“Everything is clean to the clean-minded; nothing is clean to dirty-minded unbelievers. They leave their dirty fingerprints on every thought and act. They say they know God, but their actions speak louder than their words…..” Titus 1:15-16 Message Bible
When a person lives in hypocrisy for a period of time hypocrisy can become so rooted in their hearts that the hypocrite rationalizes away their sin and becomes self-deceived. You see, the hypocrite aims at making himself more than what he or she actually is. Hypocrisy is an act rooted in pride. Pride itself is self-deceiving.
The apostle Paul was inspired to write in regard to hypocrisy: Galatians 6:3; “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
Hypocrites are people pleasers. They live for attention from others. Jesus said the hypocrite does “their works . . . to be seen by men” (23:5; Matthew 6:2,5,16). The Bible also tells us that we are NOT to be people pleasers but God pleasers. We are to do all that we do to please the Lord (Colossians 3:17,21-23).
Satan is the author of hypocrisy. Satan is a liar and the author of lies. Hypocrisy is living a lie.
Satan’s primary strategy at undermining the gospel is to present himself and his agents as something they are not. Satan masks himself and his agents in a good and righteous package, but beneath the masks are ravenous wolves seeking to devour followers of God.
The apostle Paul was also inspired to write about Satan’s deceptive strategy when he taught in:
II Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
Paul here speaks of Satan who presents himself as “an angel of light,” as something he is not. That is hypocrisy. Paul speaks of false apostles and deceitful workers who infiltrate the church by hypocritically presenting themselves as something they are not. Satan is behind hypocrisy on the levels of false teaching as well as the temptation people experience to present themselves as something they are not.
It starts with a desire to be accepted and continues with a bending of the truth to impress and gain acceptance. This is purely a fleshly or self-serving act. Hypocrisy, like all sin, does not remain small but always grows. Little lies require bigger lies to cover the hypocritical and false presentations people make of themselves. If Satan can get you to lie about yourself, he has his foot in the door of your life. Once inside, he is a cancerous foe that will pick away at his victims so that they will remain in his control.
Hypocrisy is a not only a work of one’s flesh, it is a faithless step.
The real deception of the hypocrite is that he or she sees themselves as something they are NOT. The hypocrite does NOT wait on God in faith to fulfill His desire in and through them; instead they set up a premature and fake reality.
They are too impatient to wait on God. The hypocrite arrives at a false and fake destination thinking they have need of nothing, when in fact they have nothing and need everything.
Even believers can have defiled hearts. The Bible speaks of carnal or fleshly believers who have selfish motives or impure hearts (1 Corinthians 3:3). When a heart is divided between commitment to God and commitment to self, it is confused and chaotic and cannot serve the Lord effectively.
In Acts 16:8-9 Peter explains the works of God in terms of cleansing the hearts of people to serve Him:
“So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, “and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”
God made our hearts and knows our hearts therefore only He can purify our heart.
Notice, this cleansing by God in us is by faith. The one who desires to have a clean heart simply goes to God in faith requesting God cleanse their heart; it is by faith.
Heart purity is a gift from God that is received by faith, not a work we do.
All we need to do is draw near to God and He will cleanse our hearts (James 4:8).