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SCRIPTURE Rom 7:18 20 [KJV]                                                                                                   JUNE, 2011

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19]For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [20]Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

I know what most of you are saying about now. 'What in the world is this numbskull thinking??? Everybody knows that this title is totally wrong. If you want people to believe in, and trust you, then, you have to be a person that practices what you preach. No one with any sense, is going to trust a person that, says one thing, and does another.'

Right here, let me applaud you in your way of thinking, for truly, a person would have to be some kind of a 'nut', to put their faith in a person that carried themselves, in such a conflicted way of thinking.

A person with this type of mindset, would, for our purpose here, would be labeled a hypocrite.

Webster's Dictionary gives the definition of a HYPOCRITE, thusly

1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

How many of you know one or more people that fit in to this category??

Well, if you are like me, you know quite a few. And, if you examine the title of this message, it would appear that I am, in some way, excusing my own hypocritical actions, while at the same time, telling others, to follow what I say, and not what I do.

While it may seem that way, in Reality, that is not, what it is.

Let's look at what the apostle Paul is saying, in the subject scriptures.

In verse 18, Paul reveals something about himself, by essentially saying that he, as a person [in the flesh], is totally wicked. He looks at himself, to find something good about himself, and finds nothing. From there Verse 19 says, he knows what is good, and is trying to do that, but, he always ends up, falling flat on his face. Talking about how the things he knows he should do, he doesn't, and the things he should not do, he does. Then, he sort of sums it up by saying in Verse 20, by explaining his dilemma this way, 'even though I know what is right and wrong, when I do wrong, it is not me, that is doing it, but rather, the evil nature that still dwells in my flesh.'

Do you see what Paul is saying?? He, the one who is responsible for laying the foundation for bringing the Gospel of Christ to the world, and is the author of about 2/3 of the new testament, is telling us, that he sometimes, misses the mark, that not only he, but Christ, no less, says we should be striving for.

There are scriptures that Paul has written, in which he admonishes us, to be 'perfect.' That is the target, Jesus says we should all be moving towards, if we expect to be with Him, when the time comes. Yet, he reveals that he finds himself, falling short, in some areas.

Now, to you, and me, our thinking in the flesh, tells us, that Paul, is admitting to be a hypocrite, preaching one thing, and doing another.

However, in Reality, from God's perspective, he is being the one thing Christ says he should be, and that is Truthful.

You see, the problem with those we may identify as hypocrites, is that they essentially try to pass themselves off as being superior to others. They know more, they are above everyone else, and they are beyond reproach. You don't dare question them about anything they do or say. They are the ones that expect you to live up to what they say. If it sounds like you have heard of people like this, you have, if you know about the religious leaders in Jesus' time, here on earth.

Jesus dealt with the epitome of hypocrites, and he wasn't afraid to tell them about themselves, which is one of the main reasons He was crucified. Five times, in the gospels, He called them hypocrites, because of the things they were saying, and doing.

What Paul is saying about his condition, is that he knows he has this problem, and he is not afraid to tell us. Think about this, as I mentioned, Paul, after Christ of course, was the greatest preacher of the gospel, that there was. Yet, he, being Spirit filled, still admits he has flaws. That alone, should quiet a lot of Spirit Filled Christians, that tend to believe, that once you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of Speaking in tongues, that you have arrived at perfection, and that you can do no wrong. Are you better than Paul?? I don't see any of your writings in the bible.

Anyway, my point is this.

Paul tells us, how we should live our lives, because that is what Christ, told him, to tell us. However, saying how we should live our lives, and actually doing it, are two, totally different things. Would you agree?? I could say, I can knock Mike Tyson out in one round. It is another thing to get in the ring with him, and do it.

Once again, Paul sums up his dilemma this way, Phi 3:14 15 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [15] Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Paul says he is pressing, meaning, it is a struggle, towards the high calling of the 'perfection', that Christ has set for all of us. Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. 24 times in the new testament, the word perfect is used, to describe how we should be living our lives. So this is not an issue to be taken lightly, because our eternal souls depend on it.

Now, here is the point to the title of this message.

If I, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, tell you what Christ says you need to do, like 'be perfect', then, that direction is coming from Him, and not me. Consequently, if, after I tell you this, I go out and begin to live and act like the biggest devil walking the streets, then that has absolutely no bearing on what you are supposed to be doing.

Are you seeing the point here??

Over all the years I have been saved, and even years before I got saved, I have seen many preachers, and Christians, not practicing what they preached. And, my conclusion, before I got saved was, 'If they can get in to Heaven, acting like that [being hypocrites], then, I don't have to try to live perfect.' Now that I am saved, I see things a lot differently. Today, I say, 'It doesn't matter what other preachers do, because, they are not my God, Jesus is. And, if He says for me to be 'perfect', then that is what I am determined to do!!'

My message is, I am not Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. I will at times, miss the mark, but, that is no reason for you,, or anyone else to settle for the idea, that if I am doing it, then, you can too. What you are doing with this attitude is, believe it or not, making me, your god. You are following me. What you see me doing, you do. What this ultimately means is, if I, God forbid, end up in hell, you are going to follow me there??

If we look at Paul, we see he has issues. However, in his case, as well as mine, he sees his condition, and when he does something wrong, he repents, just as I do. That may be something you don't see me do. So, you go on your merry way, feeling you are ok, then end up in hell, and you see me in Heaven, and you wonder what happened. You think God is unfair. He tells you, there is no sin, on my record, because I repented, while you, just carried on your life without repentance, and therefore you are, where you are.

I have often warned people, to quit following man, and using him as an example of how to live their lives, and look to Christ. I go on to tell them, none of us is perfect [without a sin nature], and as such are liable to fall [give in to that nature], just like Paul says he does.

In one example, of a well know preacher, who after being exposed, did do the right thing and repented, on national TV, talking about Jimmy Swaggert.

Here is a man, preaching hell fire and brimstone, under the anointing of God, through the Holy Spirit, who, like Paul, gave in to the flesh, and was exposed to the nation. He could have repented to God, and been restored to righteousness, but, there were possibly millions thinking they could keep doing what they were doing, with no consequence. However, Brother Swaggert, being led by the Holy Spirit, showed the world, what needed to be done, and that is admitting to man, that he had sinned before God, and man.

This is why I entitled the message the way I did.

When I am telling you something, I am speaking to you, at God's direction. Therefore, irregardless of what you may see, or hear of me, doing, you should do, what I said, and not do as I do.

As I mentioned earlier, Paul set the standard for the Church, yet he didn't always follow the right way, as pertaining to living a sin free life. However, he did do what was necessary to get back to righteousness, through repentance.

No clearer example can be set by any Christian, than to honestly admit to themselves, and others, that they are not all that God wants them to be, and may at times falter, but, they want to be all that Christ wants them to be, and that is perfect in His sight.

Therefore, I tell you, a person like this, is not a hypocrite, because they are truly practicing what they preach. Look at the definition again,

1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

It all really revolves around a person being totally honest about who they are, and following those principles, versus lying about who they are, being deceptive, and not willing to admit when they have done wrong, or blaming someone else.