A Disciple Distinguished
" . . . teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. . . ." Mark 12:14
There are too many hypocrites in the church! True. There have always been, and always will be. In fact, there are hypocrites everywhere. The problem for us is not spotting hypocrisy in others, but in spotting the hypocrite in ourselves.
The Pharisees and Herodians try to throw Jesus off balance by pretending to respect His impartiality. Ironically, by faking sincerity while they affirm His candor, they miss the truth. Jesus does not butter up others, or short circuit the ways of God, to win the approval of others. Jesus does show partiality and does not give straight answers to those who do not sincerely seek the truth.
The distinguishing trait of a disciple of Jesus is authenticity. Jesus places within each follower a new destiny, nature, attitude, and righteousness that would exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. Only the redemption can place within us the nature of God. Jesus remakes us not by changing our nature, but by giving us a new source from which to live. The process can be painful.
Strips away Hypocrisy
The spirit of God strips away every false profession, fraud and phoniness until there's nothing left but one’s self. He keeps striping away until there is no place left to hide, until all sanctimoniousness, glibness and double-dealing are done away with. This is where the struggle comes from, we refuse to be identified with the death of Jesus. He will not let up on us until we are willing to offer our naked selves to God. Finally, life will be about God only.
Shapes us with Holiness
We become holy, not by trying, but by receiving the life of Jesus. The holiness of Jesus is placed within each believer by faith as a gift of grace. The astonishing reality of the Christian life is that the qualities of Jesus are exhibited in and through the believer. We draw from Jesus the holiness that is in Him. All of Jesus is at your disposal. As we are shaped by His life, the inner hypocrite is suffocated, no longer to be controlled by pretense, but kept by the power of God.
Are you willing to be stripped down and shaped by God?