he is enjoying life as is. The Christ-ian on the other hand would jump at the offer. The reason the Christ-ian would jump at the offer is the fact that they may have taken some pleasure in sin but they take no pleasure in that pleasure as they are brought to confession before their Heavenly Father. The Christ-ian may sin but s/he has no sense of satisfaction therein. That is the “Saint and (s)inner conundrum. That is the war we fight. That is the war I fight. That is the war you fight.
An example, (3) three persons are gossiping and backbiting at the water cooler. One is a Christ-ian and the other two are not. The two non Christ-ians spew and spew and see nothing wrong with it because, “it’s the truth” or they’re “Just say’in.” The Christ-ian may get caught up in this as Barnabas was caught up in the dissimulation of his day (Acts 15 and the book of Galatians). The Christian may fall into this trap or temptation of gossiping and backbiting but s/he knows it’s wrong and s/he feels the wrong and there is no pleasure or satisfaction in it.
Another difference is the temptation, itself. To gossip is fun and exciting to the sinner whereas for the Christ-ian it is a temptation and that speaks to the war between the spirit and the flesh. While we are sorry for our failures in the area of temptation, Praise God that it is a temptation and not just something to pass the time with. The fact that something wrong is a temptation speaks to the purity of one’s heart. The heart is pure, therefore temptation and sin are seen and felt for what they are.
There is not the overwhelming spirit of hypocrisy in the church as many believe and take satisfaction in. The church is a collection of called out ones….called out of the world’s systems and pleasures and the God called preacher/teacher is Simul justus et Peccator and he acknowledges it, humbly and with much thanks to his Father in Heaven.
Am I a Hypocrite? are you a hypocrite? NO.