Why do Christians sing?

Christians sing for several reasons, including:

  1. Worship and adoration: Christians believe that singing is a form of worship and a way to express their love and adoration for God.
  2. Proclamation of truth: Christians sing to proclaim the truth of the gospel and share the good news with others.
  3. Unity: Singing together can create a sense of unity and community among believers.
  4. Encouragement and comfort: Singing can be a source of encouragement and comfort in difficult times, reminding believers of God’s love and faithfulness.
  5. Instruction: Hymns and worship songs often contain biblical teachings and can serve as a way to teach and reinforce important theological concepts.
  6. Response: Singing can be a response to God’s goodness and grace, as well as a way to express repentance and seek forgiveness.

The oldest song that Christians still sing today is believed to be the “Phos Hilaron” or “Hail Gladdening Light,” a hymn of evening light that is traditionally sung at sunset. This song dates back to at least the 3rd century AD and is still sung by many Christians, especially in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Other early Christian hymns and songs include the “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” and the “Te Deum Laudamus,” both of which date back to the 4th century AD.

This ancient hymn actually uses “hymn” in verb form. The noun is ὕμνος (humnos), and the verb is ὑμνέω (humneo). In Φῶς ἱλαρὸν (Phos Hilaron). the verb takes the form ὑμνεῖσθαι (humneisthai). The ending indicates the infinitive verb is middle voice aorist whatever that means.

Phos Hilaron

Φῶς ἱλαρὸν ἁγίας δόξης, ἀθανάτου Πατρός, οὐρανίου, ἁγίου, μάκαρος, Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, ἐλθόντες ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλίου δύσιν, ἰδόντες φῶς ἑσπερινόν, ὑμνοῦμεν Πατέρα, Υἱόν, καὶ ἅγιον Πνεῦμα Θεόν. Ἄξιόν σε ἐν πᾶσι καιροῖς, ὑμνεῖσθαι φωναῖς αἰσίαις, Υἱὲ Θεοῦ, ζωὴν ὁ διδούς, Διὸ ὁ κόσμος σὲ δοξάζει.

Hail, gladdening Light, of His pure glory poured
Who is the immortal Father, heavenly, blest,
Holiest of holies, Jesus Christ our Lord!

Now we are come to the sun’s hour of rest;
The lights of evening round us shine;
We hymn the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit divine!

Worthiest art thou at all times to be sung
With undefiled tongue, Son of our God, giver of life, alone;
Therefore in all the world thy glories, Lord, they own.

[Source]

Basil of Caesarea

Phos Hilaron (Φῶς ἱλαρὸν) is an ancient Christian hymn originally written in Koine Greek. The hymn is known in English as ‘Hail Gladdening Light,’ or ‘O Gladsome Light.’ It is the earliest known Christian hymn, recorded outside of the Bible, that is still being used today. The hymn is featured in the Vespers of the Orthodox Church.

The song is first recorded by an unknown author in the Constitutiones Apostolicae which was written in the late 3rd or early 4th century A.D. It is found in a collection of songs to be sung in the morning, in the evening, before meals, and at candle lighting. Phos Hilaron is to be sung at the lighting of candles in the evening and so is sometimes known as the ‘Candle-light Hymn’. Despite some of the words to the other three songs being from Scripture or in one case dated to around 150 AD, Phos Hilaron is the first to be considered an actual hymn in the modern sense. It is certainly the first complete example. It is far more rhythmic than the others and is divided into twelve verses varying between five, six, eight, nine, ten and eleven syllables a verse. Basil the Great (ca. 330 – January 1, 379) spoke of the singing of the Phos Hilaron as a cherished tradition of the church, the hymn being already considered old in his day (though some attribute the composition of the song to St Basil himself).

At that time in Jerusalem a candle was kept perpetually burning in the empty tomb of Christ, its glow a symbol of the living light of Jesus. As Christians gathered to worship the hymn was sung and, in a tradition known as the lighting of the lamps, the candle was brought forth from the tomb, its bright, solitary flame calling the church to celebrate the risen Lord.

Athenogenes, a saint of unknown date but is commemorated 16th July, is believed by some to have composed this hymn on the way to being martyred. He is often depicted as an elderly bishop with the executioner’s arm paralyzed until the saint has completed his song. The Roman Martyrology states: “In Pontus, the birthday of Saint Athenogenes, [is celebrated, he was] an aged theologian, who, when about to consummate his martyrdom by fire, sang a hymn of joy, which he left in writing to his disciples.” He is probably identical to the bishop who suffered at Sebaste, Armenia, with ten disciples under Diocletian on July 16; therefore estimating his death as around 305 A.D. However, Basil the Great notes the “ancient form” of this hymn, states it comes from antiquity, and states that it is of unknown origin immediately prior to mentioning the story of “the Hymn of Athenogenes, which, as he was hurrying on to his perfecting by fire, he left as a kind of farewell gift to his friends.” Basil the Great is clearly stating that Athenogenes wrote a different hymn, which scholars believe to be “Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις” (Glory to God in the highest), a.k.a. the Great Doxology. [a]https://orthodoxwiki.org/Phos_Hilaron

Basil wrote:

I will now adduce another piece of evidence which might perhaps seem insignificant, but because of its antiquity must in nowise be omitted by a defendant who is indicted on a charge of innovation. It seemed fitting to our fathers not to receive the gift of the light at eventide in silence, but, on its appearing, immediately to give thanks. Who was the author of these words of thanksgiving at the lighting of the lamps, we are not able to say. The people, however, utter the ancient form, and no one has ever reckoned guilty of impiety those who say “We praise Father, Son, and God’s Holy Spirit.”

(Ps. 141. was called ὁ ἐπιλύχνιος ψαλμός (Ap. Const. viii. 35). In the Vespers of the Eastern Church an evening hymn is sung, translated in D.C.A. i. 634, “Joyful Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, the heavenly, the holy, the blessed Jesus Christ, we having come to the setting of the sun and beholding the evening light, praise God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It is meet at all times that thou shouldest be hymned with auspicious voices, Son of God, Giver of Life: wherefore the world glorifieth thee.”)

And if any one knows the Hymn of Athenogenes, (identified by some with two early hymns, Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις, and φῶς ἱλαρόν) which, as he was hurrying on to his perfecting by fire, he left as a kind of farewell gift (The MSS. vary between ἐξιτήριον and ἀλεξιτήριον, farewell gift and amulet or charm. In Ep. cciii. 229 Basil says that our Lord gave His disciples peace as an ἐξιτήριον δῶρον, using the word, but in conjunction with δῶρον. Greg. Naz., Orat. xiv. 223 speaks of our Lord leaving peace “ὥσπερ ἄλλο τι ἐξιτήριον.”) to his friends, he knows the mind of the martyrs as to the Spirit. On this head I shall say no more. [b]Basil of Caesarea, “The Book of Saint Basil on the Spirit,” in St. Basil: Letters and Select Works, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. Blomfield Jackson, vol. 8, A Select Library of the … Continue reading

 

[c]This article includes some content created using OpenAI’s ChatGPT

Notes[+]

How to Find Bible Contradictions in Jesus’ Birth Story

Why does the account of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Luke contradict the account in the Gospel of Matthew?

Compare the two passages to see this irreconcilable contradiction.

BOTH: Nazareth → Bethlehem

Both passages agree that Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. They don’t agree on where the Holy Family went after Bethlehem.

LUKE: Bethlehem → Nazareth

Click image for larger map.

 

Luke chapter 2 says that they made a brief trip from their home in Bethlehem to the Temple in Jerusalem to fulfill the law of Moses, then returned immediately back to Nazareth from Bethlehem.

22 And when the days of their purification were completed according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb will be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

39 And when they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

 

MATTHEW: Bethlehem → Egypt → Nazareth

Click image for larger map.

 

Matthew chapter 2 says the Mary, Joseph, and Jesus left Bethlehem and went to Egypt until Herod was dead, then the Holy Family returned to Nazareth.

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,

13 Now after they had gone away, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to seek the child to destroy him.” 14 So he got up and took the child and his mother during the night and went away to Egypt. 15 And he was there until the death of Herod…

19 Now after Herod had died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the life of the child are dead.” 21 So he got up and took the child and his mother and entered the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream, he took refuge in the regions of Galilee. 23 And he came and lived in a town called Nazareth, in order that what was said by the prophets would be fulfilled: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

The previous summary is inaccurate.

The differences between Matthew and Luke are not irreconcilable differences. They are actually complementary passages.

The Truth About Matthew’s Account

Actually, the Gospel of Matthew does not contain any mention of Joseph and Mary coming from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Matthew is silent on Nazareth until 2:23. However this is not a problem since Luke’s account includes the section.

Matthew does not say that Mary and Joseph did not come from Nazareth. If Matthew had said that Mary and Joseph came from their home in Jericho or some other city, there would be a real contradiction. Or if Matthew had said that Mary and Joseph had never been to Nazareth before, there would be a real contradiction. However, there is not a contradiction about something that was not said. Matthew simply doesn’t mention the location of Nazareth until after Egypt in 2:23.

Matthew’s silence on the Nazareth section does not prevent us from accepting the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem found in Luke.

Furthermore, Matthew does not contain the section about the shepherds and angels. There are no problems with this since the shepherds come from the Luke passage. Both accounts are needed to get the complete story.

Not documenting an event is not a denial of that event when it is documented by another historian.

The Truth About Luke’s Account

Actually, the Gospel of Luke does not contain any mention of Joseph and Mary returning from Jerusalem to Bethlehem before moving back home to Nazareth. However, we know that Bethlehem was their home away from home for the time while Mary was pregnant and when Jesus was delivered (Luke 2:4-6), and possibly up to two years after his birth (Matthew 2:16). So, we can be sure that they left the Temple in Jerusalem and returned to their house in Bethlehem before the journey back to Nazareth in Galilee. There is not a contradiction about something that was not said.

Furthermore, Luke does not mention the visit of the wise men and the slaughter of the children by angry king Herod. But, there are no problems since Matthew covers this section very well.

Another inaccuracy from the opening account is very subtle. I claim that Luke says the Holy Family returned immediately to Nazareth after fulfilling the legal rituals in Jerusalem. The Scripture says “they returned” not “they returned immediately without any trips to Egypt.” When we insert an extra word, we create a contradiction that isn’t really there.

But doesn’t Luke use chronological language here? Yes. He indicates that the move back to Galilee did not take place before the rituals in Jerusalem. We accept that the family did not go straight from Jerusalem to Nazareth even though Luke doesn’t include a section about Bethlehem between Jerusalem and Nazareth. We can’t know why. And therefore, we can’t know why Luke doesn’t tell us how long, days or years, between Jerusalem and Nazareth. If we accept Matthew’s account of Egypt, there was a pretty good gap of time not mentioned by Luke.

Luke’s silence on the Egypt passage isn’t proof that Egypt never happened. We accept Matthew’s account of the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem even though Luke is silent. We accept Matthew’s account of the wise men even though Luke is silent. We accept Matthew’s account of angry king Herod ordering the massacre of children even though Luke is silent. We accept Luke’s account of shepherds even though Matthew is silent. We accept Luke’s account of the Jerusalem visit even though Matthew is silent.

We need both Matthew’s account and Luke’s account to see a more complete history.

Each of these two historians had a perspective on the birth of Christ. We need to read both accounts. There is no contradiction if we don’t create one by adding phrases or presumptions that are not in the historical text.

COMBINED ACCOUNTS: Nazareth → Bethlehem → Jerusalem → Bethlehem → Egypt → Nazareth

 

How to Interpret Fill-in-the-blank Jesus

Argument:

Jesus never mentioned abortion, therefore Christians are wrong to be pro-life.

“Jesus never once talked about abortion… for people perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ down to one issue, it’s heresy… Open the Bible… you won’t see it there…” (Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe, September 9, 2022, 28:37. It is worth hearing the whole rant on YouTube.)

Reply:

Arguing about something that was never said is meaningless.

First, make a list of behaviors not mentioned by Jesus.

  • Jesus never mentioned the sex trafficking of children.
  • Jesus never mentioned selling a child into slavery.
  • Jesus never mentioned cannibalism of your children.
  • Jesus never mentioned child sacrifice.

Then, realize that Jesus wasn’t silent about moral issues and did not fail to speak to important ethical questions such as these, because Jesus did quote Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5: 17. He also summarized Exodus 21:12, Leviticus 24:17, Numbers 35:12, and Deuteronomy 17:8-13. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed the motives of a murderous heart that will be judged by God. Furthermore, it would be absurd to ignore the value Jesus placed upon infants and children.

An argument from silence means nothing, but Jesus was not silent about moral issues. You must use what Jesus did say to extrapolate what he believed. You cannot take what he did not say and create a narrative of what he may have believed.

It is absurd to indicate that Jesus approved of killing reborn children for the convenience of the parents. Jesus appealed to Scripture as authoritative, specifically indicating passages that condemn murder. Therefore, Jesus sees the black letters as authoritative, not just his own red ones.

Jesus believed what it says in the book of Psalms.

Indeed you created my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was created secretly, and intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my embryo, and in your book they all were written— days fashioned for me when there was not one of them. And to me, how precious are your thoughts, O God; how vast is their sum. If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. I awaken, and I am still with you. If only you would kill the wicked, O God— so get away from me, you bloodthirsty men— who speak against you deceitfully. Your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Yahweh? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with a complete hatred; they have become my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. And see if there is in me the worship of false gods, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139)

It is manipulative to imply that Psalm 139 has no application to the murder of the unborn unless Jesus quoted it directly.

Luke 24:44″… the psalms must be fulfilled” indicates Jesus high view of Psalms. Jesus explicitly endorsed the Old Testament, and the Old Testament explicitly condemn murder, killing a human, even a pre-born human.

The earliest Christians understood Christ and wrote what they thought would please Him.

First century Christians documented their understanding of the Twelve Apostles’ doctrine on Christ and wrote (Didache 12:2) “You shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten (pre-born).”

Furthermore, there is no competition between pre-born humans and the born ones, as if the defense of right to life prevents the care and protection of all children. We need to do both. Honor the sanctity of pre-born humans. Protect all humans from neglect and abuse.

Modern man may think himself wise in his own eyes, especially when suggesting that he is more qualified to speak on behalf of Jesus, that the historical Jesus was in favor of abortion, that Jesus had nothing to say about the morality or ethics that are the murderous heart of abortion.

A secular consideration may have some light in it.

Consider the wording that was in the pre-Christian Hippocratic oath, written between the fifth and third century BC. “… I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman with a view to destroy the child.” Even the ancient pagan Greeks knew something about the dignity of human life.

 

 

 

There is No Joy in the Decision to Strike Down Roe vs. Wade

  1. This ruling cannot erase the death of over 60 million innocent citizens.
  2. The persons responsible for the murder of innocent children are still free to murder more.
  3. This ruling has no power to change the heart of responsible adults.
  4. This ruling does not address the root problem of devaluation of human life, does not recognize that a human death for the sake of the convenience is always murder.
  5. This ruling does not address the root problem of sexual promiscuity and behavioral irresponsibility.

Is the Antichrist gay?

Someone recently heard a preacher on the radio. The preacher used the passage in Daniel 11 to prove that the Antichrist will be a homosexual.

What does Daniel 11 say?

Click this link for entire chapter on Bible Gateway. Let’s read Daniel 11: 37 in a few English translations for comparison of interpretation.

(KJV) Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

(NASB 2020) And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will boast against them all.

(ESV) He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all.

(LEB) He will not pay respect to the gods of his ancestors, or to the darling of women, and not to any god will he pay respect, for he will consider himself great over all gods.

What’s wrong with the preacher’s interpretation?

  1. No version of this verse says that the Antichrist will not desire women. Rather, we find that Daniel 11:37 says that the man will not regard the object of women’s desire.
  2. The preacher is applying his own agenda upon this one verse. This is the kind of stuff that gives Christians a bad reputation. People have told me, “You can make the Bible say anything that you want it to say.” However, making the Bible say what we want it to say is bad practice. The Bible should be read without smothering it in our own opinions. Read it as if you want to learn the original meaning. Do not read the Bible to find proof texts as backup for your favorite rants or as justification for your personal behavior.
  3. The preacher changes the original structure of the sentence. It’s easy to see through the transformation from a man who does not regard the object of women’s desire into a man who does not desire women. However, it just isn’t appropriate to do this to this passage of Holy Scripture.
  4. The preacher provides information not found in the original passage. Even if the passage said he won’t desire women, it wouldn’t make him a homosexual by default… that would require an addition of “his (sexual) desire is for men” into the passage. Other Scriptures indicate that a holy man can live a celibate lifestyle of sexual abstinence.

What is the short answer?

Daniel 11:37 is about a man that is not influenced by the feelings expressed by women.

How to Answer Accusations of Hypocrisy Against Christians

Forgive.

If you have been falsely accused of something that you did not do, forgive the accuser. Drop the offense. Refuse to be personally offended by personal remarks. If you are emotionally hurting or angry, you may not be listening, you may not be able to identify the hypocrisy that has been exposed (because exposing hypocrisy is a good thing), you may be tempted to respond in kind (to attack the person that attacked you)

Proverbs 19:11. Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

It is not necessary to say aloud to your accuser that you forgive them unless you hope to prolong a meaningless argument.

Agree.

Tell the accuser that they are right. The behavior was sinful and “unChristlike.”

Apologize.

If the accusation of hypocrisy is true about you, apologize for disobeying Jesus and for

misrepresenting the true message of Christ. Then go, and sin no more.

If the accusation of hypocrisy is about someone else, apologize on behalf of the other person. Tell the accuser that Jesus has been misrepresented. You will not be apologizing for Jesus or for behavior approved by Jesus. You will be apologizing on behalf of a person that claimed to be a Christian while they behaved in a way that was contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

Do not make excuses for disobedience to Jesus. Just admit that it was wrong and should never have been done by a follower of Jesus.

Thank.

Thank the accuser for their help to identify bad behavior by Christians. The greater picture will show that this will help reduce hypocrisy and Jesus will be glorified in better ways.

It makes no difference if your accuser was trying to harm you or help you, if the accusation is true, sin was called out, and Christlike behavior was encouraged. The goal of life is to live like Jesus.

Why are accusations of hypocrisy good for Christianity?

Hypocrisy is pretending to possess specific virtues that are contradicted by your behavior. For example, if I preach that extramarital relationships are sinful while I am unfaithful to my wife, I am a hypocrite. If I expect people to listen to my preaching but to ignore my bad behavior, I am a hypocrite.

This week, I listened to a program featuring a celebrity transgender person named Trystan Reese. The turning point of the story is when six-month-pregnant Reese reads a message from a woman that says, “As a Christian, I hope that you give birth to a dead baby because that baby would be better off than a baby that has to born to someone like you.” In the narrative, after reading the message, Reese loses hope and has a horrible nightmare about the baby. Reese says that before the death-wish message “I didn’t know that people hate us.”

The “Christian” death-wish woman in the story is a hypocrite.

A hypocrite is a fake. A hypocrite is a person that behaves in a manner that is incongruous with their professed values or principles. For example, a woman who professes to value love and kindness and grace (Christian core values) while she writes a death wish to another person is a hypocrite, a fake.

Hypocrisy is not a Christian trait. Accusations of hypocrisy should not be limited to Christians. A secular person practices hypocrisy when she states that her core beliefs are social justice, tolerance and inclusivity while she condemns and excludes all Christians.

I have heard, more than once, that all Christians are hypocrites so going to church is a bad idea. This ignores glaring truth that hypocrites thrive in “non-Christian” environments of bars, theaters, clubs, gambling establishments, social groups, and other organizations, but we don’t cry so loudly for everyone to abandon those groups of hypocrites. We target Christians.

We target Christians because their stated purpose is to be faithful and truthful and loving and gracious and forgiving and holy and peaceful and kind and self-controlled. Christians claim to follow Jesus. Christians claim that they want to be like Jesus and to be transformed into the character of Jesus just like the Bible says. Therefore, when someone who takes the name of Christian behaves in a way that contradicts the behavior prescribed in Scripture, they should be called out for that hypocrisy. On the other hand, there is no apparent contradiction when sinners behave like sinners or when pagans behave like pagans. But when Christians behave like heathens, someone ought to say something.

Christian core values like faith, truth, love, grace, forgiveness, salvation, righteousness, holiness, spiritual fruit, and Spirit-empowerment make it so easy to identify someone who is in violation of those values that even a heathen can accurately call out a hypocrite. Calling someone a hypocrite validates Christian values.

If Christian values have no merit, then the accusation of hypocrisy is pointless. On the other hand, accusations of hypocrisy rise from the foundation of Christian values. Truth and righteousness are actually excellent qualities for establishing social relationships. Love and forgiveness, also Christian values, are vital to human relationships. Therefore, accusations of hypocrisy do not call for the abandonment of love and faithfulness, and grace, but rather, accusations of hypocrisy ask us to return to Christian core values because those values are important. Christian values are good for society.

Christians should behave like followers of Jesus Christ. When our behavior contradicts Jesus, we need a call to repentance. When a heathen points out your un-Christlike behavior, you should feel called to repentance. If you have ever sent hate mail to another person, you need to repent and send an apology to ask for forgiveness. If you are not living like Jesus, you are a hypocrite and a fake, and you need to change.


1 John 4:20
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

James 1:26
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

Romans 2:3
Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?1 John 2:9 ESV / 464 helpful votes Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.

2 Timothy 3:5
Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Titus 1:16
They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Matthew 7:15
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

1 John 2:4
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,

James 2:14-26
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. …

Matthew 6:5
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Romans 2:1-5
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.