A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Teaching, Training & Commissioning
Chapter 12 Episode 7
Be on the alert, because sin is lurking at your door, and its desire is to snare you, but you must master it. He has laid traps to entice you and to snare you in order to prevent you from completing your mission.
Pride and hypocrisy are among the snares of the devil. Jesus will show you the way around these deadly traps, if you will listen, follow and obey Him.
(For our convenience, I have coded the Obstacle in green, the penalty in purple and the Remedy in Blue.)
Episode 7: Removing the Obstacle of pride and hypocrisy requires practicing Humility & Truth.
Matthew 6:1-15 says,
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them;
otherwise, you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men.
Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
Jesus is teaching on the matter of “practicing righteousness”. Righteousness is defined, in the Bible, as justice or “justness” according to God’s standard. A simple way of defining Godly Righteousness is “to be in right standing with God and man”. Yet, the Bible teaches us that “None are righteous, no not one.” Therefore, Jesus teaches us the differences because the consequences of failure are dire.
Jesus teaches on and warns about practicing your righteousness before people. He illustrates this teaching by using examples of giving to the poor, praying and giving forgiveness. But, the CONTEXT of this teaching, is hypocrisy. Jesus is teaching, for a second time, on the deadly consequences of hypocrisy.
Notice that the hypocrite, #1, “loves to be noticed by people”, #2, they “love to be honored by people”, #3, they “love to be seen by people”, and, #4, they “love to talk to be heard”, and, #5, apparently, they are slow to forgive others.
Please, check yourself on these matters.
By these actions, a person who is behaving as a hypocrite, shall receive their full reward from “men”. They will receive no reward from God, and, are no longer of any use as a disciple of Jesus, “except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”
Also, notice, that in each example, the remedy for hypocrisy is humility and the transparency of truth. Sadly, it is a difficult thing for a person who is caught in the snares of hypocrisy, to honestly humble themselves and admit their fault of pride.
Jesus teaches that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a man ‘rich in pride and hypocrisy’ to enter the kingdom of heaven’.
This teaching can be traced to Matthew 5:3, which says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The word, “Poor” in the phrase, “Poor in Spirit”, (from the Greek word, Ptochos), means that a person is in a state of falling down, terrified, feeling poor and near begging, destitute of wealth, influence, position and honor, feeling lowly, afflicted helpless, powerless to accomplish anything, they are in a state of ‘poor in spirit’.
Both, in Matthew 5:4 and in Matthew 19:22, the result of becoming poor or ‘poor in spirit’ is followed by a mournful or a grieving state of mind. Mourning and grieving the loss of worldliness, both in a natural and a spiritual sense, which can lead to a truthful transparency of your life and an honest humility in your life.
It is in this condition that most people are ready and able to give themselves up to Christ’s teaching and find themselves able to lay hold of God’s heavenly treasure. This is when you have come near to the Kingdom of God and into His Salvation. This opens the way for the operation of the process of sanctification in your life.
This is why Matthew 5 says,
Blessed are you when you mourn as a person is in a state of falling down, terrified, feeling poor and near begging; destitute of wealth, influence, position and honor; feeling lowly, afflicted helpless, powerless to accomplish anything; you are, therefore, in a state of being ‘poor in spirit’.
Blessed are you when you are made to be gentle from this condition, for then, you shall inherit the earth;
Blessed are you when you surrender yourself to God, which creates in you a hunger and a thirst for God’s righteousness, for then you shall be satisfied;
Blessed are you when you gain the capacity to be merciful as a result of having been humbled and made poor in spirit, for then you shall receive the mercy of God;
Blessed are you when you have been made to be pure in heart because of your lowly state, for it is now that you shall see God.
Blessed are you as the peace of God settles over you mind, soul and spirit, having been freed from the worries, burdens, false prides, hypocrisies and the toils of the world, are have become a peacemaker, and, you shall be called a son or a daughter of God.
Romans 6:20-22 tells us,
“When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed?
“For the end of those things is death.
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, and the fruit you now get leads to sanctification and its end, is eternal life.”
Your Brother and Friend,
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