I believe we've seen it mastered perfectly in so many "christian" lives today. Christian Hypocrisy is what I want to call it. The Art of professing CHRISTIAN beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not really hold or possess.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
(Ephesians 4:1, KJV, emphasis added)
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4: 14-15)
A profession of faith in Christ should come with the accountability of a christian to GROW UP and mature in his/her walk with Jesus. The calling of a Christian life is not just about memorizing verses and familiarizing ourselves with Scripture. It is not about knowing christian hymns and songs, nor is it about knowing the parts of the Bible and where to flip the pages to when the preacher says "Turn to Malachi..." What we all profess to be called for to live is the life of a RENEWED spirit... a RENEWED MIND!
Our profession of faith MUST show the fruit of a life radically changed by the Gospel of Truth... a life that's lived for CHRIST and not for self... a life that's taught by JESUS and changed by His Truth! Listen to what Paul said in Ephesians...
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:17 – 24)
We oftentimes see professing "Christians" wallow in anger and bitterness, in pride and rebellion, in resentment and regular sinning. Oh, we love that sin that easily entangles us. We love its smell on our souls, we love its chains that bind us. We love its sweet deceiving taste in our mouths.
In God's Name, dear brother and sister, ARE WE NOT TO PUT ON THAT NEW MAN?! Are we not called to a life of righteousness and true HOLINESS?!
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ! There has to be a deliberate decision on our part to PUT OFF ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is corrupt and not of Christ!!! Jesus sets us free from the bondage of sin because His Holy Spirit gives us the POWER to RESIST the ways of the flesh!!!
IF we profess to have heard from Christ Jesus' TRUTH and are walking in it, then for HIS NAME's SAKE GROW UP!
Why do we continue to live in anger, in bitterness, in contempt, in resentment, in pride, in lust, and in defeat as if we have not been purchased by the very Blood of the Lamb of God Himself!?!
WAKE UP, SLEEPYHEAD! WAKE UP, O PROFESSING CHRISTian!
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:29-32)
There is REDEMPTION in Christ! There is POWER in the HOLY SPIRIT! There is DELIVERANCE in the BLOOD OF JESUS!
We know these words very well over the years... it is about time we LIVE IN THEM!
Christ never gave us a Spirit of timidity and fear, but of POWER, right?
Why then do we DELIBERATELY CHOOSE SIN over holiness? DEFEAT over victory? SELF over Christ?!
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1: 14-16)
Let us quit playing "church" and BE the Church that God has called us to be... because it doesn't necessarily mean that if at one point in your life you've prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into your heart that you have truly been BORN AGAIN.
Let us ask the LORD to search our hearts today and reveal to us the BLINDNESS therein as well as the vanity of our minds, that we may REPENT and receive His Grace and Mercy, and live lives that genuinely glorify His Mighty Name.
For all the suffering that we have to endure in dying to ourselves daily and living godly lives that profess Christ's power, may we remind ourselves over and over and over again that WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN to receive ALL glory, honor, worship and praise that our lives could ever give.