Summary: When we belong to Jesus, how are we expected to live/
How many times have you heard people say that your faith is a personal thing. How many times have people been scolded for bringing their “religion” to the workplace, the athletic field, the schools or to the government?
Have you ever felt the pressure that tells you to “keep it to yourself”?
As we closed out the first twelve verses of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about the blessings of being persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
That lead us to a question, “How now shall we live”?
Given the start of this great sermon by Jesus, how does He expect us to live in this dying world? What does He expect citizens of His kingdom to do while we are in this world? Are we to go to the hills and hide? Are we to lock the doors of the church and hope we do not get stained by the world?
Are we supposed to blend in with the world during the week and then put on a “church face” for Sunday?
How are those who possess the riches of heaven supposed to live out their lives until they receive their full inheritance? The world tells us one thing and Jesus will tell us another. The dilemma for us is, “Who are we going to listen to”?
Jesus is going to use two metaphors that give us a picture of how we should live out our lives as we await the return of the Lord or until our days on earth are over.
There is one word that really sums up the way we are to live our lives as citizens in a foreign land. That word is INFLUENCE.
In the final beatitude, Jesus described the attitude the world would often display towards the citizens of the kingdom in verses 10-12. Now Jesus is going to describe the opposite, the influence of the kingdom upon the world.
Jesus tells us that we are to be the salt of the earth and the light to the world. Today we are going to see how those metaphors apply to those who call themselves Christians and in seeing how they apply, we will learn how we should live our lives.
We will see how we are to influence the world like salt and light.
Citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven are to be:
I. SALT OF THE EARTH V 13
What is it about salt that caused Jesus to say that we are to be the salt of the earth?
A. Salt is a preservative. READ VERSE 13
In the ancient world salt was used to keep food from going bad. Even today it is stilled used in that manner in parts of the world where there is not much refrigeration available.
When things are dead or dying, they are in a state of decay. Salt was used to slow down or stop the decay. The salt could not take something that was already in a state of decay and reverse it; the salt could keep it from getting worse.
We are living in a world that is in a state of decay because it is dying. Christians are to be the agent that keeps the world from decaying. We are to be the preservative for the dying world. 1 JOHN 2:17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
Christians are primarily responsible for the preservation of morality, justice and social conscience. God has also instituted the state and the home for these purposes, but without the church even these lack salt and light. Historically, the church can be credited for many of the advances in science, medicine, prison reform, orphanages, abolition of slavery and child labor, education and literacy. The kingdom of God has, indeed, flavored this world in significant ways.
Can you imagine what the world would be like today without the influence of the church and Christians?
1 PETER 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
2 CORINTHIANS 2:14-15 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
Christians are called to influence the society so that it does not smell bad.
For salt to work, it has to be mixed in with what it is trying to preserve. As Christians we are called to be in the world, but not of the world. We are to be involved in all aspects of life and we are to be the preserving agent of the world. We are to get out of the salt shaker and into the world.