6:1-6, 16-18 | Righteous Reasons

6:1-6, 16-18 | Righteous Reasons - Morgan Bradley


  1. Tell me what you think about this person

    1. Someone decides to return a lost pet only after seeing the promise of a reward

    2. A young man who is only nice to a girl until he sleeps with her

    3. People do the right things for all the wrong reasons

  2. The right or wrong motive can change everything

    1. Our motives can even change our relationship with God

    2. Jesus is warning us against the dangers of improper motives


A Warning on Practicing Our Righteous Deeds Before Others

  1. Jesus moves from actions to motivation

    1. Beatitudes - Character

    2. Salt and light - Influence

    3. A greater righteousness

    4. What is it that motivates a disciple to those righteous actions?

  2. We shouldn't be motivated by our need for attention

    1. We are to serve for the benefit of others, not ourselves

    2. If we only do good in the public eye then we are not good people

  3. You will lose your reward from God

    1. God knows why you do things | Jeremiah 17:10

    2. God does not respect selfish motives. He respects acts a grace and love.

  4. How can we still be salt and light?

    1. Jesus speaks to our fears in 5:13-16

    2. Here he speaks to our vanity in

    3. Do you practice to be seen by men, or to show who God is?


Three Examples

  1. Charity | vv. 2-4

    1. Expected of individuals | Deut. 15:7-11

    2. Built into Jewish society

      1. Field gleanings and debt release

      2. Synagogue Welfare

  2. Prayer | vv. 5-6

    1. No strict schedule, but was part of a devout Jews day

    2. Daniel prayed three times a day | Daniel 6:10-22

    3. Peter went up to the roof at the sixth hour to pray | Acts 10:9

    4. Jesus often went to desolate places to pray

  3. Fasting | vv. 16-18

    1. A show of mourning | 2 Samuel 1:12

    2. Sign a repentance | Jonah 3:6-8

    3. Spiritually disciplining yourself | Jesus in the 40 days of wilderness


To Be Seen by Men

  1. Don't do it like this

    1. Sounding a trumpet | vs. 2

    2. Praying on the street corners | vs. 5

    3. Disfiguring their faces | vs. 16

  2. Don't be as the hypocrites

    1. Greek for theatrical actor

    2. These people look and play the part, but they are the farthest thing from

    3. Our actors aren't superheroes, their hypocrites weren't good people

  3. They have received all of their reward

    1. More literally, they have been paid in full

    2. Trading God's reward for the praise of men

  4. What actions do we partake in?

    1. Singing to praise, or be heard?

    2. Preaching to inform, or impress?

    3. Leading by example, or to be seen?


The Christian Contrast

  1. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing

    1. We must be completely unselfconscious of our charity

    2. Don't fall into the trap of being proud to yourself

  2. Pray in secret

    1. Praying is to give God glory, not us

    2. Does this benefit anyone else if it becomes public?

  3. Our religion must be pure, not a façade

    1. We do good out of a love for our neighbor and God

    2. We must do good even in secret

    3. Go after God's praise, not that of man