Jesus never condemned sinners; He did however denounce and deplore hypocrites!
A hypocrite is a person who excuses his own sin, while condemning the sins of others.
The hypocrite does not see his own hypocrisy, because he cannot see, or refuses to see, the flaws in himself.
The one who cannot see their own flaws, rarely if ever, seek mercy. Since he does not seek mercy, he has no mercy to give; and since he is always under God’s judgment, he passes judgment on others.
If we are to be seekers of holiness, we cannot remain as hypocrites; or better stated; hypocrites cannot find holiness.
The first step in pursuing holiness is to admit that we are not as holy as we appear to be; this first step is called humility.
As we draw near to God, each one of us will become aware of the sins in our own heart. The Holy Spirit is not revealing these sins in order to condemn us, but rather to establish humility, and to deepen our knowledge of our own need for more grace.
Anyone choosing to follow God, will humble themselves before God, asking God for grace to deliver them from the sin that has entangled them.
For those who will try to excuse their sin, the title hypocrite is, justly deserved. Jesus used a parable to highlight this very issue.
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
Holiness is not about obeying a set of rules and regulations; that only breeds more hypocrisy. Holiness is about getting rid of pride; which enables us to come to terms with the true condition of our heart.
Have you humbled yourself before God, lately?