Biblical Truth, Sanctification

Why Are All Christians Hypocrites?

Let me guess . . . you know a Christian who cusses, or drinks too much, or didn’t save sex for marriage. Maybe they go to church on Sundays (or skip more than they attend) but are the first to lose patience in line at the grocery store.

Plus, why are Christians all so incredibly judgemental?! Didn’t Jesus say “judge not lest you be judged?” Aren’t Christians supposed to be tolerant and loving?

Why are all Christians such hypocrites!

Why Do You Hate Sin, You Sinner?

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not some perfect Christian who asks “what would Jesus do?” before every decision I make. Sometimes I react in haste and atrocious things come spilling out from my heart. I’ve spoken harshly to my spouse in frustration, I’ve been impatient and irritable with my parents, and I definitely hope for bad drivers to get pulled over by a merciless Trooper too often.

Have you been there, too?

One question Christians get often is, why do you hate sin if you yourself aren’t perfect? It’s a completely valid question, one that often makes Christians shrink back in shame because they’re not good enough. When unbelievers point out my lack of Christlikeness I cringe, hoping that God is somehow bigger than my mistakes and that I didn’t just ruin their chance at knowing Jesus. (By the way, he is. God is completely bigger than any mistake you or I could make – our faults only rob us of the opportunity to be used by him in that specific situation. But, never forget Jesus is the God of redemption!)

So if we can’t get it together, why do we hate sin so much? Why are we first to protest what’s unbiblical but culturally acceptable?

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(Romans 6:23, ESV)

The reason Christians hate sin is this: because God hates sin. And the reason that God hates sin? Because sin kills.

Whether we know it or not, every single thing that God commands against is for our good. It isn’t because God is some cosmic killjoy who enjoys taking away good things from us. He gave all of creation to man to enjoy and take care of forever (Genesis 2:20). Unfortunately, we messed up all that is good, because of sin, and now we are experiencing the pains of sin in this fallen world. All suffering, heartache, physical pains, mental distress, famine, natural disasters – all evil – is a result of sin entering a good world.

Ultimately, Christians hate sin because sin kills. It leaves humans without Christ in hell (which isn’t a good time with all the “bad boys” by the way, it is eternal separation from all that is good – God) which is the ultimate death.

God isn't some cosmic killjoy - the Lord hates sin because sin KILLS.Click To Tweet

I’ve sinned as a Christian. I’ve sinned today as a Christian, and I am 99% sure I’ll sin tomorrow as a Christian as well. But because of the Lord’s saving grace, I am able to repent of that sin that I hate so much, and be close to him regardless because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

It’s Not Me, It’s Him

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”

(Romans 7:18-19, ESV)

The pride in me would love to shout “Look at ME! Look how great I am!” every time I do something applause-worthy. But I want to take a moment to point to Jesus and remind you that the only good that Christians do is because of Christ himself. Apart from Jesus, our deeds are dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6).

And just as true as the above statement, every evil thing comes from my flesh – the flesh in me that is not submitted to God’s authority. Evil is darkness, and God is light. God does not cause evil to happen (although he permits it for ultimate good and his glory, as you would see in the book of Job), for the definition of darkness is the very absence of light (1 John 1:5).

Why then, if goodness comes from God, and Christians have the Helper (the Holy Spirit), do Christians continue to sin anyway? It is because on this side of heaven none of us are completely sanctified or glorified. We are a work in progress, we are unfinished, we are being made new and more like Christ day by day.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.”

(Romans 7:24-25, CSB)

When a person becomes a Christian they are born again, given a new heart and a new life with the ability to follow God. However, life as a new creation is all about learning how to submit to God’s authority and Lordship – a baby does not come from the womb knowing how to walk, but rather is brought up on milk for food before they are able to eat solid food. They must learn how to crawl before they stand, walk before they can run a marathon. The same for physical human babies is true for “spiritual babies”. Those who are mature in Christ have a history of growth in him and are better able to keep the commandments of love than those who are recently made new.

Not All Who Claim Christ are Christians

This may sound harsh, but it’s true. Not everyone who claims to know Christ truly knows him. As Christians, we are called to be discerning on who knows Christ, and who simply just knows about him.

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light. So it is no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works.”

In many areas of Scripture (James 2:14-26, Matthew 7:15-20, John 13:35) we are told how followers of Jesus differ from those who do not believe in him. Christians will produce the fruit of the Spirit, they will be known for their love, they will have good works (again, because of Christ working in them, not from their own power). A continual pattern of sin with no signs of repentance is a key indicator of someone who claims Christ but isn’t truly a Christian (1 John 3:8-10). Such false disciples are largely to blame for Christians getting a reputation of hypocrisy. We can’t expect people who don’t know Christ to live a godly lifestyle, but if they claim they are a Christian (and of course they cannot follow Jesus on their own) it raises valid confusion for those looking in from the outside.

For Christians, it is imperative that we’re aware of who true disciples are so that we are not led astray by false teachers, and so that we may continue to pray, preach the gospel, and not expect the impossible from those who are lost.

Admittance to Imperfection Erases Hypocrisy

I’m a Christian. I follow Jesus, but I am imperfect at doing so. I hate sin, but I fall short and stumble. The life I personally want to live and the one I want others to join me in isn’t possible to attain on our own. I believe we all need Jesus, I believe none are good apart from him, I believe it is foolishness to expect the same from unbelievers that you would expect from those who know Jesus. I believe I cannot resist sin without the Helper, the Holy Spirit, and I believe it is him who sanctifies us and tunes our hearts to be able to live for God. This process takes time, and until I get to heaven I will constantly be battling my flesh (Galatians 5:17).

I believe Christians aren’t hypocrites – they are people who know they can’t live right apart from God and want the world to know of his changing grace.

Now Lord I would be yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow your commands
Could never come from me

(All I Have is Christ, Summit Worship)

If you believe the same to be true, please give this article a share and check out my free printable guide to biblical judgment!

 

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