Summary: Thank you Pastor John Hamby for the original message. Much of this has remained the same, simply because it spoke to our need so well.
I want to begin looking at our theme for 2014, which is “Learning to be the light.” We’ll start by looking a passage in Matthew 5 and before we look at the idea of being light I believe we need to look at this concept of being salt. Since Jesus added salt to light, here, that’s where we’ll start.
I believe that before we can understand what it means to be the light we, first, must understand what it means to be salt.
Peppermint Patty was talking to Charlie Brown. She said, "Guess what, Chuck. The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck."
He said, "My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?"
Peppermint Pattie said, "You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me."
Now, Peppermint Patty was trying to make her problem Charlie Brown’s fault but she was, in a very real sense, right.
We should be a good influence on our friends.
Whether we want admit it or not, we all influence those around us. Some are good influences while others are bad.
Jesus’ teaching style here is different from the Parable of the Sower in chapter thirteen. In chapter 13 Jesus tells us exactly what He wants us to understand, much like the teacher who tells you exactly what is on the exam. But here, in chapter 5, Jesus allows us to come to an understanding of salt and light, based on how they are used in the world around us.
What it is That We need to understand about Salt and How Are Christian’s Like Salt?
1. Christians Like Salt Are Of Infinite Value.
When Jesus said to His followers You are the salt of the earth, we can miss something in the modern English translation, if we’re not careful.
The KJV translates this verse Ye are the salt of the earth. Now Ye the way it’s used here, means You all. When Jesus is says, You, He means all of you are the salt of the earth.
Jesus calls this handful of semi uneducated disciples “the salt of the earth.” What Jesus did was to give a compliment those who follow Him! Because salt was a necessity of life in ancient times and great value was placed in it.
Salt was so valuable. In those days, that it was sometimes used for money. The Roman soldiers of Jesus day were at times paid with it
We don’t think much about salt, these days, because we can get as much of it in pure form as we want.
It is just that little bottle with holes in the top on the table. But when you are completely dependent on salt to preserve your food, and when it is so valuable that it is used in the place of money, you get a completely different perspective on salt.
Christians Like Salt Are Of Infinite Value and
2. Christians Like Salt Are To Be A Preservative.
Salt was important for survival, because it was the only way they had to preserve meat.
They were not as privileged as we are today. When we go to the grocery store, we can pick up a couple of juicy steaks and when we get them home we throw them in the refrigerator/freezer.
But salt was the only thing that gave them their ability to preserve their food.
Salt was used to slow or stop the process of decay, much like when we freeze food today.
Just like salt, Christians are given the task of slowing or stopping the decay of our world.
Christianity has had a profound positive effect on the world. The most dramatic being how the world values human life.
Before Christianity came to the world things like infanticide, and child abandonment was a common practice.
Hospitals as we now know them began through influence of Christianity.
The Red Cross was started by an evangelical Christian. Almost every one of the first 123 colleges and universities in the United States has Christian origins, founded by Christians for Christian purposes.
The same could be said of orphanages, adoption agencies, humane treatment of the insane, the list goes on and on of dramatic impact of Christianity in our world. [D. James Kennedy. What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1994) pp. 3- 4]
And today, Christian’s continue to have a positive impact on our world. As a moral antiseptic.
Christians keep the corruption of society at bay by opposing moral decay.
But today there is a terrifying new trend in the world.
George Barna’s, says that research shows that, the average Christian in the average church is almost indistinguishable from the rest of society. What that means is that it is nearly impossible to tell the Christian from the Non-Christian these days.