HYPOCRISY

“What does the Bible say about hypocrisy?”

In essence, “hypocrisy” refers to the act of claiming to believe something but acting in a different manner.
The word is derived from the Greek term for “actor”—literally, “one who wears a mask”—in other words, someone who pretends to be what he is not.

The Bible calls hypocrisy a sin. There are two forms hypocrisy can take: (1) that of professing belief in something and then acting in a manner contrary to that belief, and (2) that of looking down on others when we ourselves are flawed.

The prophet Isaiah condemned the hypocrisy of his day: “The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men’” (Isaiah 29:13).

Centuries later, Jesus quoted this verse, aiming the same condemnation at the religious leaders of His day
(Matthew 15:8-9). John the Baptist refused to give hypocrites a pass, telling them to produce “fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8). Jesus took an equally staunch stand against sanctimony—He called hypocrites
(a) “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15),

(b) “whitewashed tombs” (Matthew 23:27),

(c) “snakes,” and “brood of vipers” (Matthew 23:33).

We cannot say we love God if we do not love our brothers (1 John 2:9). Love must be “without hypocrisy” (Romans 12:9, NKJV).
A hypocrite may look righteous on the outside, but it is a façade.
True righteousness comes from the inner transformation of the Holy Spirit not an external conformity to a set of rules (Matthew 23:5; 2 Corinthians 3:8).

Jesus addressed the other form of hypocrisy in the Sermon on the Mount: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5). Jesus is not teaching against discernment or helping others overcome sin; instead, He is telling us not to be so prideful and convinced of our own goodness that we criticize others from a position of self-righteousness.
We should do some introspection first and correct our own shortcomings before we go after the “specks” in others (cf. Romans 2:1).

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He had many run-ins with the religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees. These men were well versed in the Scriptures and zealous about following every letter of the Law (Acts 26:5). However, in adhering to the letter of the Law, they actively sought loopholes that allowed them to violate the spirit of the Law. Also, they displayed a lack of compassion toward their fellow man and were often overly demonstrative of their so-called spirituality in order to garner praise (Matthew 23:5–7; Luke 18:11).


Jesus denounced their behavior in no uncertain terms, pointing out that “justice, mercy, and faithfulness” are more important than pursuing a perfection based on faulty standards
(Matthew 23:23). Jesus made it clear that the problem was not with the Law but the way in which the Pharisees implemented it (Matthew 23:2-3). Today, the word pharisee has become synonymous with hypocrite.

It must be noted that hypocrisy is not the same as taking a stand against sin. For example, it is not hypocrisy to teach that drunkenness is a sin, unless the one teaching against drunkenness gets drunk every weekend—that would be hypocrisy.

As children of God, we are called to strive for holiness (1 Peter 1:16). We are to “hate what is evil” and “cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). We should never imply an acceptance of sin, especially in our own lives. All we do should be consistent with what we believe and who we are in Christ. Play-acting is meant for the stage, not for real life.

Selah.

Maranatha

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ARMOUR OF GOD

There is a battle involved in almost everything we do. We contend daily for survival and for sustenance. From the time in memorial, life has always been a contending ground. It all began from the time if the first man Adam, whom God told to tend and keep the garden of Eden but he failed because he understands not what the ‘keeping’ suggests. However, the battle has continued until now. Although, it seems as if devil won initially, but there is hope given by God for the victory thus:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Genesis 3:15

To this end, a mystery has been shrouded into this statement of God for victory.

There is no one who goes to battle with a bare hand to fight. Every battle has its own kind of weapon to fight it. The Lord’s battle is not exempted from this.

Therefore, as a believer, what battle are we involved in? An understanding if this place us on the advantage side of strategising and winning the battle.

Apostle Paul gave a graphic illustrations of the kind of weapon that is involved. He said,

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Ephesians 6:10-18

These weapons are positioned in the frontal part of whosoever that will be in the Lord’s army. The battle is not a physical one but unseen battles. The rendition of a version of the scriptures put it thus: a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. That’s the nature of our battle. Devil is an unseen being to Nanking and hence, unseen weapons are needful to combat him. So take everything the Master(God) has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. The battle is fierce and we must be ready for it by put on the WHOLE armour of God and not a partial one. The beauty of the sour is in its wholistic usage and that makes it effective.

The weapons

The first weapon as mentioned by the apostle is TRUTH at your loins. The bowel of truth must be in you. Since out of the abundant of heart the mouth , then, you are what your word is. In the question of dwellers of the tabernacle and holy hill of God by the psalmist,he said that “…he that walks uprightly and works righteousness and speaks the truth in his heart…” PS.15:1-5. The truth keeps us from subscribing to the belief system of world.

Second, the chest must be secured with RIGHTEOUSNESS. This is very scarce in the world today, and we must war with unrighteousness by righteousness. You must stand for the weaker people.

We must also walk about in the field of the world by transporting via the Gospel of Peace. The message must be shared wherever man is found. Though, the gods of this world is blindfolding people to the light of the gospel,yet we must keep spreading it. As we do so, we fight and depopulate the kingdom of hell and Satan lost the battle.

Three, there is no doubt that the onslaught of the enemies are very strong, yet, we are encouraged to be strong in the lord and take up the SHIELD OF FAITH to protect against the striking of the foes. This weapon is the assurance of the promises of God that He will never fail. Faith in God protects you when you are tempted to doubt. Heb.11:1

Four, HELMET OF SALVATION is your believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The ground and solid foundation of our forgiveness and sanctification. On the basis of this we can overcome because, we would have been born of God before advancing into the battle front

Finally, the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT which is the WORD OF GOD. An effective weapon that must be held always in the battle. This one is an offensive weapon of war. How much of it a man had in his spirit bank, determines his victory over the enemies. Deut.8:3 sum it up. A man can not survive alone by bread but by every word (proceeding word of God)…

It is time to fight and not to slumber in the battle front. Generals with their armour being put on, go out and defend your territory before the intrusion of the invaders. The enemy seek to colonise the earth but God has given it to men. Arise and fight and be not distracted by the civilian affairs.

The victory is sure by the blood of the lamb.

Maranatha

Elder Gaius

The beauty of the scriptures is not only in discussing some special individuals whose life is both an example of good or bad. This actually makes it the best of all books. It x-ray the heroes and the villains in an unbiased way and that’s the reason why it is the best of all books. Character study has lent me the privilege of seeing this and hence the motivation to be doing that once in a while based on the insight granted by His spirit. In fact, the Bible does not silent in revealing the strength, weakness, success and failure of these men and women to its readers; knowing that they would be able to juxtaposed their lives with theirs. Oh! How I love to know, read, learn and study deeply these men who had gone ahead and gleaned from their ups and downs, as well as how some managed to enter the record of eternity. Such is the passion behind writing about this man called GAIUS. He was the first to be addressed by the writer of the third epistle of John. There were other characters (though, not of my focus yet in this piece) whom the author referenced but not as detailed as the focal point.

In picking upon his life, one must bear in mind the secret of his exemplary lifestyle and that is doing things according to the Truth. In other words, truth is the basis of his life.

Paul said,

For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
2 Corinthians 13:8

Gaius has the following in his life and it can be a yardstick for ours as well. These are:

*He was a well-beloved elder in the church. Hence, he was addressed as such. The word beloved was used again in addressing an highly rated personality in God such as Daniel

At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Daniel 9:23

*A coworkers with Apostle Paul. He was deeply involved in ministerial assignment among who paul was one.

*He was a man with testimony among brethren and even the unbelievers around could bear witness of his life in God. A source of joy to the righteous leaders. And he walked faithfully to both the brethren and the strangers.

  • The saints are praying for him
  • His soul prospereth
  • His love in the church are attest of
  • He provides for the brethren in their journey
  • Helpers of the evangelist and gospel preachers to the gentiles.

Gaius curriculum vitae

Being an elder in the church was a common ground for all, yet,Gaius distinguished himself by being a well ‘beloved’ elder. The address in his CV was also the same with the one a man has in the land of Babylon as a captive of Judah by king Nebuchadnezzar. Even though he was in an idolatry country, a visit of an angel revealed that he was being addressed as “a well beloved”. It is generally believed that

The voice of man is the voice of God

Yoruba proverbs/sayings

In other words, what man sees and testifies about is a reflection of the testimony of heaven about any man. What does heaven speaks about me and you? Have you any identity in the realm if the spirit? Acts19:13-17

To Gaius, he had all saints praying for him because of his good deeds among them. He did the right addition and God multiplied him in grace and peace. 2 pet.1:1-8.

In short, he is an instrument for the advancement of the kingdom. By virtue of being in the church, he had the privilege to learn from two opposing side of leadership -Demetrius and Diotrephes. He cleaved to the former and discarded the latter.

THE TRUTH

Every believer must understand that the best underlying factor of our accurate description is THE TRUTH. Although, it is possible for a man to have the “True” and not the “TRUTH. Jesus said in John 14:6 thus

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6

Have you consider that Gaius was loved in the truth? He was a man that has the truth resident in him and people bear witness to this and he walked in the truth and become a fellow helpers of the truth.

What our generation need

With all being said and done, there is a need for our generation to produce men like Gaius across every platforms – Political, economic, social, religious, culture, etc. The absence of such men in our society is a great catastrophe because, Diotrephes will emerged fully and with strong dominance. It is time to arise oh ye hidden Gaius and if we do not have any yet, we have divine manual for making one today.

God bless you

#Maranatha

DESIRE

I wonder why a lot of people embarked upon a journey in life and always get what they want out of life even when others seems to be greeting nothing out of the same place? Have you ever thought of it before now that the fuel by which goals are achieved is neither by the amount of muscular capacity possess in fact, the preacher says, “the race is not to the swift….” Eccl.9:11, nor by the cerebral prowess. However, a popular saying is

If wishes are horse, even the beggar would ride

It’s an indication that the worst man on earth has something to pursue or is pursuing as a goal and an achievement. The fulfilment of manhood is exemplified in the array of successes one is able to arrogate to himself. Just as the heart is meant to pump blood for the continual flow of blood that life may keep functioning, the same way we all have a desire to achieve greater things. There was a man in a city who has been able to reach up to the point we can refers yo as an high echelon, yet, he has a strong desire for the sanctuary of God. I know you get who I am referring to? David was the man. Here is his words,

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
Psalms 27:4

Having a desire is not a crime. It is a daily venture if I may say; and it not limited to a specific class of men (coming from the quotation that if wishes…). Desire is a cross-cultural thing. Can we pick a child who has been born, the quest to grow begins; with the growth, he/she begins from crawling, sitting, standing and then walking. And to talk of other aspect of life that makes him/her a person of life impact. Desire in the business world is not negotiable. Even from the time colonial reigns, each of the colonialists gain several territories as a means of expressing their desire to show their strength and glory while scrambling over those territories.

Desire is thus conceived as the feeling of wanting something. To long for something or crave for. There is a passion that fuel excellence. Except a mediocres, no one ever achieve greatness without a passionate desire. The track record of great men on earth is a function of desire.

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
Proverbs 13:19

I wish you could see the essentiality of desire in man. From the book of proverb written by king Solomon, a wise king and son of David, accomplishment of desire does something to the soul like nothing else, and that is sweet. Have you any desire to accomplish a task? Or are you living without a desire? Your desire must both Heavenly and earthly. As you make impact on earth, then, heaven must be the focus too.

I challenge you to have a desire for greatness. Your desire determines your delivery, your delivery depends on your destination. If you are without a desire, you will end up becoming a destitute.