We have all heard it before, “I won’t got to that church, it’s filled with a bunch of hypocrites.” The insult is a rather common slap in the face to most Christian churches. After that statement, the antagonist begins to list the numerous sins and faults of the members of the church and how those members struggle.
Deep down the antagonist is right, churches are filled with people who sin and sin often. Should Christians sin? No. Are Christians going to sin? Yes, because christians are men and women who were born selfish and sinful. That said, the hope of the believer does not lie in his own righteousness, but in God who saved Him. Christians are recovering sinners who only have the grace of God to stand on.
Today in our reading we see Abraham and Sarah, God’s chosen family, mess up badly. Abraham out of fear tells his wife to pretend to be his sister so that they might not be hurt by Abimilech a king who enjoyed beautiful women. In this Abraham gave his wife away to a pagan king to keep himself from harm. Sarah was no better in this passage, out of the bitterness of her heart, she sent her servant and Abraham’s child into exile. Neither Abraham not Sarah displayed behavior that showed that they were people of God’s promise.
The Bible is an honest about its Characters. It is honest because it’s characters are not the Bible’s hope. After reading and watching Abraham, no person is going to put their hope in this man who messes up over and over. The same will be true for almost every bible character we deal with. Every character leaves us lacking and wanting more. The Bible is filled with hypocrites. It is filled with men and women who claim to be chosen by God and yet fail epically.
As our reading came to an end today, we came across the story of God calling Abraham to sacrifice His son Isaac. Abraham get’s to a point where he is about to follow through with the act simultaneously believing that God would provide. Just as Abraham was taking the lasts steps God provided a ram as a substitute. God at this moment points to a future salvation where He would provide the perfect sacrifice to stand in our place.
How do all of these passages come together? 1. Our salvation is not based on our righteousness, if it were we would all be destined for death. 2. God had provided a sacrifice to stand in our place, Jesus Christ. 3. As Christians we will mess up and sin but our hope is not in our ability to always do right but instead in God who took our punishment for us. 4. Our place as Christians is to look to God and trust Him as the sacrifice for our sin and the only goodness that we could be.
When people tell me that Churches are full of hypocrites, I tell them that they are right. We are a bunch of hypocrites who know that our good works will never be enough to save us so we have to always trust in the perfect gift of Jesus Christ.