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Matthew 6:1-15

Talks for Growing Christians

The Right View on Giving and on Prayer

Matthew 6:1-15

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers should not flaunt their giving.
  2. Believers should not flaunt their praying.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, forgiveness and fellowship go together.

Questions

  1. What is the subject matter of the Sermon on the Mount?
  2. What does it mean to “not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” ?
  3. Can the principle, “Believers should not flaunt their giving,” be applied outside the realm of money?
  4. The “Lord’s Prayer” is often repeated in churches. Is there any biblical basis for this practice?
  5. What was the purpose of the “Lord’s Prayer”?
  6. Does Matthew 6:5 mean we should never pray in public?

Answers

  1. The Lord addresses areas of the Mosaic Law that the Jews had misinterpreted and misapplied. In chapter 5 He addresses the wrong teachings of the Law; in chapter 6 He addresses the wrong practices of the Law.
  2. This is a descriptive figure of speech to say our giving should be in secret. We should not be giving in order to gain praise from men.
  3. Yes, believers should not flaunt their giving whether they are giving time, talent, or treasure.
  4. No, Lord Jesus taught His disciples this prayer before the Church was established. We do not see a pattern of the churches reciting this prayer in Acts, nor are believers commanded in the Epistles to recite it. Ironically, many churches turn the Lord’s Prayer into “vain repetitions,” which the Lord discourages in Matthew 6:7.
  5. The Lord gave this prayer to His disciples as a pattern for the way they should pray.
  6. No, elsewhere in scripture, believers are encouraged to pray in public. This verse is teaching that our motivation for prayer should not be praise from others. (See I Timothy 2:8)

Discuss/Consider

  1. Review the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. When we remember that this prayer was given to the disciples as a model, we can draw principles for prayer from it. Here are a few principles we could draw. What are some others? Prayer begins with the worship of God. We acknowledge that God’s will is best. We long for His kingdom to be set up on earth. We depend on the Lord to meet our basic needs. We desire that our fellowship with the Lord be maintained by confessing our sins. We seek to be preserved from areas of temptation where we are vulnerable.
  2. Discuss why we need forgiveness for our sins, even after we are saved. Refer to I John 1:9. We need our sins to be forgiven so that fellowship with the Lord will be maintained. Does your relationship with the Lord seem distant? Maybe you need to forgive a brother or sister. Our fellowship with the Lord is broken when we will not forgive our brothers. Discuss why an unforgiving attitude hurts our relationship with God.

Challenge

  1. “Believers should not flaunt their giving,” is not a problem for some believers, because they do not give at all! Are you giving regularly to the Lord’s work from what He has given you? It is important not only to give, but to give for the right reasons.

Key Verses

  • “Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6:4
  • “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14

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