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Crosswords: The Hypocritical Oath
 The biggest complaint leveled against Christians? We’re all a bunch of hypocrites. We stand out on Sundays, all polished and pressed, sounding holy and exuding a God-centered focus. The rest of the time we blend in with the crowd, our speech and our actions sounding and looking quite similar to those who have no concern for God.
Our response to the charges leveled against us? Guilty. But we counter with the fact that no one is perfect and that is why we cling to this idea of forgiveness and grace. Then we launch into an explanation about the blood of Christ washing away all our sins; past, present as well as future.
It is true. No one is perfect. It’s also true that we can only claim to have a relationship with God by way of what He did for us. Not by what we do or don’t do on behalf of Him. As Paul stated in Ephesians, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast (2:8-9).
Here’s another truth though. God doesn’t want us to continue in our sinful, hypocritical ways after we accept His gift of grace. God said, “Be holy because I am holy” (Lev. 11:45). Peter wrote in the first of his self-titled books, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” (2:1). In other words, though we may not be perfect, we shouldn’t stop pursuing perfection.
People are often drawn to other faiths because of those followers strict adherence to the tenets of their faith. Witnessing someone practicing what they preach is intoxicating. It draws souls. Christians should take note. Our sins won’t keep us out of heaven if we have accepted God’s offer of grace. They may however keep others from experiencing the same forgiveness that so many of us so often abuse.

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