Summary: Jesus, using Salt and Light as an illustration, taught his disciples that we must be a different influence to others. Not as the world has seen, but a difference!
ILLUSTRATION: A Peanuts cartoon showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown in which she said, “Guess what, Chuck? The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.” Charlie Brown responds, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?” P/Patty responds, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”
1. P/P trying to pass the buck – yet there was some truth.
2. We are always some type of influence
ILLUSTRATION: Like the preach who was building the wooden trellis
… to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed that a little boy was watching him. The youngster didn’t say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the boy would leave. But he didn’t. Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, “Are you trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?” “No,” he replied. “I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.”
We are always influencing others – either positively or negatively.
A. SERMON TODAY
1. Part 1 – “Understanding Real Happiness” – the Beatitudes – 5:1-12
a. Surrounding One’s Inner Character –Humility
2. Part 2 – That Inner Character should Influence Others – Mt. 5:13-16
a. Uses 2 Illustrations of “Salt” & “Light”
b. “Salt” is no good when it is visible and “Light” is no good when it is invisible!
3 THEME: “We are the ‘SALT’ – the silent work of influence AND the ‘LIGHT’ – the visible manifestation of God in people’s lives”.
4. Key Thought = “INFLUENCE” - the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.
I. “SALT” - A HIDDEN INFLUENCE – VERSE 13
Richard Halverson said "As long as salt retains its identity, it is useless. It must penetrate to benefit, and when it does, it disappears Salt is doing its work only when it is invisible."
A. THE ‘HIDDEN’ INFLUENCES OF ‘SALT’
1. Salt Gives Taste
Just like us, the disciples understood the meaning behind adding just the right amount of salt to one’s food. They were to the world what salt is to everyday life.
2. Salt is a Preservative
It doesn’t make the meat good, but keeps it from going bad.
a. Rev. Ray Pritchard says “we who follow Christ are to be a ‘moral disinfectant’ stopping the spread of evil. We are to be the conscience of the community, speaking out for what is true and right.”
b. Whether our society, church, workplace, or our home, our hidden influence should offer a Positive Influence on those we come into contact
3. Salt Creates Thirst
The reason popcorn is advertised so hard in a movie theatre is because it makes you thirsty. A restaurant serves p-nuts, chips, and other salty appetizers is because it makes you thirsty. If they can get you to drink a lot you will be full before your food arrives!
*** Are We salty-enough to make another thirsty for Jesus?
B. SALT Must Be In CONTACT To be Effective
1. Salt is a seasoning, a preservative, and it makes people thirsty but unless it is BROUGHT INTO CONTACT with another OBJECT its influence is wasted! It becomes as salt that has lost its saltiness!
2. Jesus told his disciples that if they wanted to make a difference in the world, they would have to be different from the world. God would hold them accountable to maintain their “saltiness” (that is, their usefulness).
C. SALT Becomes Invisible to have a Visible Effect
1. Salt by itself is white, clean, little fine particles – but in that state it is worthless – like losing its saltiness. BUT when it is rubbed onto meat, or added to food it becomes INVISIBLE and THEN becomes what it was intended for – FLAVOR!
2. Salt that just sits in the shaker does no good for anyone. It might just as well be thrown out. It’s like believers who a) stay home b) refuse to take a stand c) refuse to grow God’s kingdom for all the wrong reasons. Sitting in a shaker!,
II. “LIGHT” – A VISIBLE INFLUENCE
SALT is a hidden yet powerful influence. LIGHT on the other hand, is a visible and revealing influence.
"J.C. Penny” said “Christ declared that He was the light of the world. Religion must scatter that Light or fail in the accomplishment of its supreme mission.”
a. Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” HE WAS THE LIGHT.