So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just…
Acts 3:12-14 NKJV
Was Peter guilty of hypocrisy when he called out the Israelites for denying Christ? After all, Peter denied Jesus three times while his Lord was being tried and murdered. How could he stand there and so boldly hold others accountable for a sin he had also committed? Peter was not a hypocrite. He was a man cleansed and redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Peter walked in the Light, and in that Light he was able to show others the way out. He was a man who had experienced redemption.
What is hypocrisy?
Hypocrisy is expecting – no, demanding – of others what you will not do yourself. If I demand that others obey when I do not, I’m a hypocrite. If I demand that others submit to authority when I am in rebellion, then I’m a hypocrite. If I demand that others change when I never have, I’m a hypocrite. It isn’t difficult to be a hypocrite; it’s difficult NOT to be one.
I have been incredibly rebellious. And not just rebellious, but a true reviler of authority. Yet twice the Spirit has asked me to confront people on the issue of rebellion and authority. And the first time, I really struggled with it. “Wouldn’t it be better to find someone who hadn’t committed that same evil? How can I possibly have a leg to stand on here?!” This ended up being a pretty deep dealing in my life, and I won’t go into all the twists and turns, but there are two big truths that came out of it.
The first came from Martha. She told me that each stronghold God delivered me from would become a place of spiritual authority in my life. In that place of weakness and failure and evil, the Resurrection Life of Jesus Christ in me would have authority OVER that evil. The second truth confirmed the first: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev. 12:11). I am redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb! The Life of Christ indwells me through the redemption of His Blood shed on the Cross. I am no longer tied to that sin – I am FREED from its power, and in Jesus, I now have authority over it.
Redemption, not Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy calls others to account while refusing any personal accountability or taking any personal responsibility. Redemption calls others to account with the same LOVE and LIGHT that holds us accountable! I can call someone to account for being in rebellion because I was held accountable for that same rebellion and FREED from its curse. I know what freedom from the sin of rebellion tastes like. I know the incredible safety and provision found under authority. Would I deny such bliss to someone else? No, I would not.
Hypocrisy operates out of narcissism and superiority – “Well, I never!” Redemption moves out of humility – “I once was lost but now am found…”
We can only read Peter’s words, but I can hear the Spirit in them. His voice vibrates with the zeal and fire of the Spirit, tempered only by the compassion of our High Priest Himself where lost and broken humanity is concerned. Peter speaks with the boldly unashamed voice of a man redeemed by the Blood and FREED from the power of sin. May we all be so bold, so unashamed, so willing to obey the Spirit’s lead to shine the Light and speak the Truth and show the Way!
hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.
Peter was “restored” after Jesus was raised from the dead, and so he never went back to “I don’t know the Man”. Consequently, from Acts 2, everything for which Peter lays claim, he is now also convinced; his words now matching his behavior.
This message is a great encouragement for me. My freedom and witness has been under a relentless attack from the enemy because of a recent falling from grace. The lord forgives me and I am not condemned, He assures me I am redeemed, which is a grace new to me, but I feel my witness has been greatly damaged because of the perception the world and the church has of Christianity. I only share my testimony with strangers now. Because I feel crippled in ministry, It is causing periods of depression. I have been reading these posts for years and… Read more »
What blessed truth!
Each stronghold God delivered me from would become a place of spiritual authority in my life In the place of weakness, failure, and evil, the Resurrection life of Jesus Christ in me would have authority OVER that evil. I too know the incredible safety and provision found under authority. What a wonderful place of peace, confidence and assurance
Beautiful truth written clearly. Thank you for sharing. This is encouraging meat to chew on.
Thank you Jen. May the hidden ridges and valleys because of unredeemed issues be dealt with in our hearts, by His mercy.
Jennifer…you nail it with every post! Love this line: “Redemption calls others to account with the same LOVE and LIGHT that holds us accountable!” POWERFUL! Thank you for your vulnerability and the transparency with which you write…it makes what you share so deeply meaningful! Blessings all over you today sweet sister!
“I am redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb! The Life of Christ indwells me through the redemption of His Blood shed on the Cross. I am no longer tied to that sin – I am FREED from its power, and in Jesus, I now have authority over it.” Yes and amen! I recall hearing Dr. Charles Stanley say at church one Sunday over 30 years ago, that when a Christian sins he is being a hypocrite because he is not acting like who he is in Christ. That made a deep impression on me and has helped me remember… Read more »
Thanks Irene for that tidbit from Dr. Stanley…sooo good!
Jennifer, bless you sharing Martha’s blessing on your dealing with rebellion….”each stronghold God delivered you from would become a place of spiritual authority in your life” and I also pray your prayer at the end, “May we all be so bold, so unashamed, so willing to obey the Spirit’s lead to shine the Light and speak the Truth and show the Way!” You are speaking as a woman redeemed by the Blood because it resonates throughout this blog. I give the Lord all the praise and glory for this precious message.