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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians

 

6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,

 

by sincere [without hypocrisy] love,

The word “hypocrisy” comes from two words: to answer and under. “Sincere” came to mean the acting of a stage-actor. The Greek and Roman world used this word for answering from under a large mask in their dramas. They had a smiling mask to portray something good taking place. They had a frowning mask for a tragedy. Hence the word became used metaphorically of a dissembler, a hypocrite. A hypocrite is one who plays a part on the stage. He is a player, actor, pretender, dissembler, hypocrite. A hypocrite is one who pretends to be other than he really is. He plays a part of someone he is not.

The word “sincere” means genuine. A non-hypocritical person is an open book. He is what he appears to be. A hypocritical person is someone who makes judgment from behind cover. He hides his true identity. This person acts behind a mask.

Thus, the word “sincere” means genuine. Genuine love does not love others hypocritically (Ro 12:9).

PRINCIPLE:

True love for others has nothing to hide.

APPLICATION:

God wants us to be an open book. True love is no sham or pretense. Those who pretend to love others fear they will be exposed for their shallowness. Hypocrites hide their true identity because they are ashamed of who they are.

Hypocrites pretend piety. They are two-faced carrying a sweet front. They are an outward show, a phony front, a façade. This person is more interested in the public practices of a church than the heart of Christianity. His interest is to present a front to everyone else in the congregation. This person simply complies with overt standards and totally disregards character. He is more interested in taboos set up by an organization, a system of morality or a series of mores.

The hypocrite is afraid of himself. He does not dare show himself as he is. His fear of criticism compels him to wear a mask. He is the opposite of a courageous person. He is afraid to reveal who he is. He is a double person, natural and artificial. The Lord Jesus was the opposite. He was open and above-board. God wants us to be ourselves and not hide behind the mask of another personality.

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