Romans 2:17-29 Part 1 Hypocrites?

Have you heard people say the church is full of hypocrites? They may be right!

hypocrite 1

Romans 2:17-24  “Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Pride of the position

The Jews were a proud people because of their “religion” and knowledge of the scripture. They are right and this is the focus in verses 17-24 of Romans 2.  The Jews were a proud people because of their “religion” and knowledge of the scripture.  They considered themselves to a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness. An instructor to the foolish and a teacher of babes (verses 19-20.)  Paul is challenging the proud Jews to look inside and see if they are so proud of their position and knowledge that they forget to apply their knowledge to themselves.  The things they teach does not seem to apply to them.  They consider themselves to have “made it” in the kingdom because they are Jews and  are teachers.

I was a hypocrite!

I remember a revival service I attended when the evangelist called for all sinners to come forward to accept Christ.  I had a jealous place in my heart toward another pastor.  While I had been a pastor for several years and went to college.  This preacher was trained by distance learning and his church was growing like mad.  I was jealous and there I was at the alter call. “All those with sin in your life come forward” the evangelist said.  I was looking at these “sinners” knowing I belonged with them, but I was a pastor.  I am embarrassed to tell you it took too long for me to take that first step.  However the second and third step was easier and as I reached the alter I repented and God forgave and healed me.  I repented to this pastor and we are friends.

Hypocrisy makes God distasteful to the unbeliever.

If we are not careful we can become a “professional” teacher and truth giver that only shares but does not look closely in the mirror of God’s word.  The strong effect of this is found in verse 24 “The name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you”.  From the Message translation “It is because of you Jews that the outsiders are down on God”.

Hypocrites are easy to be seen unless you are one.  If you have a position of influence in the church or group of people please take heed, This is very common and easy to slip into.  The pride of the position keeps you from the humility of the truth.  Allow God to fill our own heart with His lightnside to keep you holy as you share His light to others.

Romans 2:21a ” you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”

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