Whenever the sin of a Christian is exposed there are rabid unbelievers that accuse them of hypocrisy.
After all, they see Christianity as an affront to immorality, sin, and every wicked deed. When they discover a Christian on the wrong side of the moral fence, they relish in heaping hypocrisy on those who stand against sin while partaking of the same.
Unbelievers use this seeming mountain hypocrisy as an excuse not to investigate the truth of the Bible, go to church, or believe anything that comes out of any preacher’s mouth.
What is lost in this great protestation against the exposed sin of the Christian is the blatant hypocrisy of the unbeliever.
Mote and Beam
It is an old technique for a sinner to divert attention from their own sin by condemning the sin in others, but this is the very definition of hypocrisy in the Bible. By condemning the Christian for the very thing that they justify in themselves, the unbeliever is exposing their own hypocrisy.
Jesus was describing hypocrisy in Matthew 7 when he preached “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Mathew 7:1). Most unbelievers know the first part of this verse, but apparently do not understand what follows.
Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not. It is condemning an action, while trying to justify your own participation. Jesus said it is calling out the mote in a brother’s eye, when you have an unacknowledged beam in your own (Matthew 7:5).
If the unbeliever justifies their own immorality, why do they condemn the transgression of the Christian? This is hypocrisy!
If adultery, fornication, and promiscuity are justified by the unbeliever, then who are they to condemn these sins when they are found in a Christian? This is hypocrisy!
Unbelievers tell Christians not to judge, to “live and let live”, and to keep their beliefs private, then why are unbelievers the first to judge the Christian, condemn their sin, and bring their private lives public? This is blatant hypocrisy!
Whenever the unbeliever condemns someone else (whether Christian or not), they are pretending to be the righteous judge and jury, when they are not anyone’s standard of righteousness, nor would they claim to be.
What of the Christian Hypocrite?
So, what of the Christian hypocrite? Simply because the unbeliever exposes his own hypocrisy does not acquit the Christian. This is true.
The sin of the Christian cannot be justified, and yet sin is not what makes a hypocrite. The unbeliever is a hypocrite not because they possess sin, but because they justify their sin and yet condemn it in others.
The true Christian does not justify their sin. In fact, the very gospel of Christ declares that men cannot justify themselves because of sin (Rom 3:19-20). Christians must rely on the righteousness of God in Christ to save them.
Christianity teaches sin is deplorable and worthy of condemnation, even when found in the believer. The faith of a saved Christian is not in their own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ.
That no Christian can claim self righteousness is a precondition of salvation. Salvation is only by the grace of God through faith not of works (Eph 2:8-9). A saved Christian that sins is not a hypocrite pretending to be something they are not, nor condemning something they would justify in themselves.
Their sin is not justified, and they are not pretending to be righteous by their works.
The gospel of Christ does not create hypocrites, because the gospel is of grace.
It is not hypocrisy to speak about God’s grace toward sinners, and to be found one yourself. It is not hypocrisy to preach the righteousness of God in Christ, when you are found to be unrighteous.
The Hypocrisy of the Religionist
Knowing this, the so-called Christian who preaches righteousness by works are also hypocrites. Whereas the unbeliever condemns another for the very thing they enjoy. The religionist pretends to be something they are not: without sin.
Only the Christian who has trusted the grace and righteousness of Christ to save them from sin can avoid hypocrisy. They do not pretend to be self righteous, nor do they justify sin.
Hypocrites will be found out for what they really are. Without Christ all are stuck in their own hypocrisy or self-condemnation.
The answer to hypocrisy in the unbeliever and in the religionist is the cross of Christ.
The only way to avoid hypocrisy is to admit what you are in the eyes of him before whom everything is naked and open (Heb 4:12-13). You are ungodly, and the only way to righteousness is through Jesus Christ.
Claiming to be righteous when you are not is hypocrisy. Condemning sin that you justify in yourself is hypocrisy.
Christianity does not teach self righteousness, but the righteousness of God in Christ. Christianity does not justify sin, but the sinner through faith in Christ.
Where is the accuser of this world against Christ?