by Dr. W.E. Dowell
I. I suppose one of the the outstanding sins of our time is the sin of hypocrisy. (Webster's dictionary says -- hypocrisy is (1) a feigning to be what one is not. (2) The acting of a false part. (3) A deception as to reach character and feeling.
A. I want to deal with the characteristics of a hypocrite, as detailed
before us in these verses
1. He is more concerned about the traditions of men, than the
truth of God.
a. vs. 38 - "The Pharisee marvelled that he had not first
WASHED before dinner."
b. This was a ceremonial observance which was a tradition
c. Christ ignored this, and demonstrated the liberty we have
d. We have this same spirit of tradition exemplified by some
in the manner in which they teach salvation.
e. "Works," "Do the best you can." "Be Baptized," as against
God's revealed plan, Salvation by grace.
2. The hypocrite is more careful about outward than inward purity
a. vs. 39 - "They make clean the outside of the cup, but the
inside is full of ravening and wickedness."
1. They are men pleasers.
2. They make their hands clean while their heart is wicked
3. They look upon things seen rather than things eternal
4. They profess to know God, but deny Him - Titus 1:16
5. They deny that out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts
-- and that these are the things which defile a man --
(cp. Matthew 15:19-20)
6. He is utterly utterly indifferent about the righteousness
of God, and seeks to establish his own. Romans 10:3
7. When he prays, it is with himself. Luke 18:11
8. He flatters men with his outward manners while the
inward manner of the heart is an abomination to God
II. He is a stickler for trifles, and neglects the things which are
A. vs. 42 - "Ye tithe all manner of herbs and pass over judgment
and the love of God."
B. Many people would not rob a child of a pen, but they would rob
God of their whole life.
C. To obey is better than sacrifice, says 1 Samuel 15:22
D. Many will argue vehemently for the rules of the church, and
pass over the law of the spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus.
III. He seeks self-glorification through his religious profession.
A. vs. 43 - "Woe unto you Pharisees for ye love the upper most
seats in the synagogue."
B. The hypocrite is religious, but only so far as it will help to honor
himself, and minister to his vanity.
C. He has no thought of adorning the doctrine of God our Savior
D. But he seeks to be adorned by the doctrine (I thank thee Lord
that I am not as other men -- The Charismatic Movements. etc)
E. If he hold office in the church, it is that he may add to his
F. He is seldom out of place in the house of prayer, but his God is
G. It is not the church that he loves so much, but the uppermost
H. He will be very zealous in religion if he can thereby gain the
flattery of others.
IV. The hypocrite's real character is loathsome, although it appears
not in the sight of men.
A. vs. 44 "Woe unto you, hypocrite! for ye are as graves which
appear not and the men that walk over them are not aware of
B. Men who walk over graves, never think of the foulness and the
C. A hypocrite is veneer, whitewash.
V. I hope you have been think wisely tonight.
VI. I hope you have weighed your own self in the light of truth.