Summary: We are called by God to influence this world for Christ. We are to be a light into this dark world that offers hope to a dying world.
Salt and light
Matthew chapter 5:13-5:16
This morning we look to a familiar verse of Scripture.
It is the Scripture where Jesus tells us to be the Salt and Light to the world. It is Jesus teaching the multitude of people that followed Him, the disciples that worked close with Him and each one of us.
The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus Inaugural address if you will.
He declares blessings, He declares ethical behavior, and he declares what is to be a follower of Christ.
Matthew Chapter 5:1-11 is the Beatitudes and then for 2 ½ chapters He gives us applicable teaching.
You think I get windy at times, I am sure this was not a 30 minute sermon.
Matthew chapter 5:13-5:16
Remember that red words in your Bible tell us that these words are the words that were spoken by Jesus.
(13) “You are the salt of the earth.”
You: being the crowd of people following Jesus, His disciples, and future followers of Christ.
(14) “You are the light of the world.”
Let’s break this into two parts- salt and light.
What does it mean to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world?
What is our responsibility?
I. Salt of the Earth
You have to take this into context, and you have to understand the importance of salt in the ancient world at the time.
They had no refrigeration, so they never had a freezer full of food that they would grab something from.
Salt was of infinite value because it did two things; it was a preservative and it was a flavoring.
Kings actually store-housed salt and at one time was used as money for exchange of goods.
Because of primitive mining of salt, salt was sometime impure and lost saltiness. It was then thrown out and used as a hardener for sidewalks.
So what does Jesus want to tell us when He calls us to be the salt of the earth?
First of all, he is talking to all of us that profess Christ as Lord and proclaim to be followers of Christ.
“You are the salt of the earth”
He is telling us to be preservatives.
We are to make an impact with those we come into contact with.
We are to be an influence to people.
Salt had to be rubbed into the meat so that it would prevent decay. Becoming part of the meat and keeping it from being spoiled. We are to do that.
Christianity- Christ-followers have to make a positive effect on the world.
Most colleges started in the USA were started by Christians, hospitals, Red Cross, orphanages, also started by Christians.
You can never make an influence if you never make contact. One of the reasons for our hour before service is we want fellowship time. Time where people get to know each other and become connected to each other.
Have you ever gotten salt in an open wound? Stings! Irritates.
Have you ever been around Christians that the only way they get involved in your life is to tell you all the things you are doing wrong? Even what they say may be true; they will not connect and build community because they are not making a positive connection.
Jesus says as followers of Christ we can change the world, change circumstances, change situations, but it will come as we are pure salt with pure motives.
Because of impure mining procedures, salt lost its worth and it was thrown on the ground and walked on.
Pure salt will do what it was created to do- preserve and flavor.
When people look at you and your life, are they saying you are the real deal?
In consistent lifestyle rebels people from the church.
Does your walk draw people toward God or away from God?
How many times have you heard – “If that is what a Christian looks like, I don’t want any part of it”
How many times have you heard someone say that they are Christian and do things that they know is wrong?
As preacher was building a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine, he was pounding away; he noticed a little boy was watching him. The youngster did not say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the boy would leave, but he didn’t. Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, are you trying to pick up some pointers on gardening? No, said the little boy, just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he smashes his thumb with a hammer.
We are always influencing someone- positive or negative.
If your influence was to wait for us to become perfection, none of us would be able to do anything for God.