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Summary: Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven

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Introduction

A. A hiker came across another guy lying under a tree, but the shade of the tree was not on the napper’s face. The hiker said to the man under the tree, “why don’t you move so that you’re in the shade?” The man on the ground replied, “if I wait the shade will eventually move to where I am.” The hiker said, “That’s the laziest statement I’ve ever heard, if you can make a statement lazier than that I’ll give you a hundred dollars.” The man under the tree replied, “Well, just roll me over and stuff it in my pocket.”

B. In the next 18 verses Jesus brings up three practices, three religious practices

1. Giving

2. Prayer

3. And fasting

C. But, Christ brings out the proper means of the practice and gives illustration of the improper means of the practice

1. Christ desires that men do these things with the right motive and guard against hypocrisy when doing them

2. Christ also desires that Christians receive their reward from God the Father

D. Once again, Christ is bringing out attitudes, our motives for doing good

1. In our passage we have four verses and we can outline our passage this way

a. Background: alms, doing good Verse 1

b. The wrong motive Verse 2

c. The right motive Verses 3 & 4

d. The reason verse 4

(1) So let us begin by turning to Matthew 6:1

II. Body

A. Background: alms, doing good

Matthew 6:1 (NKJV)

"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven

1. The King James uses the word Alms

a. A prime Biblical example is found in Acts 3:2-6

b. Peter and John were going into the temple and they saw a cripple begging alms

Acts 3:2-6 (NKJV)

And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; {3} who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. {4} And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." {5} So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. {6} Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

(1) Alms was charity given to those who could not earn their own way

(2) We see that this man was lame, a cripple

(3) Peter had compassion on the man and gave what he could, Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

(4) It could be said that alms were righteous acts; giving in order to meet the needs of the poor

(5) To the Jew, giving alms and righteousness meant the same thing

(6) Giving alms was the greatest thing a Jew could do; it was the first act of religion

(7) It was considered to be the very embodiment of righteousness, so much so that the two words began to be used synonymously

(8) Giving alms merited and assured one of righteousness and salvation

(9) Christ warned there is great danger in giving and doing alms

(10) Take heed and guard yourself

(11) Do not give for recognition or you will lose your reward

2. There are two important lessons in this verse.

a. We must guard and be alert to the deception of giving and doing good before men

(1) Our heart can be deceived

(2) The sin creeps up on us; it is insidious and subtle

(3) It will keep a us from receiving anything from God

b. We must give alms and do good

(1) It is our duty as Christians

(2) In this passage alone, verses 1- 4, Christ says four times, "Do alms,” that is do charitable deeds

(a) Now we turn to Matthew 6:2

B. Wrong motive

Matthew 6:2 (NKJV)

"Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward

1. There is the wrong motive for doing good

a. Christ seems to take for granted that the Christian give and do good

b. What Christ strikes at is the motive of our heart for giving and doing good

(1) Giving for recognition is the wrong motive for giving

(2) Recognition is said to be sought by blowing our own horn in two places

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