Wow. That's a heavy word. I need to preface this by saying that I am not a great scholar, and I do not claim to have it all together especially in this area. This is just something that God has been working with me on, and when I was working on this post, this was all that filled my mind.
The 5:16 club has been studying the book of 1 John since the beginning of the month, and on our way through chapter 1, these verses stood out to me in a new way:
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
My notes on this passage looked like this: (I really like color-coding - I hope this makes sense)
Hypocrisy = ministry killler
Transperancy = forgiveness and help to move in the opposite direction
Hypocrisy hurts our reputation, but more importantly - hurts God's reputation
These may seem like "duh" observations, but I had never looked at this passage in this light.
With that in mind, Pastor Jeff spoke on the parable of the lost sheep yesterday morning, and this verse stood out to me:
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Here, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees who were notorious for looking down their noses at people and assuming that they had it all together. And I'm gonna take a little latitude here, but I believe that Jesus had a sense of humor, well in this case a sense of irony, so I envision him saying the last part of that statement with a slight little bit of sarcasm, if you will. Jesus, being God, knew:
10 As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
So in saying that there would even be those "who do not need to repent." He was being a bit facetious. But I bet that the Pharisees, in their hypocrisy did not even recognize their own need for repentance.
I sincerely and fervently pray that I do not think more highly of myself than I ought, and of the same token I earnestly desire to catch myself when I even begin treading in that direction.
I'm not sure if any of this was even coherent, but . . . this is where I'm at :)
Thanks for reading,