Matthew 3: 7-9 says “When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to the place of his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don’t presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones!”
It is easy for us to look at others and clearly see their faults and hypocrisy–but do we see our own? Based on the above passage it seems that the source of hypocrisy comes from a spirit of entitlement which is produced from a person’s inclination to make decisions about their life without fully submitting to the standards of God. Let me give some practical examples:
- Should you get divorced?
- What does God say about divorce in the Bible? There is your answer.
- Should you marry “Joe” or “Suzy”?
- What does God say about marrying a person like him or her? There is your answer.
- How should you respond to your disrespectful, hurtful, or inconsiderate spouse?
- What does the Bible say about dealing with people who sin against you? There is your answer.
The point is that when we decide how we are going to handle the situations in our lives without giving God full reign over the standards by which we make those decisions, then we are hypocrites. We say we believe in Him but we are not producing fruit in keeping with repentance. We are not living under the submission of His leadership and His standards. We are being rebellious.
John the Baptist saw the hypocrites coming to be baptized and he stopped them before they got in the water. “Slow your roll” he said! If he would have baptized them then John would be accountable for condoning a life of hypocrisy. When we are Christ followers our decisions are no longer made out of our sense of justice, or self preservation, or even what we believe would make us happy. Instead, our decisions are made based on the principles, values, and Spirit of the God that we have said we believe in. When we demonstrate that our lives are no longer our own and that we will always seek to live according to God’s way, rather than our own, then we can be baptized. Then we can call ourselves Christians.
I pray today for the Spirit of God to convict each one of us of our rebellion against Him and bring us to the place in our lives where we yield our will to His and obey Him in all matters.