Posted by: William | March 29, 2008

Six: Aggravated Hypocrisy

Richard Baxter’s sixth point of introspection for ministers is something abstract. It goes like this:


“Your sins are more aggravated than those of other men. They have more hypocrisy in them.”


When a man knows full well that he should not covet, however does it anyways, his sin is much more criminal than had he not known in the first place. So it is with ministers. When you preach week in and week out against all kinds of sins and for so devoted and passionate a life for Christ, anything less than to fully heed your own words makes your own sin terribly aggravated; it makes its offense that much worse. Far worse than had you never spoken about it in the first place. Of course that in no way means ministers should not speak out—no, it means simply ministers should be all the more diligent to mortify their flesh.


In addition to that, to be a minister and to still to entertain and court with sin is exceedingly hypocritical. Once again, where to simply be a Christian and sin is hypocrisy, the sin is much greater when your job itself is to help lead others away from sin into a more vibrant walk with the Lord. So a minster should be ‘above reproach’ (2 Tim. 3:2), not only that his sins would not be seen, but truly expelled from his person.


Jesus, I pray that you would sanctify the minsters of your Gospel. Jesus, I pray that you would lead them to be above reproach, filled with love, compassionate, and passionate about following your commandments to love you (so as not to sin) and to love others (so as to give themselves up). Jesus, help us to be gracious and merciful to our ministers and to love them as brothers; when they fall in hypocrisy, help us to lift them. Jesus, when we fall in hypocrisy, help them to lift us.


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