Are We Hypocrites – Part 1 | Luke 12:1-3

Are We Hypocrites – Part 1 | Luke 12:1-3

Are We Hypocrites? Part One: How Do We Respond to sin – Luke 12:1-3


Luke 12:1-3 ESV  In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  (2)  Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  (3)  Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

  • Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, Jesus tells His disciples…
    • Beware of the sin that spread so easily.
    • Stay away from it.
    • Have nothing to do with it.
    • \Never flirt with it…
    • Because it spreads, it infects, and if you mix your self with them, the leaven will affect you too. It will get you too. It will drag you down into the pit too.
  • There is a crowd gathering, we see that in verse one, the crowd is of thousands… so big that people were being trampled to see Jesus… but before Jesus address the crowd He says to His disciples “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees”.

Luke 12:1 ESV  In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

  • Beware of the leaven of the pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
    • Normally when we talk about leaven in a metaphorical sense we are talking about sin, but Jesus get’s more specific here…
  • Beware of the leaven of the pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
  • So here is the question church: ARE WE HYPOCRITES?


  • Really though, are we hypocrites?
    • The world thinks we are.
    • Atheists point to our hypocrisy as a reason not to believe.
    • Prominent Christians who fall away from the faith sometimes even blame hypocrisy.
    • Satan loves to point it out and condemn allegedly hypocrisy in the church and in our lives…
    • Family members love to remind us who we use to be, surely we must be hypocrites some family members might suggest.
    • Friends from our old life, some of you know what I am talking about, friends from our old life trying to get us back into the life of sin will often drop the “hypocrite” bomb as a last resort.
  • But are we? Are we hypocrites? Jesus says: Beware.
    • So lets talk about it this morning, so we can be aware… so we can beware, so we can completely and whole heartedly avoid the leaven of the pharisees.


  • This morning there are two questions I want us to ask ourselves… the answers to these two questions reveal if we have been infected by the leaven of the Pharisees.
    • How do we respond to sin, and what do we do in secret?
    • How do we respond to sin, and what do we do in secret? The answers to those two questions will reveal if we have the leaven of the Pharisees inside us.
      • Let’s get into it.

Point One: How Do We Respond To Sin?

  • Point One, How do We Respond To Sin?
    • You know a lot of people think that because Christians sin we are hypocrites…
    • We preach about being sin free, we strive to live holy lifes… but we still sin, hypocrites…
  • That’s like saying the Hawkeyes football team is a bunch of Hypocrites…
    • I mean the coach goes out and says “We are going to win this year!”
      • “REALLY because you lost 4 games last year, hypocrites!”
      • You think you are all better than me because you go on a field and practice every week?
      • You think you are all better than me because you study the play book and the rule book more than me?
      • You train with others, practice drill after drill… YET YOU STILL DROP THE BALL! Learn to catch hypocrites!!!!!!
        • Look at your record Hypocrites, you lose just like I lose!
        • Why do you even try?! HYPOCRITES!
  • No! The fact that the Hawkeyes lose games doesn’t make them hypocrites… it makes them a football team.
  • And the fact that Christians sin doesn’t make them hypocrites, it makes them human.
    • You know what would make the Hawkeyes hypocrites? If they said they wanted to win but never practiced.
    • If they said they wanted to win, but never tried to get better.
    • If they said they wanted to win, but refused to learn from their mistakes…
    • Refused to listen to coaching…
    • Refused to take correction…
    • If they said they wanted to win but did NOTHING to better themselves, then they would be hypocrites.
  • How many of y’all know I am not preaching about football this morning! Come on!
  • Paul said this regarding his own sin:

Romans 7:15-20 ESV  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  (16)  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  (17)  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  (18)  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.  (19)  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  (20)  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

  • This is Paul, who wrote half of the New Testament under inspiration from the Holy Spirit…
    • Now I don’t think anyone in here is holier than Paul… yet this is what he says.
  • Paul says “The very thing my spirit hates doing, my flesh wants to do… there is a war inside me, between my flesh which is sinful and my spirit which is sanctified.
      • HYPOCRITE!
    • No, Paul is not a hypocrite, he is a human, sinful by nature.
  • You see when Paul was saved, his spirit was changed, it was made new, his flesh was still stuck being crappy and sinful.
    • When we are saved, as most in here are, we get a new spirit. A spirit, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that hates sin and loves righteousness.
    • But we are stuck with a flesh, affected by the curse that Adam and Eve brought into this world.
    • A flesh that likes to lust, and greed, and steal, and murder, and gossip, and rage, and all this garbage…

Luke 9:23 ESV  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

  • Why does Jesus say “Take up your cross daily”.
    • Because we have to kill our flesh daily.
    • Remember, the cross is an execution device, it’s what the Romans used to kill people.
    • Jesus says “Execute your flesh daily, Just because you killed you flesh yesterday doesn’t mean it won’t come back today!”
  • The reason why Paul is not a hypocrite is not because He didn’t sin… but because He didn’t want to sin.
    • You know the reason Hawkeyes are better than all of us at football? BECAUSE THEY WANT IT MORE! THEY HAVE WANTED IT MORE THEIR WHOLE LIFE!
      • Well pastor, this analogy doesn’t hold up, they were born athletes. They have natural athletic ability that some of us will never have…
      • First of all I say, if you aren’t born with the “natural ability” to overcome sin then I say: get born again!
      • And secondly I say this: I am naturally built better than many pro basketball players, yet I suck at basketball.
      • Y’all ever heard of Tyron Mugsy Bogues?
        • THE DUDE WAS 5’3! I am a foot taller than this kid… Naturally I should be WAY better at basketball than him. But I don’t want it like he wanted it his whole life…
      • Bogues played basketball at Wake Forest University. After finishing college, he was drafted into the NBA and went on to play 14 seasons – most notably as guard for the Charlotte Hornets. Currently, he is the head coach for the United Faith Christian Academy basketball team.
    • I will never EVER be as good at basketball as Bogues.
      • And it has NOTHING to do with natural talent, but has everything to do with how much he wants it!
  • Listen to me church, listen to me…
    • It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter your background…
      • If you grew up poor or rich
      • If you grew up in a Christian household
      • If you grew up sinning
      • If you dropped out of school or where valedictorian.
    • It doesn’t matter what your background… HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT IT!
    • Do you?
    • Do you?
  • Paul was the last person to be qualified for Christianity, he was by his own admission one of the worst sinners to ever walk the earth…
    • But when He was born again, God changed his desires, God changed his soul…
  • Paul was not a good Christian because he didn’t sin.
    • Paul was a good Christian because he was born again and now through Christ he didn’t desire to sin. He fought against it. He crucified His flesh daily.
  • The pharisees on the other hand desired to sin… that’s what made them hypocrites.
      • Well you thought wrong, they were ILLEGALISTS and the bible shows us that:

Matthew 15:4-9 ESV  For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’  (5)  But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”  (6)  he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.  (7)  You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:  (8)  “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;  (9)  in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

  • Fifth commandment: Honor your father and mother…
    • The pharisees knew this.
    • But when their parents were aging and needed financial support, the pharisees found a loophole… they said “Well all of my money belongs to God so I can’t give it to you”
    • The Pharisees created a false law, a false logic, in order to circumvent God’s law… THAT’S HYPOCRISY, Not legalism, church.
      • They found ways to be OK with sinning, that’s hypocrisy, not legalism.
  • If you want to know if you are a hypocrite, then ask yourself… how do I respond to sin? Do I want to change my behavior, so I sin less, or do I want to find loopholes to make myself ok with my sin?
    • When I see a scripture that I don’t like, do I say “How can I find a way to change the meaning of this scripture, so I feel better about it”
    • Or do you say “How can I change my life so this scripture doesn’t offend me anymore?”
  • Some people look at sermons like this and say “Man that is condemning!” and my response is “You are confusing condemnation with conviction”…
    • Condemnation is seeing your brother in a pit and pointing at him
      • “Hey stupid, look how dumb you look down in that pit! I bet you will never get out, looser! This is just like you to fall in a pit and act all sad! You are worthless!”
    • That’s condemnation, let me show you what the Bible says about that:

Romans 8:1 ESV  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

  • There is no condemnation in Christ! Hallelujah!
  • Condemnation is seeing your brother in a pit and pointing at them…
  • Conviction is seeing your brother in a pit and offering a hand…
    • It is saying “Oh, I see that you have fallen in a pit, let me help you out of that pit brother, so we can continue our walk together!”
  • But much of the modern church has got it twisted, and in order to avoid pointing the finger, now they just say to the brother in the pit
    • Don’t worry about it, there is no pit! What pit?! We don’t talk about pits in our church because it makes people feel bad. So just pretend you are not in a pit and you will be fine! BYE!
  • Can you imagine how weak the Hawkeyes football team would be if the coach never corrected anyone?
    • You wont find a coach at the U of I saying “There isn’t winners or losers bobby, as long as you have fun!”
      • NO! They say: Train harder, get better, I know it hurts now but wait until you get that W! Imagine how good it will feel to WIN!
  • Church, conviction may hurt a little bit now, rebuke may hurt a little bit now, but you have to realize you are in a pit before you can be helped out.
    • But if you would take the hand offered to you, then the effort of climbing out of the pit is worth it!

1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.


  • Lets conclude with this…
    • Are we hypocrites? Two questions reveal that answer:
    • How do we respond to sin and what do we do in secret?
  • Next week we will talk about question number two…
    • But for this week, ask yourself: How do I respond to sin? Do I war against it, crucifying my flesh daily…
    • Or do I, like the pharisees, make excuses and loopholes for my sin?
    • Don’t be like the pharisees church, they are hypocrites…
  • Gospel Call


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