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SERIES: The Sermon On The Mount

TEXT: Matthew 6:1-15

MESSAGE: Authentic Christianity

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“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” 
— Charles Spurgeon
Q: How does an authentic Christian live?
 
Jesus addresses three areas we must be radically changed: (1. The Motivation 2. The Perspective 3. The Results)
  1. The Motivation (v. 1-6)

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

John Stott — “In classical Greek the hupokirtes was first an orator and then an actor. So figuratively the word came to be applied to anyone who treats the world as a stage on which he plays a part. He lays aside his true identity and assumes a false one…He wears a mask.”

  1. The Perspective (v. 7-13)

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

“If you have a relationship with God as a boss…you say…‘I’m doing this. I’m doing this. Now God owes me’, that produces a completely different kind of life and…than if you see that you have been chosen by grace, that you have a family relationship. That is you have a grace-based relationship with God as a father…and if God is your Father, then your self-image is based not on you being a good person but on you being a loved person.”
— Timothy Keller
  1. The Results (v. 14-15)
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 18:32-35 — “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
TAKEAWAYS: 
  • What’s your perspective of God?
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself…We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.” 
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
  • Who are you when you’re alone?
  • Do you have a forgiving heart?  

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”  — Romans 12:19

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” — Ephesians 4:32