Summary: Salt and Light share 3 things in common: both are important for survival; produce purity; reveal truth. Christians do not try to be salt and light; they ARE salt and light.
Evangelism Series #1
CHCC: January 15, 2006
Salt and Light
(Outline adapted from Rodney Buchanan’s sermon: Being Salt & Light SermonCentral.com )
SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 5:13-16
I’ve asked the deacons to pass out some Pretzels this morning. When they come by, take one and pass them on. I’ll explain why in a minute.
Meanwhile, I want you to imagine you’re having a back-yard barbeque. You’ve grilled steaks, along with baked potatoes and corn-on-the-cob. You’ve invited all your neighbors --- and Dallas --- like he suggested in his sermon last week … he likes food and will preach to your neighbors.
It was day-light when you started grilling, but by the time the food is ready it’s dark outside. So you turn on lights and everyone sits around the dining table. You plop a big hunk of Sirloin Steak on each plate. Your guests start unwrapping the baked potatoes and the corn-on-the-cob. Then someone says “Please pass the salt.” But there is no salt. You explain this is a salt-free meal. In fact, you didn’t even salt the meat, potatoes, or corn before you cooked them…
The interest level goes way down. But they’re still hungry --- so someone takes a bland bite of corn. Someone else starts chewing on a tasteless hunk of meat. (No one even bothers to try the potato.)
And then --- to make matters worse --- the Electricity goes out. Now it’s pitch black. No one can see their food … they can’t see their plates … they can’t even see the table. But they don’t really care anyway --- because flavorless food isn’t all that appealing.
And that brings us to why we handing out Pretzels. You’ll notice they are SALTED Pretzels. I hope a SALTY Pretzel helps you remember that Jesus said: You are the salt of the earth.
You can eat it now --- but you might want to save it for later --- because the SALT will make you THIRSTY. Producing THIRST is only one of MANY things I could say about SALT. In fact, in one source I found a list of 85 things that Salt does.
Jesus also said: You are the light of the world. And I’m sure there are at least 85 things I could say about LIGHT, too. But I decided to have mercy on you this morning and talk about 3 things that BOTH SALT and LIGHT have in common. For one thing:
1. Salt and Light are important for survival
We all know that LIGHT is essential. Nothing could grow --- and nothing could live --- without light. Turn off the Sunlight and the world would quickly die.
SALT is also a necessity of life, but we tend to take it for granted. After all, you can pick up a pound of salt for just a few cents at any Grocery Store. But salt was not so easy to come by during the time of Christ. And in the days before Refrigeration, salt was the primary way to preserve meat. When you need salt to preserve your food, and when it is hard to find, it takes on great value. In fact, salt was sometimes used for money in the Roman economy. The word “salary” comes from the Latin word salarium --- it refers to the practice of paying Roman soldiers with SALT. We still say that hard workers are “worth their salt.”
When Jesus said that His Followers are SALT and LIGHT, he was saying that Christians are essential for the survival of the world. It’s no wonder Jesus said no one would ever light a lamp and then put it under a bowl. There’s a good reason no one would do that. Remember, they didn’t have electricity back then. If you put an Oil Lamp under a bowl, it would go out.
And that is the point. Put your lamp under a bowl and it will go out. Hide your relationship with God and it will be extinguished. Take your LIGHT out in the open, and it will burn brightly. In the same way, if you let the Salt out of its Shaker, it can flavor all your food. In other words, we have to get out there in the world if we are going to reach the world.
To do this we have to take Risks. That’s what Dan Farnam talked to our men about at the last Prayer Breakfast. We have to be willing to get out of our comfort zones. We may have to be inconvenienced. We may need to put forth effort. We might have to get our hands dirty or try something bold and new if we are going to be SALT and LIGHT for those who need it.
The second thing SALT and LIGHT share in common is that