Who Is A “Hypocrite” Biblically?
By David J. Stewart
James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
A hypocrite: Someone who views another person as being a bigger sinner than them self.
Most people misunderstand what a “hypocrite” is. Most people think a hypocrite is someone who preaches one thing and then does another. That is not a hypocrite; that is called a SINNER, a phony, which we all are to some extent (Romans 7:14-25). The hypocrite is the person pointing the finger at others.
Matthew 7:3-5, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 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 brother's eye.”
Everyone has something in their eye... EVERYONE!!! Jesus said in John 8:7, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” We are all guilty of sin. If you say that you are without sin, then you are unsaved and calling God a liar (1st John 1:8,10). God calls all men sinners (Romans 3:10,19-23). I preach against sin, not people.
If you're a Christian, the whole world is waiting for you to fall.
Everyone has a skeleton closet of some sort. Dr. John R. Rice has a powerful sermon titled, “When Skeletons Come Out Of Their Closets And Chickens Come Home To Roost” (MP3). My friend, you are a big sinner, whether you realize it or not. In fact, if you are truly close to God in your personal Christian walk, then you feel like you're the biggest sinner in the world. Isaiah said, “Woe is me! for I am undone” (Isaiah 6:5). Peter said, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8). Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1st Timothy 1:15). All of God's great men felt like they were the biggest sinners who ever lived. When a person condemns others for their sins, I know right away that the person doing the criticizing is either backslidden or immature as a believer, or not saved at all.
What we ought to do is compare ourselves to the righteous Lord as did John the Baptist, “He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose” (John 1:27).
Who's The Biggest Sinner? (I am... and so are you if you're right with God)
Hypocrites are steeped in self-righteousness and go around condemning others. Hypocrites love to read and hear about the sins of others, repeating the garbage elsewhere, relishing in the dirty details of what OTHERS have done; but all men are wicked sinners. To relish in the sins of another is to heap coals of condemnation upon one's self, for all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). No one is a shining example to others of what we all should be. If you're looking for the biggest sinner that you can find, look in the mirror.
The Bible warns that men shall give account one day at the judgment for every good and evil work (Ecclesiastes 12:14), for the words we speak (Matthew 12:36), and even for the thoughts and real intents of our heart (Proverbs 24:12). The Lord won't use the flawed system of a trial by jury in eternity to determine innocence or guilt, for He KNOWS all. There will be no mishaps in justice. God knows every person's thoughts, intents and most secret things. Hebrews 4:13, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Thus, all men ought to fear God, for “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Who are you or me to dare point a finger at anybody in condemnation for their sins? That right and power is reserved for God alone, Who is the divine Lawgiver (James 4:12; 5:9).
The Bible tells the story about two men who went up to the temple to pray, one a heathen publican and the other a religious Pharisee...
Luke 18:9-14, “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
The heathen publican came down from the temple justified, forgiven of his sins; but the hypocritical religious Pharisee wasn't forgiven, still in his many sins, because he was self-righteous. I don't condemn anyone for their sins, for I am the biggest sinner I know (and so are you if you're right with God). Self-righteous hypocrites don't recognize their own sinfulness, because they always compare themselves to others who appear to be more wicked than them self.
You Are More Sinful Than You Likely Think
My friend, you don't even have to sin to be sinful, for you were born in sin with a wicked sin nature. Psalms 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Everyone has sinned, thousands upon thousands of times throughout life. But even if you think that you've cleaned up your life of sin considerably, and now you sincerely think that you haven't sinned for a long time (which is impossible for anyone), you'd still be a dirty, rotten, hell-deserving, sinner. We aren't sinners because we sin; but rather, we sin because WE ARE SINNERS!!! The big question is, do you have Christ's imputed righteousness? That is, have your sins been forgiven in Christ. The Lord paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt of sin that we could not pay.
I don't care how much you've tried to reform, rehabilitate or clean up your own ways of sin, it's not good enough to God. Your best is filth to God, as taught in Isaiah 64:6. God rejected Cain's grain offerings from the field. God rejected Adam's fig-leaf religion. God will reject your best human efforts too. There's absolutely NOTHING that you can do to improve yourself in God's eyes. Christ is our only hope and righteousness.
1st Corinthians 1:30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
The scribes and Pharisees had self-righteousness, but the Lord warned the people that it wasn't good enough to enter into Heaven...
Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
We all need Christ's righteousness, which comes only by faith in the gospel, that is, the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).
In God's eyes, you're either saved by God's grace and Christ's righteousness has completely and forever washed your sins away; or else you're still under the CURSE of the Law of God and your sins still haven't been forgiven. If you DIE IN YOUR SINS (John 8:24) you will burn in the Lake of Fire for all eternity, called the Second Death (Revelation 21:8). But if you DIE IN THE LORD (Revelation 14:13), then you will be escorted by angels into Heaven's pearly gates to live happily with the Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever. The choice is yours.
The truth is that we are all dirty sinners and only through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ can anyone ever be declared justified from their sins in God's eyes. Apart from faith in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, there can be no justification nor eternal life. So don't ever think that you've become holy on your own by forsaking the world or ceasing from old sinful bad habits. Judas tried to reform his sinful ways and ended up hanging himself in despair and going to Hell in his sins. You'd better do like Peter when he sinned and repent toward God by faith.
The entire premise of the Lordship Salvation heresy (that has plagued the world's churches) is that a believer can reach a less sinful point in life to please God in one's own self-righteousness. The fact of the matter is that all of the evil men who teach Lordship Salvation are just as sinful as the next guy. Those false prophets who teach Lordship Salvation look down on others as did the Pharisee who went up to the temple to pray with himself, condemning others instead of worrying about himself. My friend, you either have Christ's righteousness; or else you are as sinful in God's eyes as the wickedest person on the earth (James 2:10).
Our Only Righteousness Is By Faith In Christ Jesus
If you are truly a born-again Christian, than the only righteousness which you posses is Christ's imputed righteousness, “and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The only righteousness which I have is Christ in me, the hope of glory!!!
Please don't miss what I am teaching here, because it is a foundational truth of the Christian life. I've known so many Christians in my life who after they got saved, went around condemning others who weren't living as holy as they thought they should (aka, the Lordship Salvation crowd). So it becomes a battle of who's living the most self-righteous life. That's not how Christianity works and certainly not how God wants us to live from day-to-day. We are saved by grace through faith, and we live the Christian life by grace through faith as well. The truth, as I mentioned is taught in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
We don't live the Christian life with God's help; but rather, Christ lives through us as we yield to the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Word of God. 2nd Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” The ONLY righteousness which we posses as born-again believers is BY FAITH. We are saved by faith. We live by faith. We die by faith. At no point in a Christian's walk with God do we ever please God in our own self-righteousness; but rather, the righteousness of Christ sustains us from the moment that we are saved forever.
If I choose to live right as a Christian believer, it is Christ living in me, and not my own effort to become sanctified or holy as Robert Morey falsely teaches.
And if I choose not to live right as a believer, I am no less righteous in God's eyes because of my faith in Christ. I am God's child permanently and nothing can ever change that, because I have Christ's imputed righteousness upon me (Romans 4:6). My position with God was settled the very second that I believed the gospel, upon which faith in God declared me justified and righteous, having my sins cleansed away by Jesus' literal, physical, blood sacrifice (1st Peter 1:18-19).
Now God will hold me accountable as His child (Hebrews 12:6-8) for any sins that I may commit (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11), but it has no influence upon the eternal security of my salvation by faith in Christ (1st Corinthians 5:5). Each time that a believer sins, rewards are forfeited in Heaven (1st Corinthians 3:15); but we can earn more rewards by serving the Lord and preaching the gospel (1st Corinthians 3:8).
Satan Is The Accuser Of The Brethren
I thank God that my sins have been washed away by the precious blood of Jesus. Only the sinless, perfect and holy Lamb of God is without spot nor blemish (1st Peter 1:18-19; 2nd Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1st Peter 2:22). Hypocrites love to accuse others and exaggerate every detail, wording their slander just right to do maximum damage to their victim's name and reputation. That's what the Devil does best.
Jesus has been gone from the earth for 2,000 years and men are still defaming His good name, calling Him an adulterer, an illegitimate bastard, conceived through rape, a liar and deceiver, et cetera. Jesus said that the servant is not greater than His Master. If they crucified the Lord of glory, Who was perfect and without sin; then what do you think the wicked world is going to do to God's children, who are imperfect sinners? Did you know that the name, “Satan,” means “the accuser”? It's true. We read concerning Satan in Revelation 12:10, “...for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
You're never more like Satan than when you accuse others, hypocritically pointing fingers and condemning other people for their faults and sins. Of course, anything can be justified these days, whether it be abortion, same-sex marriage or assassinating someone's character with gossip. One of the most popular ways to slit someone's throat is to ask others to pray for them and then tell everyone their dirty laundry. If that's you, your day of reckoning is coming. James 4:12, “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” Did you read that? Only God has a right to destroy. Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Isn't that beautiful? No one has the right nor authority to condemn anyone for their sins, for that place is reserved for God alone, Who is the only Lawgiver! The Bible warns that we will all be judged by THE SAME EXACT MEASURE BY WHICH WE JUDGE OTHERS...
Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
When is it right to judge? The Bible forbids condemning others as sinners for their sins. But it is right to discern when others are teaching false doctrines, or are publicly parading their wickedness shamelessly, or are teaching children that it's ok to be a homosexual, et cetera. It is proper to expose those who are liars, cheats and criminals, using tax-payer dollars to undermine society; but it's never right to berate, attack, malign or destroy someone for personal mistakes, faults and sins.
If a person desires strongly enough to do wrong, then they will pervert the Scriptures and find a way to justify it in their own wicked mind. They did this back in the Old Testament. Jeremiah 7:9-10, “Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” Isn't that something... they blamed God for their sins, saying that it was God's will for them to murder, steal, commit adultery and worship idols. We see this same evil at work in America today. The television networks, apostate churches and liberal authors are all falsely saying that God made the homosexuals “that way.”
May I say, God doesn't make mistakes. If God creates two men as homosexual, then God messed up, because they can't reproduce. The truth is that Biblical marriage is between one man and one woman, hopefully who love each other, and have been blessed with the gift of having children, which are the combining of mom and dad into one being, a child. Isn't that precious. Children are the ultimate expression of a man and a woman's love for each other, combining their two beings into ONE. That's one reason why the sin of divorce is so evil, wrong and should never even be considered.
Some wayward ministers, like Peter Ruckman, teach that a child in the womb is not yet a human being until the first breath of life is taken at birth. Yet, God said in Jeremiah 1:5 that he “knew” Jeremiah before he was formed. Abortion is always wrong, because God commanded in Exodus 12:13, “Thou shalt not kill.” A child is a life, not a choice.
Newspapers destroy people's lives, reporting things that are later found to be in error or completely untrue, but the damage is done. The shock factor that gossip causes cannot be undone. The stigma sticks! I have more respect for a pimp on the street than I do for the newsmedia who thrive on spreading manure and destroying people's lives for a living. They accept no accountability whosoever for their evil deeds. The media are evil to the core, who will “eat their young” as former Governor Jesse Ventura has correctly stated. The newsmedia have sold their souls to Satan, and have sold Americans out to the New World Order.
The biggest sinners often fail to see themselves for who and what they really are. I guarantee you that the biggest sinners are the one's who go around pointing out other's sins. The newsmedia are some of the most evil and self-righteous people on the planet, spreading manure, lies and half-truths to boost ratings and make more money. Bad news sells!
There's not a preacher alive who can live up to everything that he preaches, unless: 1) he is perfect, the same as Jesus Christ (which is impossible according to Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned...”), or 2) he doesn't preach the whole truth as he should. I often step on my own toes when I preach and publish articles. A preacher is supposed to preach the whole truth! I want to be morally perfect (holy) as my Lord is perfect, but I will fail repeatedly as long as I am in this weak fleshly body.
The mighty apostle Paul stated...
Romans 7:24-25, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
This is the same testimony of every genuine, born-again, child of God, who is trying to think right, do right and live right in Christ Jesus. We attempt to live right because WE ARE saved and love the Lord (John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”); and not in order TO GET saved (which is a false plan of salvation taught by many Calvinists and Lordship Salvationists). The believer's salvation is based solely upon Christ's righteousness, which is imputed to every believer by faith in the gospel.
Even the best of Christians still commit sins every day. The holiness movement groups within Methodist circles teach the heresy that a Christian can achieve a state of sinlessness. They're all dirty, rotten, filthy, sinners who are only deceiving themselves. If we have even the slightest bit of righteousness, it is HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, Christ's imputed righteousness. Romans 4:6, “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”
The Bible plainly teaches this in Proverbs 24:16, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” In other words, the wicked don't even try to live right; but the righteous man and woman does try, even though they stumble and fail often. They get back up because they desire to do right. The flesh wants to do wrong continually. The Spirit of God in us convicts us as believers to obey God and do right. It's a constant battle between the flesh and the Spirit.
If you're a Christian, the whole world is waiting for you to fall.
A hypocrite is someone who views another person as being a worse sinner than them self. The biggest hypocrites in the world are people who go around condemning others for their sins, because if the truth be told, you and I are just as sinful as the next person.
Most people are big time hypocrites. When we view someone as being worse than we are, and we magnify that person's sins, finding fault in them, we are condemning that person. The Bible condemns every one of us as being guilty sinners, deserving of hellfire. We have no authority nor right to condemn anyone. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." We're all guilty.
I am the biggest sinner I know, and if you'll be honest with yourself, you are too. If you disagree with that, then you have not realized how sinful you truly are in God's eyes. James 2:10 states that committing even one sin makes a person GUILTY of ALL in the eyes of God. We all deserve to burn in the fires of Hell for all eternity.
Matthew 7:1-5, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 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 brother's eye.”
There are no perfect Christians, no perfect churches and no perfect preachers. People by nature attempt to hide their faults and sins, and to make excuses in an attempt to justify their wrongs. I've never heard a woman admit, “Yes, I am murdering my baby by having an abortion.” Most women have multiple excuses which they use in a futile attempt to justify killing the innocent. I've never heard anyone admit, “Yes, I'm a sick-minded homosexual who is attracted to the same-sex.”
Most people bring up their spouse's faults and sins when the subject of divorce comes up, because they feel compelled to justify their decision to file for divorce. You cannot justify your sins. We must give account to God on judgment day (Hebrews 9:27; Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Oh listen my friend, do you have any idea just how sinful you and I are? Please read this brief excerpt from Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD...
“The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.”
SOURCE: SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD! by Jonathan Edwards; preached in Enfield, Connecticut; July 8, 1741
Amen! Now with the words of Jonathan Edward's in mind, it should be obvious to you just how hypocritical it is to focus on the sins and faults of others. We are the biggest sinners! Remember, anytime you point your finger at someone else, there's three fingers pointing back at you. Hypocrites are finger pointers. Please don't be a finger-pointer. We're no better than anyone else.
Let us not confuse preaching against sin with condemning someone as being a worse sinner than we are. We are all horrible sinners deserving of hellfire.
God commands each believer to refute all works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). We are commanded to rise up and stand against the evildoers and workers of iniquity (Psalm 94:16). This is quite different than condemning someone on a personal level. Preachers are expected by God to preach uncompromisingly against sin, without apology. Yet, even the mightiest of preachers who walk closest with the Lord are still vile sinners saved by God's undeserving grace. It is tragic how a preacher who preaches against sin can mess up one time and his reputation is ruined for the rest of his life, while the most vile and Godless of sinners indulge in unrepentant wickedness and are continually praised and honored as icons by a heathen society.
If someone is going around the neighborhood stealing hubcaps off people's cars, I am not judging or condemning him to expose what he is doing, because it is wrong. It is no different with abortion, witchcraft or homosexuality. The Bible condemns these sins. They are against God's Law. We are not judging or condemning anyone to remind them of God's Law, anymore than it would be wrong to remind someone that it's against the law to steal people's hubcaps. Homosexuals and abortionists accuse Christians of being judgmental, but that's just as absurd as saying one shouldn't expose a thief in the neighborhood. A hypocrite is not the one preaching against sin, it's the one who focuses on the faults of the preacher in an attempt to justify their own sins. Hypocrisy is synonymous with self-righteousness.
I preach against sin, many times stepping on my own toes as well. Someone needs to rise up for God against the wickedness of our time. That is what Christian men are supposed to do. Taking a stand against sin and evil is not just a calling for ministers, it is a command for all believers.
Again, a hypocrite is someone who views another person as being more sinful than them self. It is not our place as believers to look down on others, for we are just as sinful in God's eyes. It is not our place to condemn anyone for their sins, for the Word of God condemns all of us as being guilty before God. We ought to preach the Scriptures with love, humility and without apology to a lost and dying world in need of salvation.
Who's the Biggest Sinner?
Job 20:4-5, “Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?”
Ye Must Be Born Again!