To be Seen by Men

Matthew 23:1-12 To be Seen by men

  • Hypocrisy is simply- saying or believing something and then doing the opposite
  • How many people are not following Jesus, or in church because of our hypocrisy?
  • Jesus told us to take the log out of our own eye first, to see the speck in our brothers eye
  • No one likes a hypocrite. We don’t like bosses who tell us to stay late and leave early, we don’t like parents that tells us not to cuss and then cuss themselves, we don’t like people who aren’t good with money telling us how to budget, we don’t like preachers who live contrary to the word, we don’t like politicians who campaign on promises and then they don’t keep them
  • What is amazing about hypocrisy, is that we can see it with the utmost clarity the ocean beaches of hypocrisy in others, and can’t seem to find a grain of sand in ourselves. 
  • Most people can’t even admit the amount of time that they spend thinking, talking and discussing the hypocrisy of others and never talk about the hypocrisy in their own lives. 
  • Why? Not exactly sure. I’ve got some theories tho- 
  1. Self reflection is painful. Its horribly painful to look at things within yourself that need to change. Its embarrassing. It’s emotional. It opens up old wounds and new ones
  2. Self reflection requires work. Once you uncover you are given the option to either do something about it, or do the hard work necessary to change your thoughts, words and actions
  3. Self reflection is difficult. Its very hard to see yourself and your own hypocrisy because we tend to always magnify our successes, and minimize our defeats. We like to feel good, and realizing things about your self without focused energy is not easy
  4. Self reflection isn’t fun. Finding fault in others usually gives you the immediate self gratification of finding error in someone. We love mysteries, we love puzzles, we love using our minds. When we have a ‘a-ha’ moment, it makes us feel intelligent and powerful. We can see what others can’t! 
  5. Self reflection can be demoralizing. When you already don’t feel that great about yourself and then you see your own hypocrisy, it can discourage you. You thought you were farther along. Its like listening to a recording of yourself singing. You think Whitney Houston, and it sounds like a tone deaf drunk person at a low rent karaoke bar. 
  • Here’s the truth about Hypocrisy- 
  • Lu12:2 there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
  • Hypocrisy is damaging your relationship with God and with others. When you live in hypocrisy, people avoid you. They do not trust you. They don’t want to be around you, do business with you, help you, talk to you or help you. They smile and nod and let you move on to other things.
    They want to talk to you about it, but what we all know- if you can’t see it in yourself, me showing it to you without an invitation, probably isn’t going to help our relationship. 
  • Understand this- I have hypocrisy in my life. I’m sure you see it- I have inconsistencies and areas I’m working on. I am not perfect, and neither are you. 
  • I make promises I forget. I talk about love and lose my cool. I preach health and eat ice cream
  • This is a sermon about us looking at ourselves, not looking at problems in others. 
  • We’ve got some time- lets cover some hypocrisy in our lives (me included)
  1. The Hypocrisy of preaching
  • READ 1-4 “They do not practice what they preach” 
  • Interestingly enough, (and I always like to reiterate this) Jesus says “you must be careful to do everything they tell you”- the law and Moses- 
  • But his condemnation is not antinomian (anti-law) he wants his followers to continue in the law- its that they (the Pharisees) do not practice what they preach- 
  • “they tie up heavy cumbersome loads” that’s exactly the word picture- they preach things that they themselves are not doing- it loads other people down with the burden of performance, but they don’t do anything to help others perform, because they aren’t doing it anyway
  • It would be like me telling you to ready your bible every day and me not doing it. 
  • 1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
  • The pharisees were not doing what they were telling others to do and it was wrong
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Here’s the self reflection part- what are you preaching to others that you’re not applying in your own life? To your friends, family, co-workers, other people in this church?
  • We’re talking about evangelism, and hypocrisy destroys evangelism. Your life preaches
  • James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
  • Talking a good talk isn’t walking a good walk. These are truths we’ve heard since childhood
  • But YOU get involved with the HS to line your life up with your speech and God’s word
  • 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
  • Even Paul realized that allowing his body to do things it should not, would disqualify himself after he had preached to others- and this is a challenge- Its what we must do- 
  • Paul also said it this way- Romans 2:21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
  • Paul knew the duplicity in the human condition that we are not consistent with ourselves. 
  • How though? 1. Don’t preach what you don’t back up. 2. Back up what you do preach 3. Look for inconsistency in yourself and attack it- (something happens and you have choice to follow the word of God v your own selfish desires- buck the selfish- go for the word of God)
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  1. The Hypocrisy of Appearances
  • Here’s the central heart of hypocrisy in the pharisees and ourselves- its what we do- 
  • READ 5-7 “Everything they do is done for people to see:
  • What was happening was these pharisees, who by mosaic law were required to wear these small leather boxes with scriptures in them to remind them about the law- 
  • They were required to wear tassles on their garments as well. So what did they do? Made huge boxes and huge tassles so when they walked people had to get out of the way. LOOK AT ME
  • Jesus goes farther to say it was about them at banquets, public greetings, being called ‘rabbi’
  • The appearance of Godliness to those who saw them as the main focus of their spirituality apparently wasn’t lost on Jesus. He says “Everything they do is for people to see” 
  • I’ve seen this before. There used to be this dude at Crystal church that people called ‘brother flesh” because this guy would always walk in late to worship- best dressed- loved to be seen.  
  • John 12:43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
  • This Christian walk is not a public walk. There are parts of it that are public and community- but that’s not the essence of the walk that Jesus wants for his people- not at all- He wants private faith- and this heart condition is again, only found through self reflection and honesty. 
  • We all know these people! We just have to pay attention that we see it in ourselves! 
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
  • Constant public displays of appearances of Godliness so other people will view you as virtuous are not good and not biblical. Everything you do does not need to be shared. 
  • You have to have spiritual things that belong in the secret place- actions performed, prayers offered, service rendered. People should not be able to list off everything you’ve done
  • Just like the preaching of hypocrisy- actions speak louder than words- you don’t need to tell anyone- First point- make words line up- second point- shut up about your words! 
  • Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, 
  • John 5:44 says-  seek the honor that comes from the only God
  • And whats hard- is that in this day and age of social media, or even if you’re in a church community- we encourage each other to do Christian things! It’s great! 
  • Here was the stink tho “everything they do” if your public faith is your only faith- wrong-o
  • It’s a huge step of faith to believe that God will lift up your work and sustain it without your own personal marketing help- And what’s hard is most people like some thanks or recognition
  • Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
  • Matthew 6:4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
  • Todd and Aubrey- just living out their faith loving on kids- not posting on sm- just living
  1. The Hypocrisy of Titles
  • READ v 8-10
  • Here I am “pastor matt” the “senior founding pastor” and “Bishop” talking about titles 
  • This part of the scripture- just like hypocrisy of words and appearances- is about the HEART
  • Preaching w no backup. Living only to be seen. Having a title just to have power over another. 
  • Many have come and go that want influence and titles and no work. No one I have told no is still here. Non workers left I don’t make anyone anything- God does- but you see it- its more than a title. 
  • Its very certain tho- Jesus is not forbidding the giving of all titles. 
  • Paul wouldn’t have given himself the title of father in 1 cor 4:15, Called the galatians his children, timothy his son, himself his father, himself a doctor of the gentiles in 1 tim 2. 
  • 1 Timothy 2:7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth [a]in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
  • The prohibition is the affection of the titles and searching and clamoring after them. 
  • James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
  • One commentator said- the exercise of an absolute mastership, or a paternal, absolute power; so as to require any to believe things because they said them, or to do things because they bid them, without seeing the things asserted, or first commanded, in the word of God.
  • And that’s the big issue- they pharisees were demanding titles and submission against the word
  • People can still have titles-  What does it mean to you- 
  • Don’t discount all church leadership- that’s not the point- Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, 
  • We all need teachers and leaders- the Bible is clear about that- But our MAIN teacher should be Jesus- he should be the loudest voice in our head- John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
  • AND HIS WORD-  2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
  • Crystal spoke a great message on wed about church leadership- its necessary and biblical
  • I and the elders lead this church- it’s always been that way in history- 
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
  • But if I or another pastor/elder are doing it for a title, or demanding submission to us and not the word, then don’t follow. You don’t have to put up with that. 
  • 1 Peter 5:3 nor as being ]lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
  1. The Hypocrisy of Humility
  • READ v 11-12 “he who exalts himself will be humbled”
  • Those who bark the loudest usually have the smallest bite- Its overdone bravado. 
  • Jesus tells these pharisees- you are exalting yourself and you are going to be humbled. 
  • You can’t preach what you don’t practice, try to keep up appearances, and want titles- and miss the whole point- you’re trying to make yourself more important than Jesus- 
  • And a Christian without humility is a Christian without Christ- Christ is teaching them humility because he was humble- Philippians 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
  • And that’s true- and that’s what he did- he could have controlled so much, but he choose to wash feet and serve others- he chose humility over exalting himself. 
  • proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Are you humble? James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
  • Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
  • Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 1 peter 5:6 6 James 4:6 
  • Humility is not self promotion, self satisfaction, self proclaiming and self worshipping
  • Humility is serving others, being ok without being seen or heard. Humility is considering others
  • Humility is the center of a Christians heart because we know who we used to be and what we’ve been saved from- We have no right to think of ourselves any higher than we think
  • Because in the end, we were all sinners in need of a savior. 
  • John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

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