Vol. 3, No. 24 – June 17, 2018

You who boast in the Law, through you are breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? Romans 2:23

Paul seems to focus on what we say. It is as if Paul writes: You say, do not pray to idols; then you make money your god instead!

It is a revealing heart that attempts to make others believe something about us that is untrue, because we hide the evidence that would speak against us. This is nothing new – many Christians and Christian Leaders have become adept at covering the secret things.

Hypocrite is the right word, even though it sounds harsh.

Hypocrite /hipo, krit, from Latin hypocrita; from the Greek hypokrites – an actor on the stage, wearing a mask, an outward show, false, one who pretends to be what he/she is not, or to have principles or beliefs that he/she does not have.

Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus indicates the word represents an actor, faker, fraud, masquerader, phony, sham, and one who is oily or smooth-tongued. Wow! Those seem like useful equivalents.
In the second chapter of Romans, the Apostle Paul is hitting hard on the religious, yet charlatan person of the earth.

They have ritual without redemption, works without worship, form of service without the fear of God, profession without either confession or possession, and religious precepts and practices; plus all the attitudes that go with such attachments to themselves. These “crowned” hypocrites are alien to the grace of God. –Donald G. Barnhouse

Did you hear the question that screams out from the above? Are you practicing what and who you teach/preach/lead/supervise? Is your walk the same as your talk? In the words of an old-time song:

Heap big smoke, but no fire
Him talk a lot; him not so hot

On display is self-righteous arrogance at its height:

• We are so sure of the way to God, that we can lead a blind man
• We think of ourselves as a beacon lights to men who are lost
• We believe we can teach even children in the affairs of God
• We are just sure we are full of extended knowledge and truth (Romans 2:17-20)

Yet . . .

• We teach others; then why not teach ourself?
• We tell others not to steal; yet how do we measure up?
• We say it is wrong to commit adultery; and then we lust after what is not ours
• We say, do not pray to idols, yet we have money for a god
• We say we worship God, but in reality everything is about ourselves

The text is a challenge for God’s reality.

• Truth, not counterfeit
• God expects us to be the real deal, the real thing
• Being a Christian and not living like one is sad; tragic
• Acting like a Christian and not being one is deadly

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves        –James 1:22

How are we doing?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

June 17, 2018

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