They're All A Bunch Of Hypocrites!

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Guest Blogger: Pastor David Warner

     Christians, individuals and whole congregations, are often accused of hypocrisy, of failing to live up to what we believe.  It’s painful, to be accused of hypocrisy, to be accused of not walking the walk, of being a sham.  It’s painful, especially because it’s too often true.  The people in the  pews and the man behind the pulpit are all in some respect hypocrites, every last man, woman and child.  We can be considered hypocrites because we are sinners.  We say one thing and do another.  We say we want to love our enemies, but we fail to do so.  We say we want to follow the Ten Commandments, but our thoughts, words and deeds fall short.  We are called by Christ to love our neighbors, but we struggle with anger, evil thoughts, and jealousy. 

     We are not o.k. with this.  Confessing that we are unable to free ourselves from sin does not mean that we simply accept our sin.  We are ashamed of our sins, at least, we are when God stops us short with the truth, reminding us how He hates sin.  If we are not somehow freed from our sin, we know from God’s Word that we will suffer the just consequences.  We have a real problem.  We need help.

     Day by day and when we gather in worship, we admit our sin to God:  “I, a poor miserable sinner, have sinned against You in thought, word and deed.”  And day by day, by His word, God does a miracle.  He forgives us, for Jesus’ sake.  It is as John says:  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, [God] who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  [1 John 1:8-9]

     Can it really be so simple, so easy?  Simple, yes.  Easy, no.  At least, not easy for God.  The forgiveness that God freely bestows was gained by the suffering and death on the Cross of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  But it is easy for the sinner, no work at all, a totally free gift, delivered by the Holy Spirit.  It has to be, because no work we sinners have to offer meets God’s standard.  The only way we can live in hope is by trusting in Christ’s forgiveness. 

     We’d like you to worship with us.  But if you do, be prepared.  Be prepared to be disappointed in us.  And  be prepared to have God’s Word reveal your sinfulness.  But then listen eagerly for Jesus’ words:  “I forgive you.”  Thankfully, joyfully, His forgiveness frees us to turn from sin and to love, serve, and forgive others. 

     We’re definitely a work in progress.  While God sees us and all believers as righteous, for the sake of Jesus’ suffering and death,  your eyes will still see a church full of sinners.  But we are sinners gathered to receive the forgiveness won for all people by Christ’s life, death and resurrection.  

To read more by Pastor Warner, go to his blog, "Beyond The Sanctuary."