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Sermon #5382

Leaven of the Pharisees

A Sermon on Luke 12:1-12


Luke 12:1-12 ESV KJV
In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will …

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Sermon Description

In his sermon on Luke 12:1–12 titled “Leaven of the Pharisees,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones visits the topic of hypocrisy and how it relates to Christians today. He asks, “What is the enemy to the Christian life?” and the answer is hypocrisy. It remains a terrible liability to the believer’s walk because, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones defines, it is a desire to be both Christian and non-Christian. Good hypocrites, like the Pharisees, take pleasure in defining themselves by their own self-satisfactory terms. This mindset is a direct reflection of the heart, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, and the believer has a responsibility to look after his or her heart. Here, Dr. Lloyd-Jones breaks down the three archetypes for Christian hypocrites: the intellectual, the emotional, and the practical. Each has its own habits, but are similar in their desperate need for the Spirit. What is the opposite of hypocrisy? Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that it is the admission of weakness and acknowledging that a person cannot live both a Christian and non-Christian life. In turn, this admission creates a dependence on God that dispels this dishonest duality and replaces it with even more of His Spirit. In closing, he reminds to not let the fear of people drive Christians to hypocrisy, but rather to trust in the heavenly Father and His plan for the fullest life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Beware of hypocrisy - the desire to have the best of both worlds. It is the attitude that believes in doing the minimum necessary to be saved.
  2. Hypocrisy is self-deception. The hypocrite deceives himself and is unaware of his true condition.
  3. Hypocrisy is caused by a lack of honesty. The hypocrite does not expose his whole self to the truth. He hides parts of himself from the truth.
  4. Hypocrisy is caused by a lack of clear thinking. The hypocrite uses Christian phrases but does not think through their implications.
  5. Hypocrisy is caused by a failure to apply the truth to one's whole life. There are intellectual, emotional and practical hypocrites who only apply the truth to parts of their lives.
  6. Fear of man is a potent cause of failure and hypocrisy. We fear men's opinions, actions and power to harm us.
  7. We must realize the truth about men - their ignorance, arrogance, changeability and sinfulness. Their power is limited to the body.
  8. We must realize the truth about God - He sees all, judges all and has power over eternity.
  9. We must realize the wonderful nature of the Christian life - we are in God's hands, Christ intercedes for us, the Spirit helps us.
  10. Open your heart to the truth and you will have nothing else to fear.

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Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.