Charity That Pleases God

(Matthew 6:1-4)


A. Are you a charitable person?

1. If so, are you sure that your charity is pleasing to God?

2. Were you aware that some forms of charity actually
displease God?

B. In Jesus’ day, there were religious people who were
extremely charitable…

1. The Pharisees, for example, would give ten percent to God
–  Luke 18:11-12

2. They tithed even the smallest of seeds – Luke 11:42

3. But as indicated in these two cases, not all charity or
giving pleased God

C. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus taught His disciples to
have a righteousness which exceeded that of the Pharisees
– Matthew 5:20

1. Jesus first contrasted the “righteousness of the
kingdom” with what the scribes and Pharisees were

2. He then contrasted what He expected of His disciples
with what the scribes and Pharisees were practicing

D. In Matthew 6:1-4, we find the first of several examples
concerning the practice of righteousness.

1. In it, we learn about “Charity That Pleases God.”

2. Note first what Jesus taught about…



1. Matthew 6:1 _ concerning this verse…

a. Some manuscripts, upon which the KJV and NKJV
are based, have the Greek word eleemosune

1) Translated “alms”, or “charitable deeds”

2) Which would make this verse refer specifically to
almsgiving, or charitable deeds

b. Older manuscripts, upon which the ASV and NASV
are based, have the Greek word dikaiosunen

1) Translated “righteousness”

2) Which would make verse one speaking in general
terms, establishing the principle to be applied to ALL
acts of righteousness

c. Textual support seems strongest for dikaiosunen, making
verse one an introductory statement concerning all
righteous acts

2. The basic principle

a. “Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before
men, to be seen of them” – (Mt. 6:1a – ASV)

1) Note: It is NOT to completely avoid ANY practice of
righteousness before men – Matthew 5:16

2) Rather, we are to avoid doing them JUST TO BE

b. Therefore, it is proper to do good works before men…

1) When we are trying to secure praise for GOD

2) But not when we are trying to secure praise for

3. Consequences of ignoring this basic principle…

a. If, in the innermost being of your heart, you do not
mean to please and glorify God, He will not reward

b. What reward you may have (cf. Mt 6:2, 5, 16) will be
limited to the praise of men

4. Let’s now consider how Jesus applies this to the matter of
charitable deeds…


1. What NOT to do…

a. Don’t be like the “hypocrites” (literally, “actors”) –
Matthew 6:2a

1) Who sound trumpets in the synagogues and streets

2) Who are looking to be honored by men

b. “They have their reward” (Mt. 6:2b)

1) They receive exactly (and only) what they wanted: the
praise of men

2) But remember verse one…

a) They have no reward from the Father in heaven

b) Neither in the present or in the future!

2. Charity that pleases God…

a. Matthew 6:3

1) This involves avoiding not only the praise of others,
but self praise as well

2) Some thoughts by others on what this metaphor

a) “The right [hand], [represents] me with my good
deed; the left, me with my good opinion about my
deed.” (Lenksi)

b) “The expression probably refers to the fact that as
much as possible a person must keep his voluntary
contribution a secret not only to others but even to
himself; that is, he should forget about it, instead of
saying in his heart, `What a good man, woman, boy,
girl, am I!'” (Hendricksen)

3) How can one develop the ability to give in this

a) Perhaps by giving so often it becomes “second

b) So that you do it without much thought (just as with
anything you do often)

b. Note: Jesus is not condemning public giving per se –
Acts 2:44-45;  Acts 4:34-37

1) He is condemning the spirit which seeks publicity

2) He is teaching “secret-giving” in the sense of “secret
to one’s self”

3) The true Christian cares not how much men hear
of his public charities, nor how little they hear of his
private ones.

3. The reward for charity that pleases God…

a. Matthew 6:4

b. The reward may be experienced to some degree in this
life – Psalm 41:1-3

c. Without a doubt it will be experienced on the day of

1) For every secret thing will be made known –
Ecclesiastes 12:14

2) We will experience the benefit of the good we have
done –  2 Corinthians 5:10


A. Christians who have been blessed materially have been
given a charge – 1 Timothy 6:17-19

B. But if we desire that our charity will indeed store up
“a good foundation for the time to come”…

1. We must be sure to practice “Charity That Pleases

2. We must learn to give, not to be seen of men, but to
glorify God

3. We must learn to give without self-praise

a. Do our charitable deeds exceed that of the scribes and
Pharisees in Jesus’ day, not only in quantity, but in the
quality of our giving?

b. May the Lord keep us free from the giving of



About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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