In our study of Matthew chapter six, we look at five things that the righteous will do. We will look at the fact that these things will be a part of the Christian walk as well as the fact that our motives in doing these things is important to God.
"'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.'" NIV translation
Jesus continues to teach about kingdom things in what is commonly called the Olivet Discourse. We see that the things that He is going to teach about were to be a private matter between the believer and God. We also see that our Father in heaven will be rewarding us for our righteous acts.
Through the years, this teaching has been misunderstood and twisted to be used to manipulate people. The key to understanding this chapter is to keep in mind that these things will happen in the life of a Christian because they are a Christian. These are acts of the righteous and not acts to become righteous. There have also been those who say that the rewards that are referred to has to do with our salvation. That is a lie straight from the depths of hell! We are saved by faith through the grace of God so that is not our reward. John spoke of the rewards of the believer in Revelation 20.
"'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.'" NIV translation
Jesus gives an example with the first act of the righteous which is giving. We notice that he does not say if but when we give. The Pharisees would go out into the streets and blow a trumpet so that the poor would know to come and receive alms. They wanted to do it this way so that everyone else would see what they were doing. In the synagogues people would make sure to throw their coins into the trumpet shaped collection jars so that it would make a lot of noise. Jesus tells us that they received the acknowledgement of the people around them which is what they were looking for.