Summary: Epiphany 5(A) - Let your light shine before men so that the world may praise your Father in heaven and also see Christ’s righteousness.
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE MEN (Outline)
February 4, 2007 - EPIPHANY 5 - Matthew 5:13-20
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INTRO: A quick reminder that Epiphany means appearance (or manifestation). During Epiphany we are reminded that Jesus is the Son of Mary and Joseph. Even more importantly Jesus is also revealed to be God’s Son. In this Epiphany season the Son of God and Son of man is fully revealed as the Light of the world. "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ’I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’" (JOHN 8:12). God’s Light, his Son now lives in our hearts and lives. This gift of God’s grace is not only for us alone. Christ the Lord and Savior is meant to be God’s gift of salvation to and for the entire world. How? Christ lives in us to shine through us. May Jesus’ words echo: LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE MEN. As Christ’s light shines before men: I. They will praise your Father in heaven, II. They will see Christ’s righteousness.
I. THE WORLD WILL PRAISE YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
A. Matthew chapters 5 – 7 record Jesus’ longest sermon. It is the Sermon on the Mount.
1. This section only a short sample of what is included. (Please read 5-7 this week).
2. Verse 13: believers ARE salt. Jesus does not say can or may be salt but believers ARE salt.
3. The impure salt of Jesus’ easily lost its saltiness. A common use was then material for roads.
B. Verse 14: Believers ARE light. Light was very
important during the time of Jesus, verse 15.
1. A lamp lit was not hidden under the bushel. The bushel was the large basket for measuring.
2. Each house had a niche in the wall with a projecting ledge. This was where the lamp sat.
C. Believers are to be the brightly shining lights in a world of darkness, verse 16.
1. The shining light/good deeds of a believer were really, only God’s light shining through them.
2. People seeing God’s light shining would praise the Father in heaven, not the lamp.
D. Jesus clearly, simply, and directly says to each and every believer: YOU ARE the salt and the light. Jesus does not mince words here. The reality is that we do not always act or live as the salt and the light of the earth and world. The reality is that we may not always feel like we truly are the salt and the light of the earth and world. Often we may even feel unprepared or ill equipped to be shining lights before men. May none of us ever cling to any of those reasons as a valid excuse. God himself has given to each of us everything we absolutely, positively need to be the salt and the light of the earth and world. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path"(PSALM 119:105). The Old Testament people had devel-oped a lamb that could be attached to the foot to act as a light for the path. This is God’s word for us!
E. Not everyone in our world wants to hear someone come up and speak to them about Christ, the Savior of mankind. Instead people often watch others from a distance. This is especially true of many who want to find fault with Christianity. They are always looking and always watching and sometimes listening to see if the believer will slip up. The world may not want to hear your message about the Light of the world. The world will listen to what comes out of your mouth – good or bad. "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone"(COLOSSIANS 4:6). Let your light shine before men with talk that is full of grace, seasoned with salt. Not salty words.
F. When the world watches the believer they do not always get near enough to listen. So – that is just what they do they watch and watch and watch and wait. They watch and wait to see what they might learn from the life of a believer. What makes a Christian different from anyone else? That is what the world wants to know. This is what we are to reveal to the world. The love of Christ that lives in our hearts by faith and grace is to spill over into our lives, lives that are filled with joy and thanksgiving. "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us"(1 PETER 2:12).