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Summary: This message challenges the church to renew the call from God, both as a church and as individual Christians.

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Renew the Call

Michael Wiley

November 16, 2008

Matthew 5:13

NOTE: The back half of this message is taken almost exclusively, from John Hamby’s message, “Called to be the salt of the earth.”

Introduction:

We are on the backstretch of 2008.

For me, November is about “Thanksgiving” and thinking about next year. I think about next year in November because December is so much about Christ’s birth.

So in November I look to the next year, plan my teaching calendar, finalize major events for the church. I prepare for our “Harvest Meeting” – the church’s annual meeting to celebrate the past year and look to the future.

Transition:

The past year… We can plan for that. It’s gone. But we must think on it. And learn from it. So, this week and next week, we are going to take a look, learn, and celebrate.

This week I want to remind us what we have been called to do, and remind us who we are.

The Vine church is called…

To influence this community

Our desire to influence the community is summed of in our Foundational statements

The first we call our Commission:

Jesus said to His disciples “Go Make Disciples…” (Matt 28:19)

We do that by

1. Sunday a.m. service – we teach the Bible.

2. Community Groups

3. CORE Groups

The Second we call our Vision:

SAFE PLACE

A place where everyone can feel welcome in an environment that encourages truth seeking…

We influence the community by Community Service

CS = three prong approach

1. Church wide – Back pack collections, The Vine Day of Community Service, Leaf Brigade, and the Pads Christmas Party. Our kid’s led us in Food collection for the food pantry. They are now leading us in the shoe-box for kids.

2. Community Groups – Krista Anderson, our Minister of Community Service has asked each C.G. to do one service project a year

3. Individuals

We ask you to reach out to your neighbors and friends and serve them in Jesus name. The world needs the peace and love you can give through God more than ever. The down economy is opening doors of opportunity for Christians to reach out and help people

As a church and as individuals, we are all called to Influence our world.

Matthew 5:13 READ

Jesus gives us no explicit explanation of the word picture of salt that he uses here.

Remember, Jesus was talking with the people in their context, not ours.

We must then seek to understand what He is talking about and How Are Christian’s Like Salt?”

Think about it with me for a moment

First, Christians Like Salt Are Of Infinite Value.

Jesus said to his followers “You are the salt of the earth.”

Salt was a necessity of life in ancient times and thus great value was attached to it. Salt was so important that it was sometimes used for money. The Roman soldiers of Jesus’ day were at times paid with it. In fact, our word “salary” comes from the Latin word salarium which referred to the payments to the soldiers with salt. We still use the phrase saying that someone either is, or is not, “worth their salt.”

When you depend 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.

In Job 6:6 the Bible says, “Can flavorless food be eaten without salt?” For this one reason alone salt is indispensable.

Christians Like Salt Are Of Infinite Value and…

Second, Christians Like Salt Act As A Preservative.

Salt was important for survival, because it was the only way they had to preserve meat. Obviously, they were not as privileged as we are with refrigeration, so salt became very important in their ability to preserve their food. The salt was rubbed into the meat before it was stored. Salt was to arrest or at to hinder the process of decay, so too Christians are given the task of arresting the decay of our world.

IL. My dad described to me how his grandparents preserved food in the salt box.

Layer of salt / layer of meat etc… Bacteria don’t like salt, and salt takes bacteria’s water.

Christianity has in fact had a profound positive effect on the world. The most dramatic impact of Christianity on the world is that it has attached new value to human life. Prior to Christianity infanticide, and abandonment of children 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 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]

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