Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 5, 2018

“glorify your Father who is in heaven”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 6:1-6.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them;  otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret;  and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites;  for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:1-6.

——–

What is the difference between this chapter’s Scripture (“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them …) and the prior chapter’s Scripture in Matthew 5:14-16 (“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, …)?  At first glance, they seem inconsistent.

But, as we meditate on these two Scriptures, we understand that there is a huge difference between works that glorify us and works that glorify God.  The full reading of Matthew 5:16 states:  “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  In sharp contrast, the people Jesus is describing in today’s Scripture did those works to glorify themselves.

Therefore, when we see works that superficially appear to be good, let us discern whether those works glorify the doer or God.

Works that glorify man point to man’s power and man’s goodness.

Works that glorify God point to God’s power and God’s goodness, and they are the only truly good works.

Other doctrine point to man’s power (free-will) and man’s goodness.

But, Reformed Doctrine points to man’s lack of power and man’s lack of goodness, that is, man is dead in sin, which Reformed Doctrine describes as “Total Depravity”, the “T” of TULIP.  Reformed Doctrine then points to God’s power and God’s goodness.  Regarding this second point, Reformed Doctrine points out that God has done everything for our salvation from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of TULIP, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

“For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say?  “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”  Romans 4:2-3.

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.


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