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What Did Jesus Say about Praying and Fasting (9 of 15)
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
With or Without a Mask
A few years ago, two men held up a bank in Dallas. For reasons I do not know, only one of them wore a mask. In ten or fifteen minutes they were captured. Can you imagine one of those men standing before the judge and saying, "Your Honor, I admit I robbed the bank. I admit that I did it. But at least I went in there without a mask. I was not a hypocrite. Everybody saw who I was."
That doesn't make it with a judge in Dallas. So, if you want to play the game of Pharisee, you can play it from any position in the board. This tax collector stood in the presence of God, and in the presence of God he kept beating his breast, saying, "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner."
-- Haddon Robinson, "Good Guys, Bad Guys, and Us Guys," Preaching Today, Tape No. 80.
When we began this study of the Sermon on the Mount we said there were three principles woven throughout the sermon that we would return to from time to time.
1. Jesus said that who we are is more important than what we do.
2. Jesus said that we can't be right with God and at odds with everybody else.
3. Jesus said that God must be the central focus of our lives.
REVIEW OF WHERE WE HAVE BEEN: CHAPTER 5
1. The Beatitudes Describe The Essential Elements Of The Character Of A Fully Devoted Christ Follower. (Matthew 5:1-12)
2. The Metaphors Of Salt & Light Indicate The Wide Sphere Of Influence Of This Type Of Character. (Matthew 5:13-16)
3. Our Righteousness Must Exceed That Of The Scribes And Pharisees. (Matthew 5:17-48)
4. Now We Are Moving From Moral Righteousness (Kindness, Purity, Honesty, Love) To Religious Righteousness (Giving, Praying, Fasting).
This trio of religious obligations (or practices) expresses in some degree our duty to God, to others, and to ourselves. It is interesting to note than when Jesus talks about these subjects He assumes His fol ...
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