Faith and Reward: Alms (Matthew #26)

Text: Matthew 6:1-4

Alms is charitable giving, not a law

  • Acts 3:2-3
  • In chapter 5 the Lord explained the underlying spirit of the law in connection with the letter of the law.  He repeated over and over again, Ye have heard that it was said…
  • But now the Lord is going to deal with things that don’t have a law associated with them.  There is no Old Testament law commanding or prescribing what portion of goods is to be given as charity, so this is not a lesson on how to keep the works of the law.  (If it’s a law, then it’s not charitable, it would just be a tax.)
  • Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Jewish disciples so he will mention the synagogues, but the truth of what he is saying is not to Jews only.  It is simply to the Jews FIRST then it will be to the Gentiles as we’ll see.
  • Jesus Christ is explaining what faith looks like in practice.  There is a difference between the works of the law that don’t justify anyone and faith in action.

Faith is believing God is the rewarder

  • The Lord Jesus Christ is explaining faith as it pertains to giving charitably.
    • Faithful charitable giving looks for reward from the Lord.
    • Unfaithful charitable giving is done for reputation, self gratification, and superiority
  • Essential element of faith
    • Notice 6:1 in reference to the REWARD.  Notice 6:2 in reference to the REWARD. Notice 6:3-4 in reference to the REWARD.
    • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
      • What follows in Hebrews 11 are people who looked to the LORD to reward them.
      • Faith is substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen
      • By faith Noah warned of things NOT SEEN as yet, MOVED with fear (fear of God) and prepared an ark.
      • By faith Abraham moved, trusting God to lead him.
      • By faith Moses (vss 24-26) looking to the LORD to reward him and rejecting the world system of Egypt
  • Explaining faith to the Jews first
    • Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Jewish disciples so he will mention the synagogues, but the truth of what he is saying is not to Jews only.  Believing God is the rewarder predates the law and the nation of Israel.
    • Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
    • The Lord is the rewarder works for both good and evil.
    • Proverbs 25:21-22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
    • Romans 12:17-21 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
  • Exclusive faith
    • Believing God is the rewarder is the opposite of being a man pleaser
    • Colossians 3:23-25 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (Remember, do not your alms before men in Matthew 6:1?) 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
    • God is no respecter of persons, but you might be.  Some of you may claim to trust Jesus Christ, but you’d never talk publicly about him to strangers or friends.  The gospel you claim to believe you’ll never preach to anyone because of the reaction from your friends that you know you’ll get.  According to the Bible you have a belief in God like the devils have a belief in God, but you don’t have faith that is pleasing to God.
    • If what you call faith ends where your reputation begins or if what you call faith ends where your recognition begins, understand that fearing God is exclusive to fearing man.
    • Galatians 1:9-10 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
    • John 12:42-43 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
    • Romans 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
    • You might ask if a person can be saved if they are still menpleasers because you know and I know you’re going to stumble on this.   Peter did and Paul got on to him.
      • 2 Timothy 1:11-12 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
      • Alright, what is that which you’ve committed unto him?  If you’re trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation from sin and trusting that he will give you a new sinless body one day and the Lord looks down and says that is justifiable faith.  He’s not doing this because he’s pressured into it by family. He’s not doing it because he’s trying to make a good show among certain people. Then that is something committed to the Lord that he will reward.  But maybe you don’t have faith, as it has been tried by God, to commit any time to God. So in one area you have this, but in area you don’t have anything.
      • 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.  What’s committed to the Lord will last and what’s not committed won’t last.
      • Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Faith in practice as it pertains to charitable giving

  • A couple of instances where the Lord saw faith in the charitable giving of someone towards another and chose to reward it because it wasn’t done to be seen of men.
  • Ruth 2:11-12 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. 12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
  • Acts 10:2-4, like Noah, Cornelius feared God.  He was very generous because he feared God. The Lord took note of this Gentile man and sent Peter to him to preach.