Summary: God has called each of us to be the light and witness to this dying world.
Being the salt and light
We have been for several weeks in a study of the Sermons on the Mount.
Jesus sitting on the mountain teaching His disciples the way that they should be living their lives.
Blessed are those who mourn for others.
Blessed are those who show mercy, pure in heart, peacemakers.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the kingdom of God.
All of these are characteristics of God that should be lived out in a believer’s life.
Then he continues his teaching with his followers. It is the text for this morning.
As Christians, or believers, what is our responsibility?
Jesus answers that question here- We are to be the salt and the light of this world.
What does that mean? What does that look like?
Peter writing to a scattered persecuted congregation in Asia Manor says
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received God’s mercy but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
In verse 13- Jesus tells us “You are the salt of the earth”
He doesn’t say should be, try to be, do your best to be. He says to be the salt of the earth!
Now you have to remember the times we are talking about. Salt was a very important commodity in ancient times.
It was a preservative. There was no refrigerators and meat was salted to keep it from spoiling.
Salt had value- The King would have a whole room filled with salt and it was actually used as money. They would pay the soldiers in salt.
It is where we get the term “He/She is worth their weight in salt”
So if we are to be the salt to where God has placed us, we have to think about a few things.
How can we act as a seasoning agent? Improve the quality of life of those we come in contact with.
Not enough salt and we are blah. Plain. Not changing anything.
Too much salt and we overpower them. Really don’t give them a chance to digest what we are saying because we don’t taste good.
Salt should make a person thirsty. Satisfied by water.
A Christian being the salt to those around them should make others thirsty for the things of God. Desiring for them to have what they have, a relationship with God.
A peanuts cartoon showed Peppermint Patty 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? She said, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”
To be salt, we do not have to be spectacular.
To be salt, we do not have to be sensational.
To be salt, we do not have to be successful. (by the world’s standard)
We just have to affect our little corner of the world that the Lord called us to.
We way we live.
Things we say.
The attitude we give others.
We produce positive or negative results to society. There is no middle ground.
Did you know that salt is irritating. We do not run around trying to irritate people.
Christianity will rub some people the wrong way.
Because we will irritate their wounds of sin.
John Hamby says
“Live like a zebra in a herd of horses.” A salty saint will stand out, get noticed, and make others long for something different as well.
Salt preserves- That is not saying much for our society, because it is rotting and decaying because there is less and less salt to preserve it.
50 years ago, one cuss word in the movie “Gone with the wind” had everyone up in arms.
Now we have spiraled downward! (comment)
What would this world look like if Christians played their part?
What if the world was not able to call us hypocrites?
Priest picks up the phone at the church.
Hello, is this Father O’malley? Yes it is.
This is the IRS calling, can you help us? I will try.
Do you know Ted Houlihan? Yes I do.
Is he a member of your congregation? Yes he is.
Did he donate 10,000 dollars to your church? He will.
To impact people the way that the Lord wants us to, we must influence people in a positive way that leads them toward God and not away from God.
Jesus goes on to say,