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Summary: Imagine the transformation in a community when the Church embraces Jesus' call toward giving to the needy out of the overflow of our hearts. Today's message explores Matthew 6:1-4.

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A Changed Church • Matthew 6:1, 2-4

OPENING ILLUSTRATION: Acts 4

In today’s world, charity is practiced on a wide scale and is thought often times to be the natural product of the intrinsic goodness of the human spirit… or in light of the New Age concept of Karma – that if I do a good deed it will return to me…

True charity entered the world through Jesus Christ! Listen to what the Athenian philosopher Aristides said in defense of the faith to the Emperor Hadrian in speaking of normal Christians… READ QUOTE…

INTRODUCTION: As we begin to focus our attention on Matthew 6, Jesus shifts His attention away from the PRESENCE of righteousness toward the PRACTICE of righteousness in our lives.

THEME SERMON ON MOUNT: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

Within this series we are going to look at 3 Examples Jesus shares which are Cardinal Components of Jewish Piety… Almsgiving… prayer… fasting… also appear in some form in every religion…

Today’s Message: A Changed Church - READ MATTHEW 6:1-4… Pray…

MATTHEW 6:1 is the main central warning of this section of Scripture… spend a few moments here before we dig into tonight’s thought…

“Beware” = caution = prosexw… to, toward, near… I am… non-biblical language often used to mean “to have in close proximity to ones mind… found in state of alert”

“Righteousness = same Greek word used in Matthew 5:6, 20

5:6,20 = inner righteousness 6:1 = external righteousness

commanded cautioned

5:16 - contradiction

addresses human cowardice addresses human vanity

Public Shows Light Private Piety Secret = both Glorify God!

A.B. Bruce – “We are to show when tempted to hide and hide when tempted to show.”

5:48 – commanded to be perfect… but the goal of genuine perfection can become lost in the lesser goal of external piety…

D.A.Carson – “The goal of pleasing the Father is traded for its pygmy cousin, the goal of pleasing men.

Key Thought: Within these verses, Jesus warns us that religious activity must never become AUTOMATED!

Each Example Jesus explores, follows the same pattern… 1) Identifies Issue 2) Irony of Human Results 3) Illustrates true piety & heavenly results

3 KEY QUESTIONS FROM MATTHEW 6:2-4 – Almsgiving… giving to needy…

I. WHAT IS THE EMPHASIS OF GIVING?

Notice Expectation – When you give to the needy…

Almsgiving = Greek – deed of mercy or pity… much teaching on this in O.T. and God rich in mercy expects His followers to be kind & merciful too

Emphasis is not about selfishness… stinginess, skepticism…

II. WHAT ARE THE ENTRAPMENTS OF GIVING?

Entrapment = luring of a person into a situation to commitment a crime… This is exactly what the enemy does… lures us…

Jesus Identifies Issue and the Irony of Human results… (v 2b)

What is He saying? Avoid hypocrisy in giving…

Trumpets may be metaphorical… tooting own horn… literal… trumpets of temple calling citizens together to contribute to an urgent need… imagine… trumpets sound… quickly close my shop and rush down street… everyone knows where I am going and the speed at which I’m moving draws attention to what I am doing…

Jesus says these are hypocrites…

3 Kinds of Hypocrisy…

1) Crafty Hypocrite = Matt 22:15… know their deception…

2) Confident Hypocrite = Matt 7:1-5 puffed up with their own importance and self righteousness. Spurgeon said “To stand w/ a penny in one hand & a trumpet in the other is the posture of hypocrisy.”

3) Clueless Hypocrite = Mt 6:2 more subtle… person who talks himself into believing that at the heart, his actions are in the best interest of the needy… think about it… needy don't complain… others are grateful for generosity…

Jesus says those who give to been seen and admired have received their reward in full… = GRK term with a technical meaning = commercial term payment completed with a receipt…

III. WHAT SHOULD BE THE EXPRESSION OF GIVING? (VV 3-4)

Who? The who is YOU!

What? Meeting needs is a JESUS ENDEAVOR! True giving comes forth from a life that has been surrendered to God. Jesus meets the deepest needs of ppl.

How? Jesus expresses just how QUIET and PRIVATE our giving should be.

NO ONE should know what we have given and if there is a danger that secret pride will be nurtured, he says don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing… no one knows… not even ourselves… no one but God…

Why? Motivation… It is not about the AMOUNT of the gift. It is about COMPASSION and DESIRE. Father alone knows… he sees the innermost parts of our heart.. pleases him when we give out of a transparent desire to please him. READ JOHN R.W. STOTT QUOTE…

INVITATION – Pleasing to God? Doesn’t want your $. Wants your heart!

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