My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Feb. 14th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/ We also provide the services through our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net
A quick review:
Matthew Chapters 5-7 – The Sermon on the Mount
Living as true kingdom citizens.
A call to true discipleship/followship
Living a righteous life
A few things to consider as we think about the RIGHTEOUS LIFE:
- A righteous life is a life that pleases God.
- A life that pleases God is a life that follows after the Lord Jesus Christ.
- A life free from the law and based on the New Covenant. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- A born again life through God’s grace and mercy. (New Creations)
- Free from hypocrisy and motived by true devotion to the Lord based upon His love for us. Realizing our entire life is lived out before God (our heart, motives, thought, and actions)
Greatest sermon ever preached by the great preacher of all time.
Our Text: 6:1-4
Giving, Praying, and Fasting are done as an act of devotion and worship. We give, we pray, we fast because we understand who God is and we also understand how these “acts of worship” mature us in faith…OUR LOVE FOR HIM.
The question for us today is…How is my giving, praying, and fasting? Is it a TRUE RIGTHEOUS ACT or is it insincere and hypocritical? DOES IT EXCEED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE PHARISEES?
5:20 – Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and pharisees you will NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
6:1 – Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
An understanding of righteousness.
- Upright, Moral. Opposite of lawless.
- Biblically, Living upright before God. The standard is God Himself.
- Yet, we are incapable to accomplish this
- THEREFORE…the GOSPEL!
Your righteousness must exceed that of THE LAW – 5:17-20
- Anger, Lust, Divorce, Oaths, Retaliation, Hatred.
- Law says…Jesus Says
- Actions or the Heart. What and the Why
Beware of practicing your righteousness to the wrong audience
- Practicing – where the word for theater was derived. (Putting on a show.)
- Three ways to demonstrate your devotion to God….LIVING A RIGHTEOUS LIFE – Giving, Praying, Fasting. – 6:1-18
Giving to those in need is part of living the righteous life.
- What is need? (physical, poor, destitute)
- What is the greatest? (The Gospel, heart change)
- How are these needs met?
Christians should naturally want to help those that are without and truly dependent on others.
Sound no trumpet – v. 2
- Announce. Look what I did (Donor tags at church!?!?!?)
As the hypocrites do – v. 2
- Wear a mask
- Unbelievers who pretend to be believers.
- True believers who are sinful but pretend to be spiritual.
Left hand and Right hand does not know – v. 3
- Spontaneous. Normal. Without thinking.
- WE MUST BE DISCERNING ALSO (give money to a drunkard…he will buy more booze)
- Tough Love. Long-term needs. Big picture. End in mind.
In Secret – v. 4
- Done for no other reason that for IT IS PLEASING TO THE LORD.
They received their reward – v. 2
- Term to describe a completed transaction
- Nothing more needs to be done…finished/over
When we seek to please men, then our reward can only come from man (this is profound in so many ways)
And your Father who sees in secret will reward you – v. 4
- Some of the most impactful and profound things I have ever said I do not remember saying, but when I TRY to be righteous with my WORDS (wrong motive…this will be profound rather than just speaking from the overflow)…no one remembers.
- SO MANY TIMES THIS RINGS TRUE WITH MY SERMONS.
- perhaps the greatest is in knowing it has pleased the Lord. WHAT OTHER MOTIVATION DO WE NEED?
God KNOWS OUR HEART
- Thoughts, Motives
 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)
 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (ESV)