Santa Clara, CA
| Hypocrisy ~ Various|
[b]The Great Danger of Hypocrisy[/b]
Andrew Bromhall (c. 1608-1662)
[i]"First of all, beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy"[/i]
[b]Doctrine[/b]: hypocrisy is a dangerous leaven, which ministers and people are chiefly and especially to beware of and acquit themselves from. Hence, you have a chapter of woes against it (Mat 23). And it is represented as that which renders odious to the Lord and defiles His choicest ordinances and our best duties, if it cleave to them (Isa 1:11, 12; 66:3) and puts God to sad complaints and exprobrations of such a people: "O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud" (Hos 6:4)all show, no truth, no showers. And [it] hath been the ruin of many forward and glorious professors as Balaam, Jehu, Saul, and many other persons of great parts and many great performances and, one would conceive, of great hopes too. But they and their works and their hopes are all perished: "The hypocrites hope shall perish" (Job 8:13).
[b]What hypocrisy is[/b]: much of the nature of a thing is many times discovered in its name; the name is a brief description. The word [i]hypocrite[/i] properly signifies "an actor or stage-player, a personator of other men in their speech, habit, and action." The Hebrew word signifieth both "a wicked man" and "a deceiver." And it is observed that those whom David, the devoutest man, called "wicked," Solomon, the wisest man, calls "fools," and Job, the most upright man, calls "hypocrites."
Hypocrisy then is but a feigning virtue and piety, [which] it seems to put on; and vice and impiety, [which] it conceals and seems to put off. It is indeed vice in a vizor: the face is vice, but virtue is the vizor. The form and nature of it is imitation: the ends are vainglory, to be seen of men, or some gain or carnal respects.
There is a [i]gross hypocrisy[/i] whereby men pretend to the good, [which] they know they have not. And there is a [i]formal close hypocrisy[/i], whereby men deceive others and themselves tooare hypocrites and do not know it. In this case, it is probable the Pharisee was signified by "the five foolish virgins" (Luk 18:11; Mat 25:2), [as well as] all formal Christians that are not regenerated by the Spirit nor put into Christ by faith. This is a subtle evil, a secret poison, a close contagion. And here it is infinite mercy and grace that we do not all split and perish. And if we can escape this, if we are indeed sincere, we are out of the greatest danger of all, "the leaven of hypocrisy."
[b]Wherein is this leaven of hypocrisy so dangerous, that ministers and people ought firstly, chiefly, to beware of it?[/b]
[b]1. There is [i]great danger of it:[/i][/b]
[i]For we have the ground of the matter in ourselves:[/i] hearts deceitful above all things and desperately wickedwho can know thy wickedness? "I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins" (Jer 17:9, 10). As if none beside the Lord knew the bottomless depths and deceits of the heart! In the heart are those lusts and affections that feed and foment all the hypocrisy in the worldpride, vainglory, concupiscence, carnal wisdom: were it not for these, there would not be an hypocrite living.
[i]The devil watcheth night and day to set fire to this tow:[/i] he is fitted to the purpose and filled with raging desire to comply with a filthy heart and to engender this spurious offspring of hypocrisy. He hath in readiness his wiles and his depths, his baits and his snares; and for a false heart [he] hath false ways, false doctrines, false faiths, false seasons, false ends and aims. When two such be agreed to such a purpose, "hardly will they be frustrated."
[i]And that we may not be secure, there are before our eyes and in our view dreadful examples:[/i] Balaam, a great prophet; Judas, an apostle famil-iar with Christ; Saul, Jehu, Herod, and Agrippa, famous kings; five virgins, conspicuous and most confident; Ananias and Sapphira, eminent converts; Alexander and Demas, confessors
It may grieve and make a tender heart tremble to think what they became and what is become of them! [May it] teach him that standeth to take heed lest he fall (and all of us to our dying day) to "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
[b]2. And there is [i]great danger by it:[/i][/b]
[i]The loss of all that is done:[/i] Christ will say, as to that young man, "Yet lackest thou one thing," sincerity (Luk 18:22). Wouldest thou have heaven too? Why then didst thou all things for the praise of men? Thou hast thy reward and art overpaid. "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Mat 7:23).
[i]Frustrating of hopes, great hopes, hopes of glory and heaven, and escap-ing eternal misery:[/i] all these hopes must "perish" to the "hypocrite" (Job 8:13), perish like a ship at the very mouth of the haven; perish while they are crying, "Lord, Lord"; perish into everlasting horror and eternal despair.
[i]Full detection and manifesting of them in the sight and face of all the world:[/i] "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known" (Luk 12: 2). The vizor will be then taken off, which was feigned sanctity; and the face will appear, which was indeed double iniquity. And for going about to cozen God, the world, and his own soul, the miserable hypocrite will be left to eternal, intolerable confusion, to be detested and derided by God, angels, and saints; to be insulted by the devils and damned to all eternity.
[i]And in hell the hypocrite "shall be beaten with many stripes":[/i] for he "knew his Masters will" and pretended he was doing of it, and yet "did it not" (Luk 12:47). Shall he that judged others to hell lie lower in hell and have more of hell than those condemned by him? Shall it be worse with a proud Pharisee than with a publican, nay, a damned publican? Is hell the portion of hypocrites? (Mat 24:51). Are they the freeholders and all others but tenants and inmates with them? Or else, if there be a worse place in hell, must it be theirs? It must be so; for the nearer heaven, the more of hell. And that will be the hell of hell to all eternity. Surely, then, hypocrisy is a dangerous thing. There is exceeding danger [i]of[/i] and danger [i]by[/i] this "leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
[b]Use[/b]: I shall commend but one use to be made of this doctrine at this time, and it is the "beware" in the text: to stir and provoke you to put forth your utmost care, diligence, and circumspection, to "beware of this leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
[b]Here I could show you how much you are concerned to beware of the Pharisees leaven in [i]doctrinals:[/i][/b] to beware of doctrines advancing anything in man or of man, doctrines that are derived from any other fountain than the pure Word of God: traditions, enthusiasms, impulses beside or against the Word; doctrines of will-worship, superstition, voluntary humility; doctrines ascribing too much to and laying too much stress on externals in worship not instituted by Christ; doctrines of rigid imposition of things indifferent; doctrines that have a tendency to blind obedience and implicit faith. Whoever reads the New Testament may soon discern [that] such were their doctrines, and this is the leaven of the Pharisees in doctrinals. And truly you had need to take care of this, for doctrines and principles have no small influence on conversation and practice.
From "How Is Hypocrisy Discoverable and Curable?" in Puritan Sermons 1659-1689 in Six Volumes, Being the Morning Exercises at Cripplegate, Vol. 1,
reprinted by Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers.
[b]Andrew Bromhall (c. 1608-1662[/b]): English Puritan minister. His sermon "How Is Hypocrisy Discoverable and Curable?" is undated but preserved in Samuel Annesleys edition of the Morning Exercises at Cripplegate. Apparently born at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.
| 2007/1/17 16:20||Profile|
| Re: Hypocrisy ~ Various|
Brother Mike, what a strong word.
Is this a snare to us as a people, or community in general, not sermonindex only, but more generally so? Are we afraid to be [i]honest[/i] before each other? What is, or what do we percieve to be, at stake if we are? I believe it has been a snare to me.
Looking back, when I came to the Lord it was in open confession of all my guilt and shame and by His grace I was not afraid to have been so exposed. But what happens after this? Do we somewhere along the way trade our wordly forms of pride and hypocrisy for [i]spiritual[/i] ones?
[i] For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.[/i]
And what is right before this?
[b] Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.[/b]
Do we even feel comfortable admitting we have such?
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2007/1/17 18:55||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Are we afraid to be [i]honest[/i] before each other? What is, or what do we percieve to be, at stake if we are?
Just honest period. But, yes Chris ... At stake? Falling down, embarrassment, shame ... risk, [i]misunderstanding[/i]... challenged on that line of [i]'being offended'?[/i], in the sense of the Lords [i]Does this offend you?[/i]
Foolishness. Paul's kind of foolishness ...
I think it is entirely worth it. Especially if we ever truly think we are going to win anyone to our Great Cause.
Great post brother.
| 2007/1/18 0:34||Profile|
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada
| Re: Hypocrites|
This is a timely post brother, and I thankyou for it.
Indeed, it is of great concern in my own life because of the great strongholds the Lord has delivered me from. And I believe this wretched leaven was the great, deceiving sin that hurried me headlong into backsliding when I became a new convert. Taking my eyes off Christ and putting them on the things around me enabled hypocrisy to take its hold.
The Lord reminds me of this leaven... and I pray that He will continually remind me of my own wickedness that is within my heart lest I fall away for good. I need daily reminders of these things... oh it is good to be humble at all costs. Is not this leaven rooted in pride?
The only good things that have ever manifested out of my life were only due to the grace of God. Putting confidence in my own flesh has always been such a monsterous destroyer to me.
Pride is so ugly. May the Lord cleanse me of all such wicked leaven. Daily repentance is required of me... a forsaking of such wicked thoughts when they arise.
Do you think this leaven can be compared in some way to the fermentation inside the old wineskins Jesus Christ spoke of in Mt 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22 and Luke 5:33-38?
Anyway, I've noticed the unbelieving world respects those of the Way that are honest concerning their sins and shortcomings. How can an honest, humble testimony be rebuked? If God is for this, then who can be against it and overcome it with evil? The meek shall....
The Lord Christ Jesus bless you and your family,
| 2007/1/18 2:22||Profile|
| Re: Hypocrisy ~ Various|
Sadly, I've been in church when hypocrisy was mentioned, and it so angered people, that they argued about it for weeks and eventually left the church.
It is sad that rather than get right with God, people will leave a church, or go to another church which won't mention any biblical standards and feel comfortable doing so.
I know I haven't arrived, whatever that is, but it scares me that I can fall at any time, unless I check myself with God's word on a daily basis, and seek God to keep me.
Jude 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling...
Thank you for the article.
| 2007/1/18 8:17||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: The leaven|
Anyway, I've noticed the unbelieving world respects those of the Way that are honest concerning their sins and shortcomings. How can an honest, humble testimony be rebuked?
Sadly, I've been in church when hypocrisy was mentioned, and it so angered people, that they argued about it for weeks and eventually left the church.
Interesting placing these side by side. What exposure and disclosure can do.
| 2007/1/18 9:06||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Leaven of|
One proud man may hate another, and he that is covetous himself will be apt to censure another for being so
so may an hypocrite loath that in another, which yet he alloweth in himself. [i]John Flavel[/i]
[b]The Hypocrites Character[/b]
[b]Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)[/b]
This age is full of shams. Pretence never stood in so eminent a position as it does at the present hour. There be few, I fear, who love the naked truth: we can scarce endure it in our houses; you would scarcely trade with a man who absolutely stated it. If you walked through the streets of London, you might imagine that all the shops were built of marble and that all the doors were made of mahogany and woods of the rarest kinds. And yet you soon discover that there is scarce a piece of any of these precious fabrics to be found anywhere, but that everything is grained and painted and varnished. I find no fault with this, except as it is an outward type of an inward evil that exists. As it is in our streets, so is it everywhere: graining, painting, and gilding, are at an enormous premium. Counterfeit has at length attained to such an eminence that it is with the utmost difficulty that you can detect it.
The counterfeit so near approacheth to the genuine, that the eye of wisdom itself needs to be enlightened before she can discern the difference. Especially is this the case in religious matters. There was once an age of intolerant bigotry, when every man was weighed in the balance; and if he was not precisely up to the orthodox standard of the day, the fire devoured him. But in this age of charity and of most proper charity, we are very apt to allow the counterfeit to pass current and to imagine that outward show is really as beneficial as inward reality. If ever there was a time when it was needful to say, "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy," it is now.
The minister may cease to preach this doctrine in the days of persecution: when the faggots are blazing and when the rack is in full operation, few men will be hypocrites. These are the keen detectors of impostures; suffering, pain, and death for Christs sake are not to be endured by mere pretenders. But in this silken age, when to be religious is to be respectable; when to follow Christ is to be honored; and when godliness itself has become gain, it is doubly necessary that the minister should
lift up his voice like a trumpet against this sin, "the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
The Christian, however, does not belong to that class. He will at times begin to be terribly alarmed, lest, after all, his godliness should be but seeming and his profession an empty vanity. He who is true will sometimes suspect himself of falsehood, while he who is false will wrap himself up in a constant confidence of his own sincerity. My dear Christian brethren, if you are at this time in doubt concerning yourselves, the truths to utter will perhaps help you in searching your own heart and trying your own reins; and sure I am you will not blame me if I should seem to be severe. But you will rather say, "Sir, I desire to make sure work concerning my own soul; tell me faithfully and tell me honestly what are the signs of a hypocrite, and I will sit down and try to read my own heart to discover whether these things have a bearing upon me. And happy shall I be if I shall come out of the fire like pure gold."
[b]The Hypocrites Character:[/b] We have an elaborate description of the hypocrite in the chapter we have just read, the twenty-third of Matthew, and I do not know that I can better portray him than by turning again to the words of Christ.
[i][b]A hypocrite may be known by the fact that his speech and his actions are contrary to one another.[/b][/i] As Jesus says, "They say and they do not." The hypocrite can speak like an angel; he can quote texts with the greatest rapidity. He can talk concerning all matters of religion, whether they be theological doctrines, metaphysical questions, or experimental difficul-ties. In his own esteem, he knoweth much and when he rises to speak, you will often feel abashed at your own ignorance in the presence of his superior knowledge.
But see him when he comes to actions. What behold you there? The fullest contradiction of everything that he has uttered. He tells to others that they must obey the Law. Doth he obey it? Ah! No. He declares that others must experience this, that, and the other; and he sets up a fine scale of experience, far above even that of the Christian himself. But does he touch it? No, not with so much as one of his fingers. He will tell others what they should do. But will he remember his own teaching? Not he! Follow him to his house, trace him to the market, see him in the shop; and if you want to refute his preaching, you may easily do it from his own life. My hearer! Is this thy case?
With a blush, each one of us must confess that to some extent, our life is contradictory to our profession. We blush and we mourn over this
.Ah! Believe me, my hearers: talk is easy, but walk is hard. Speech any man may attain unto, but act is difficult. We must have grace within to make our life holy; but lip-piety needs no grace. The first mark of a hypocrite, then, is that he contradicts by his acts what he utters by his words. Do any of you do so? If so, stand convicted of hypocrisy, bow your heads, and confess the sin.
[i][b]The next mark of a hypocrite is that whenever he does right it is that he may be seen of men.[/b][/i] The hypocrite sounds a trumpet before his alms and chooses the corner of the streets for his prayers. To him virtue in the dark is almost a vice: he can never detect any beauty in virtue, unless she has a thousand eyes to look upon her, and then she is something indeed. The true Christian, like the nightingale, sings in the night; but the hypocrite has all his songs in the day, when he can be seen and heard of men. To be well-spoken of is the very elixir of his life. If he be praised, it is like sweet wine to him. The censure of man upon a virtue would make him change his opinion concerning it in a moment, for his standard is the opinion of his fellow creatures. His law is the law of self-seeking and of self-honoring: he is virtuous because to be virtuous is to be praised. But if tomorrow vice were at a premium, he would be as vicious as the rest. Applause is what too many are seeking after.
Now, is this our case? Let us deal honestly with ourselves. If we distribute to the poor, do we desire to do it in secret, when no tongue shall tell? Are our prayers offered in our closets, where God who heareth the cry of the secret ones, listeneth unto our supplication? Can we say, that if every man were struck stone blind and deaf and dumb, we would not alter our conduct the least? Can we declare that the opinion of our fellows is not our guiding law, but that we stand servants to our God and to our conscience, and are not to be made do a wrong thing from flattery, nor are we urged to do a right thing from fear of censure? Mark: the man who does not act rightly from a higher motive than that of being praised gives sore suspicion that he is a hypocrite. But he who will do a right thing against the opinion of every man, and simply because he believes it to be right, and sees the stamp of Gods approval upon it, need not be afraid that he is a hypocrite
.Is it so with you? If so, be honest. And as you would convict another, convict yourself.
[i][b]Again, hypocrites love titles, honors, and respect from men.[/b][/i] The Pharisee was never so happy as when he was called Rabbi. He never felt himself so really great as when he was stuck up in the highest seat in the synagogue
.But the true Christian cares not for titles. It is one of the marks of Christians that they have generally taken names of abuse to be their distinctive appellations. There was a time when the term methodist was abusive. What did those good men say who had it so applied to them? "You call us methodists by way of abuse, do you? It shall be our title." The name Puritan was the lowest of all; it was the symbol, which was always employed by the drunkard and swearer, to express a godly man. "Well," says the godly man, "I will be called a Puritan. If that is a name of reproach, I will take it." It has been so with the Christian all the world over. He has chosen for himself the name, which his enemy has given him in malice. Not so the hypocrite. He takes that which is the most honorable; he wishes always to be thought to belong to the most respectable sect, and to hold an office in that sect which will confer upon him the most honorable title.
Now, can you say from your inmost soul, that in religion you are not seeking for honors or titles, but that you can tread these beneath your feet and want no higher degree than that of a sinner saved by grace and no greater honor than to sit at the feet of Jesus and to learn of Him? Are you willing to be the despised followers of the carpenters Son
? If so, methinks, you have but little hypocrisy in you. But if you only follow Him because you are honored by men, farewell to the sincerity of your religion!
[i][b]There was another evidence of an hypocrite which was equally good, namely, that he strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel.[/b][/i] Hypocrites in these days do not find fault with us for eating with unwashen hands, but they still fix upon some ceremonial omission. Sabbatarianism has furnished hypocrisy with an extremely convenient refuge. Acts of necessity done by the Christian are the objects of the sanctimonious horror of Pharisees; and labors of mercy and smiles of joy are damning sins in the esteem of hypocrites, if done upon a Sunday. Though our Father worked hitherto and Christ worked, though works of kindness, mercy, and charity are the duty of the Sabbath; yet if the Christian be employed in these, he is thought to be offending against Gods holy Law. The slightest infringement of that which is a ceremonial observance becomes a great sin in the eye of the hypocrite. But he, poor man, who will find fault with you for some little thing in this respect, straining at a gnat, is the man you will find cheating, adulterating his goods, lying, puffing, and grinding the poor.
I have always noticed that those very particular souls who look out for little things, who are always searching out little points of difference, are just the men who omit the weightier matters of the Law
.Always suspect yourself when you are more careful about little than about great things. If you find it hurts your conscience more to be absent from the communion than to cheat a widow, rest quite assured that you are wrong
Rest ye assured, that the man who strains at a gnat, yet so allows the camel, is a deceiver. Mark you, my dear friends, I like you to strain at the gnats; I have no objection to that at allonly do not swallow the camel afterwards! Be as particular as you like about right and wrong. If you think a thing is a little wrong, it is wrong to you. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom 14:23). If you cannot do it, believing yourself to be right in not doing it, though another man could do it and do right, yet to you it would not be right. Strain the gnats; they are not good things in your wines; strain them out! It is well to get rid of them, but then do not open your mouth and swallow a camel afterwards. For if you do that, you will give no evidence that you are a child of God, but prove that you are a damnable hypocrite.
[i][b]But read on in this chapter, and you will find that these people neglected all the inward part of religion and only observed the outward.[/b][/i] As our Savior said, they made clean "the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess" (23:25). There are many books, which are excellently bound; but there is nothing within them. And there are many persons that have a very spiritual exterior, but there is nothing whatever in the heart. Do you not know some of them? Perhaps if you know yourself, you may discover one. Do you not know some who are precisely religious, who would scarce omit attending to a single means of grace, who practice the ritual in all its forms and all its ceremonies, who would not turn aside as much as a hairs breadth from any outward command? Before the world, they stand as eminently pious because they are minutely attentive to the externals of the sanctuary; yet they are careless of the inward matter. So long as they take the bread and wine, they are not careful about whether they have eaten the flesh and drunk the blood of Christ. So long as they have been baptized with water, they are not careful whether they have been buried with Christ in baptism unto death. So long as they have been up to the house of God, they are satisfied. It is nothing to them whether they have had communion with Christ or not. No, they are perfectly content, so long as they have the shell without looking for the kernel. The wheat may go where it pleasesthe husk, the chaff, and the straw are quite sufficient and enough for them.
Some people I know of are like inns, which have an angel hanging outside for a sign, but they have a devil within for a landlord. There are many men of that kind. They take good care to have an excellent sign hanging out; they must be known by all men to be strictly religious. But within, which is the all-important matter, they are full of wickedness. But I have sometimes heard persons mistake this matter. They say, "Ah! Well, poor man, he is a sad drunkard, certainly; but he is a very good-hearted man at bottom." Now, as Rowland Hill used to say, that is a most astonishing thing for any man to say of another, that he was bad at top and good at bottom. When men take their fruit to market, they cannot make their customers believe, if they see rotten apples at the top, that there are good ones at the bottom. A mans outward conduct is generally a little better than his heart. Very few men sell better goods than they put in the window.
Therefore, do not misunderstand me. When I say we must attend more to the inward than the outward, I would not have you leave the outward to itself. "Make clean the outside of the cup and platter"make it as clean as you can, but take care also that the inward is made clean. Look to that first. Ask thyself such questions as these"Have I been born again? Am I passed from darkness to light? Have I been brought out of the realms of Satan into the kingdom of Gods dear Son? Do I live by private communion near to the side of Jesus? Can I say that my heart panteth after the Lord, even as the hart does after the water-brooks?" For if I cannot say this, whatever my outward life may be, I am self-deceived and deceive others, and the woe of the hypocrite falls upon me. I have made clean the outside of the cup and platter, but the inward part is very wickedness. Does that come home to any of you? Is this personal preaching? Then God be blessed for it! May the truth be the death of your delusions.
[b][i]You may know a hypocrite by another sign: his religion depends upon the place or upon the time of day.[/i][/b] He rises at seven oclock perhaps, and you will find him religious for a quarter of an hour. He is, as the boy said, "Saying his prayers to himself," in the first part of the morning. Well, then you find him pretty pious for another half-hour, for there is family prayer. But when the business begins, and he is talking to his men, I wont guarantee that you will be able to admire him. If one of his servants has been doing something a little amiss, you will find him perhaps using angry and unworthy language. You will find him too, if he gets a customer whom he thinks to be rather green, not quite pious; for he will be taking him in. You will find too, that if he sees a good chance at any hour of the day, he will be very ready to do a dirty trick. He was a saint in the morning, for there was nothing to be lost by it. But he has a religion that is not too strict. "Business is business," he says, and he puts religion aside by stretching his conscience, which is made of very elastic material. Well, some time in the evening you will find him very pious again, unless he is out on a journey, where neither wife, nor family, nor church can see him; and you will find him at a theater. He would not go if there were a chance of the minister hearing of it, for then he would be excommunicated. But he does not mind going when the eye of the church or of any of his friends is not upon him. Fine clothes make fine gentlemen, and fine places make fine hypocrites. But the man who is true to his God and to his conscience is a Christian all day and all night long and a Christian everywhere. "Though you were to fill my house full of silver and gold," he says, "I would not do a dirty action. Though you should give me the stars and the countless wealth of empires, yet I would not do that which would dishonor God or disgrace my profession."
Put the true Christian where he might sin and be praised for it, and he will not do it. He does not hate sin for the sake of the company, but he hates it for its own sake. He says, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" You shall find him a [i]fallible[/i] man, but not a [i]false[/i] man. You shall find him full of infirmities, but not of intentional lust and of designed iniquity. As a Christian, you must follow Christ in the mire as well in the meads; you must walk with Him in the rain as well as in the sunshine; you must go with Him in the storm as well as in fair weather. He is no Christian, who cannot walk with Christ come rags, come poverty, come contumely or shame. He is the hypocrite who can walk with Christ in silver slippers and leave Him when it becomes necessary for him to go barefoot
.Is this true then of any of us? Can we say we desire to be evermore the same? Or do we change with our company and with the times? If so, we are hypocrites confessed, and let us own it before God, and may God make us sincere.
There is another sign of the hypocrite; and now the lash will fall on my own back and on most of us too. [i][b]Hypocrites, and other people besides hypocrites, are generally severe with others and very lenient with themselves.[/b][/i] Have you ever heard a hypocrite describe himself? I describe him thus: "you are a mean, beggarly fellow." "No," says he, "I am not; I am economical." I say to him, "You are dishonest, you are a thief." "No," says he, "I am only cute and sharp for the times." "Well, but," I say to him, "you are proud and conceited." "Oh!" says he, "I have only a proper and manly respect." "Ay, but you are a fawning, cringing fellow." "No," says he, "I am all things to all men." Somehow or other he will make vice look like a virtue in himself, but he will deal by the reverse rule with others.
Show him a Christian who is really humble, and he says, "I hate his fawning ways." Tell him there is one who is very courageous for Christ: "Oh! He is impudent," says he. Show him one who is liberal, doing what he can for his Masters service, spending and being spent for Him. "Rash and imprudent," says he, "extravagant! The man does not know what he is about." You may point out a virtue, and the hypocrite shall at once say it is a vice. Have you ever seen a hypocrite turn doctor? He has a fine beam in his eye, large enough to shut out the light of heaven from his soul. Nevertheless, he is a very skillful oculist. He waits upon some poor brother, whose eye is a little affected with a mote, so tiny that the full blaze of the sun can scarce reveal it. Look at our beam-eyed friend; he puts on a knowing look and cries, "Allow me to extract this mote for you!" "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye" (Mat 7:5). There are people of that sort who make virtues in others into vices, and vices in themselves they transform into virtues. Now, if thou be a Christian, I will tell thee what will be thy spirit: it will be the very reverse. Thou wilt be always making excuses for others, but thou wilt never be making excuses for thyself. The true Christian, if he sees himself sin, mourns over it and makes much ado concerning it. He says to another, "Oh! I feel so sinful." And the other one cries, "I cannot really see it. I can see no sin in you; I could wish I were holy as you." "No," says the other, "but I am full of infirmity."
John Bunyan describes Mercy, Christiana, and the children after having been washed in the bath and sealed with the seal, as coming up out of the water and being all fair and lovely to look upon; and one began to say to the other, "You are fairer than I!" and, "You are more comely than I!" said another. And then each began to bemoan their own spots and to praise the beauty of the others. That is the spirit of a Christian. But the spirit of the hypocrite is the very reverse: he will judge and condemn and punish with lynch-law every other man. And as for himself, he is exempt, he is a king, he knows no law, and his conscience slumbers and allows him to go on easily in the very sins which he condemns in others.
Delivered on Sabbath morning, February 6, 1859,
at The Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892): Influential Baptist minister in England. The collected sermons of Spurgeon during his ministry fill 63 volumes. The sermons 2025 million words are equivalent to the 27 volumes of the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica and stand as the largest set of books by a single author in the history of Christianity. Born at Kelvedon, Essex, England.
* ([i]Forgot to make a mention of this earlier... Again, with great appreciation to www.mountzion.org for these needed heart studies[/i])
Edit: I believe the very first word there may have been cut off and should read "[i]This[/i] age ...". Made the correction from [i]His[/i].
| 2007/1/18 9:20||Profile|
Quote:...and chooses the corner of the street for prayers.
I was once in a prayer meeting years ago, when someone was praying really loudly, banging on the puplit, and saying 'More Lord, more!'
It was a horrible sight. I still recoil at the memory of it, even though it was about 18 years ago.
Quote: Some people I know are like inns, they have an angel hanging outside for a sign, but they have a devil within for a landlord.
You can really feel guilty reading that one!
But seriously, if reading this makes us abhor hypocrisy, then let's reject it in it's most vehement form.
How many of us will come home from church, only to switch the t.v on, or the computer and start playing on mindless games?
Spurgeon mentioned theatre going, as though Christians then did not, or were not, supposed to go.
How does that differ from today when we will go and see a movie?
I don't know but, is God pleased with what we are watching, and at the judgment seat of Christ, would it be okay for everyone to see and know about the movies we watch?
Judgment begins at the house of God.
We always suppose that scripture refers to the church, and it does, but what about the indiviual Christian who houses God's Holy Spirit?
I could go on, but I won't.
| 2007/1/18 10:51||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Hypocrisy ~ Various|
[i]Hypocrisy is a weed naturally springing in all ground. The best heart is not perfectly clear or free of it.[/i] John Flavel
[b]Hypocrites and Christ
Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)
There is never an hypocrite in the world that makes God, or Christ, or holiness, or his doing or receiving good in his station, relation, or generation his grand end, his highest end, his ultimate end of living in the world.[/b] Pleasures, profits, and honors are the hypocrites all, [which] he aims at in this world. They are his trinity, which he adores and serves and sacrificeth himself unto (1Jo 2:16). An hypocrites ends are corrupt and selfish. God may possibly be at the higher end of his work, but [i]self[/i] is at the further end; for he that was never truly cast out of himself, can have no higher end than himself. An hypocrite is all for his own glory: he acts [i]for[/i] himself and [i]from[/i] himself. "So I may have the profit, the credit, the glory, the applause, come of Gods glory what will!" This is the language of an unsound heart.
[i]An hypocrite will seem to be very godly when he can make a gain of godliness.[/i] He will seem to be very holy when holiness is the way to outward greatness and happiness. But his religious wickedness will double-damn the hypocrite at last. Self-ends are the operative ingredients in all an hypocrite does
.When hypocrites take up religion, it is only to serve their own turns, to bring about their own carnal ends. They serve not the Lord, but their own bellies (Rom 16:18; Phi 3:19)
.An hypocrite always makes himself the end of all his service; but let such hypocrites know, that though their profession be never so glorious and their duties never so abundant, yet their ends being selfish and carnal, all their pretensions and performances are but beautiful abominations in the sight of God.
[i]An hypocrite has always a squint-eye, and squint-eyed aims and squint-eyed ends in all he does.[/i] Balaam spake very religiously, and he multiplied altars and sacrifices; but the thing he had in his eye was the wages of unrighteousness (Num 22:23; 2Pe 2:15). Jehu destroyed bloody Ahabs house, he executed the vengeance of God upon that wicked family; he readily, resolutely, and effectually destroyed all the worshippers of Baal, but his ends were to secure the kingdom to him and his (2Ki 10). Ahab and the Ninevites fasted in sackcloth, but it was merely that they might not feel the heavy judgments that they feared would overtake them (1Ki 21; Jon 3). The Jews in Babylon fasted and mourned, and mourned and fasted seventy years, but it was more to get off their chains than their sins; it was more to be rid of their captivity than it was to be rid of their iniquity (Zec 7:5, 6)
.It is the end that dignifies or debaseth the action, that rectifies it or adulterates it, that sets a crown of honor or a crown of shame upon the head of it. He that commonly, habitually, in all his duties and services, proposes to himself no higher ends than the praises of men or rewards of men, or the stopping the mouth of natural conscience, or only to avoid a smarting rod, or merely to secure himself from wrath to come, he is an hypocrite.
[i]But now mark: a sincere Christian, if he prays or hears, or gives or fasts, or repents or obeys, Gods glory is the main end of all.[/i] The glory of God is his highest end, his ultimate end (Psa 115:1; 1Th 2:6). A sincere Christian can be content to be trampled upon and vilified, so Gods name be glorified. The bent of such a heart is for God and His glory; nothing but sincerity can carry a soul so high as in all acts natural, civil, and religious to intend Gods glory (Rev 9:9-11). A sincere Christian ascribes the praise of all to God. He sets the crown on Christs head alone; he will set God upon the throne and make all things else His servants or His footstool (Rom 14:7, 8). All must bow the knee to God or be trodden in the dirt. He will love nothing, he will embrace nothing but what sets God higher or brings God nearer to his heart
.He lives not to his own will, or lusts, or greatness, or glory in this world, but he lives to His glory, Whose glory is dearer to him than his own life (1Co 10:28; Rev 12:11)
.The daily language of sincere souls is this: "Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, Lord, but to thy name give glory" (Psa 115:1).
Glory is Gods right, and He stands upon His right; and this the sincere Christian knows, and therefore he gives Him His right, he gives Him the honor and the glory that is due unto His name. But pray do not mistake me: I do not say that such as are really sincere do actually eye the glory of Christ in all their actions. Oh no! This is a happiness desirable on earth, but shall never be attained till we come to heaven. Bye and base ends and aims will be still ready to creep into the best hearts; but all sincere hearts sigh and groan under them. They complain to God of them
and it is the earnest desires and daily endeavors of their souls to be rid of them
.But now take a sincere Christian in his ordinary, usual, and habitual course, and you shall find that his aims and ends in all his actions and undertakings are to glorify God, to exalt God, and to lift up God in the world
.He that sets up the glory of God as his chief end will find that his chief end will by degrees eat out all low and base ends.
[b]No hypocrite can live wholly and only upon the righteousness of Christ, the satisfaction of Christ, the merits of Christ for justification and salvation.[/b] The hypocritical scribes and Pharisees prayed, fasted, and kept the Sabbath and gave alms; and in this legal righteousness they rested and trusted (Mat 6; Luk 18:11, 12). Ponder upon that in Revelation 3:16-18. Upon the performance of these and such like duties, they laid the weight of their souls and the stress of their salvation and so perished forever.
[i]An hypocrite rests upon what he doth and never looks so high as the righteousness of Christ.[/i] He looks upon his duties as so much good moneys laid out for heaven. He weaves a web of righteousness to clothe himself withal. He never looks out for a more glorious righteousness to be justified by than his own, and so puts a slight upon the righteousness of Christ. "For they, being ignorant of Gods righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Rom 10:3). The first step to salvation is to renounce our own righteousness. The next step is to embrace the righteousness of Christ, which is freely offered to sinners in the Gospel. But these things the hypocrite minds not, regards not. The righteousness of an hypocrite is not only imperfect, but impurea rag, a filthy rag; and therefore he that rests upon such a righteousness must needs miscarry to all eternity (Isa 64:6). O sirs! Who will say that that man needs a savior, [who] can fly to heaven upon the wings of his own duties and services? If a mans duties can pacify an infinite wrath and satisfy an infinite justice, then farewell Christ, and welcome duties.
He that rests upon anything in him or done by him, as a means to procure the favor of God or the salvation of his soul will put such a cheat upon himself as will undo him for ever. Non-submission to the righteousness of Christ keeps Christ and the hypocrite asunder. Christ will never love nor like to put the fine, clean, white linen of His own righteousness upon the old garment, the old rags of an hypocrites duties (Rev 19:7, 8)
.An hypocrites confidence in his own righteous-ness turns his righteousness into filthiness (Pro 21:27).
[b]But now a sincere Christian, he renounces his own righteousness.[/b] He renounces all confidence in the flesh (Phi 3:3); he looks upon his own righteousness as dung, yea, as dogs meat, as some interpret the word in Philippians 3:8. He will say no more to his duties, to the works of his hands, "Ye are our gods" (Hos 14:3). When they look upon the holiness of Gods nature, the righteousness of His government, the severity of His Law, the terror of His wrath, they see an absolute and indispensable necessity of a more glorious righteousness than their own to appear before God in. A sincere Christian sets the highest price and value upon the righteousness of Christ: "I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only" (Psa 71:16).
[i]A sincere Christian rejoices in the righteousness of Christ above all:[/i] "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels" (Isa 61:10)
.Oh then, what matter of joy must it be to a sincere Christian to have the rich and royal garment of Christs righteousness cast upon him! (Isa 28:16). A sincere Christian rests on the righteousness of Christ as on a sure foundation: "Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength" (Isa 45:24).
[i]A sincere Christian looks upon the righteousness of Christ as that which renders him most splendid and glorious in the eyes of God:[/i] "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Phi 3:9)
.A sincere Christian looks upon the righteousness of Christ as his only security against wrath to come (1Th 1:10). Wrath to come is the greatest wrath, wrath to come is the purest wrath, wrath to come is infinite wrath, wrath to come is everlasting wrath. Now the sincere Christian, he knows no way under heaven to secure himself from wrath to come, but by putting on the robe of Christs righteousness (Rom 13:14)
.Well, for a close, remember this: there is never an hypocrite in the world that is more pleased, satisfied, delighted and contented with the righteousness of Christ, than with his own. Though an hypocrite may be much in duties, yet he never lives above his duties; he works for life, and he rests in his work, and this proves his mortal wound. But,
[b]An hypocrite never embraces a whole Christ[/b]. He can never take up his full and everlasting rest, satisfaction, and content in the person of Christ, in the merits of Christ, in the enjoyment of Christ alone. No hypocrite did ever long and mourn after the enjoyment of Christ as the best thing in all the world. No hypocrite did ever prize Christ for a Sanctifier as well as a Savior. No hypocrite did ever look upon Christ or long for Christ to deliver him from the power of his sins, as much or as well as to deliver him from wrath to come. No hypocrite can really love the person of Christ or take satisfaction in the person of Christ. The rays and beams of Christs glory have never warmed his heart. He never knew what bosom communion with Christ meant (1Th 1:10). An hypocrite may love to be healed by Christ, and to be pardoned by Christ, and to be saved by Christ; but he can never take any complacency in the Person of Christ. His heart never seriously works after union with Christ. The love of a sincere Christian runs much out to the Person of Christ. Heaven itself without Christ would be to such a soul but a poor thing, a low thing, a little thing, an uncomfortable thing, an empty thing. It is the Person of Christ that is the sparkling diamond in the ring of glory (Phi 1:21; 3:7-10).
[b]No hypocrite in the world is sincerely willing to receive Christ in all His office and to close with Him upon Gospel terms[/b]. The terms upon which God offers Christ in the Gospel are these, viz., that we shall accept of a whole Christ with a whole heart (Mat 16:24).
[i]Now, mark, a whole Christ includes all His offices; and a whole heart includes all our faculties.[/i] Christ as Mediator is King, Priest, and Prophet; and so God the Father in the Gospel offers Him. Salvation was too great and too glorious a work to be perfected and completed by any one office of Christ. Christ as a prophet instructs us, as a priest He redeems us and intercedes for us, and as a king, He sanctifies and saves us. The apostle hit it when he said, "Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (1Co 1:30). Consider Christ as our Prophet, and so He is made wisdom to us. Consider Him as our Priest, and so He is made righteousness and redemption to us. Consider Him as our King, and so He is made sanctification and holiness to us.
[i]An hypocrite may be willing to embrace Christ as a priest to save him from wrath, from the curse, from hell, from everlasting burning, but he is never sincerely willing to embrace Christ as a prophet to teach and instruct him, and as a king to rule and reign over him.[/i] Many hypocrites may be willing to receive a Christ Jesus, [who] are not willing to receive a Lord Jesus. They may be willing to embrace a saving Christ, but they are not willing to embrace a ruling Christ, a commanding Christ: "This man shall not rule over us" (Luk 19:27)
."He came unto his own, and his own received him not" (Joh 1:11). An hypocrite is willing to receive Christ in one office, but not in every office; and this is that stumbling-stone at which hypocrites stumble and fall and are broken in pieces. Certainly Christ is as lovely and as comely, as desirable and delightful, as eminent and excellent in one office as He is in another; and therefore it is a just and righteous thing with God that hypocrites that wont receive Him in every office should have no benefit by any one of His offices. Christ and His offices may be distinguished, but Christ and His offices can never be divided (1Co 1:13). Whilst many have been a-laboring to divide one office of Christ from another, they have wholly stripped themselves of any advantage or benefit by Christ.
Hypocrites love to share with Christ in His happiness, but they dont love to share with Christ in His holiness. They are willing to be redeemed by Christ, but they are not cordially willing to submit to the laws and government of Christ. They are willing to be saved by His blood, but they are not willing to submit to His scepter. Hypocrites love the privileges of the Gospel, but they dont love the services of the Gospel, especially those that are most inward and spiritual. But now a sincere Christian, he owns Christ in all His offices, he receives Christ in all His offices, and he closes with Christ in all His offices. He accepts of Him, not only as a Christ Jesus, but also as a Lord Jesus; he embraces Him, not only as a saving Christ, but also as a ruling Christ. The Colossians received Him as Christ Jesus the Lord (Col 2:6); they received a [i]Lord[/i] Christ as well as a [i]saving[/i] Christ; they received Christ as a king upon His throne, as well as a sacrifice upon His cross (2Co 4:5). God the Father in the Gospel tenders a whole Christ. We preach Christ Jesus the Lord; and accordingly, a sincere Christian receives a whole Christ, he receives Christ Jesus the Lord (Act 5:31)
.An hypocrite is all for a saving Christ, for a sin-pardoning Christ, for a soul-glorifying Christ, but regards not a ruling Christ, a reigning Christ, a commanding Christ, a sanctifying Christ; and this at last will prove his damning sin (Joh 3:19, 20).
From "A Cabinet of Jewels" in The Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 3, reprinted by
The Banner of Truth Trust. Available from Chapel Library as a
large booklet in the Christian Classic Series.
Thomas Brooks (1608-1680): Nonconformist preacher and advocate of the Congregational way. Born into a Puritan family, he was sent to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Author of Precious Remedies against Satans Devices, The Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod, and many others. He was buried in Bunhill Fields, London, England.
| 2007/1/18 16:05||Profile|
| Re: Hypocrites|
"...in the sense of the Lords Does this offend you?"
Great point here brother, not to exlude the others prior. Do we not have that sense of
[i]What will others think?[/i]"
And he said unto them, [b][color=660033]Ye are they which justify yourselves before men[/color][/b]...
Are we more willing to hide our shame before men, and appear just, rather than to justify God and be shamed before men?
I have been. It seems to me that we desperately need God's grace in our hearts to love the approval of God than the opinions of others about us.
"What will others think?" Why do we ask that? Becuase of self, the glory of self, the protection of self through pride?
Are we willing to save, cling to, and hold on to our most detestable and degrading affections and corruptions of heart by keeping them from exposure by all sorts of lies and pretense? Is this rejecting their remedy? Is this hating that which is good and loving that which is evil?
The promise of God in the scripture is [i]beauty for ashes[/i]. Would we rather live amidst the charred remnants and burned out remains of our worldy pollutions than be a vessel fit to display the beautifull flowers of holiness, such as: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance?
[b][color=000000]He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.[/color][/b]
[b][color=000000]And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.[/color][/b]
Brothers and sisters, I have been guilty of this and still am and I know full well that there are yet places in my heart which still hold these evil affections.
[b][color=000000] Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.[/color][/b]
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2007/1/18 18:15||Profile|