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Summary: The task of the church is to make a difference in the world around us.

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Title: The Task of The Church #3

Introduction:

-- In Part one of this series we saw that

The Task Of The Church is

- To Love God

- To Glorify God

- To Display God’s Grace

and

- To Evangelize The World

-- Last week we saw in part two that

- The Task Of The Church Is

- To Baptize Believers

- To Instruct Believers

- To Edify Believers

and even

- To Discipline Believers

-- Today we are going to look at the third and final sermon in this series

I: To Care For It’s Own in Time of Need

A: Jesus is the example (2 Cor 8:9)

B: Paul Gave instructions concerning this (1 Tim 5:1-8)

C: James addressed it (James 1:27)

D: The book of Acts has several examples

- Acts 4:32-35

- Acts 4:36-37

- Acts 2:42-47

- Acts 11:27-30

- Acts 9:23-25

1. To Care for it’s own in times of need

- is an essential part of the task of the church.

2. We have to take care of each other

BUT

3. The Task Of The Church, also includes the

community..... county..... state..... country...... even world that it exists in.

[Yet it must start at a local level]

E: You cannot care from a distance

1. You cannot care from a distance in every case

2. Sometimes you have to get dirty

3. Sometimes you have to put your wants aside

- And place someone else first.

- Someone near you

- Someone in the church

- Not a person in a far away land.

-- The Task of The Church is

To Care For It’s Own In Time Of Need

AND

II: To Be A Restraining & Enlightening Force In The World. (Matt 5:1-16)

-- You are salt

-- You are light

1) Salt (5:13)

13 Salt and light are such common substances (cf. Pliny, Natural History 31.102: "Nothing is more useful than salt and sunshine") that they doubtless generated many sayings. Therefore it is improper to attempt a tradition history of all Gospel references as if one original stood behind the lot (cf. Mark 4:21; 9:50; Luke 8:16; 11:33; 14:34-35). Salt was used in the ancient world to flavor foods and even in small doses as a fertilizer (cf. Eugene P. Deatrick, "Salt, Soil, Savor," BA 25 [1962]: 44-45, who wants tes ges to read "for the soil," not "of the earth"; but notice the parallel "of the world" in v. 14). Above all, salt was used as a preservative. Rubbed into meat, a little salt would slow decay. Strictly speaking salt cannot lose its saltiness; sodium chloride is a stable compound. But most salt in the ancient world derived from salt marshes or the like, rather than by evaporation of salt water, and therefore contained many impurities. The actual salt, being more soluble than the impurities, could be leached out, leaving a residue so dilute it was of little worth.

In modern Israel savorless salt is still said to be scattered on the soil of flat roofs. This helps harden the soil and prevent leaks; and since the roofs serve as play grounds and places for public gathering, the salt is still being trodden under foot (Deatrick, "Salt," p. 47). This explanation negates the attempt by some (e.g., Lenski, Schniewind, Grosheide) to suppose that, precisely because pure salt cannot lose its savor, Jesus is saying that true disciples cannot lose their effectiveness.. The question "How can it be made salty again’?" is not meant to have an answer, as Schweizer rightly says. The rabbinic remark that what makes salt salty is "the afterbirth of a mule" (mules are sterile) rather misses the point (cf. Schweizer, Matthew). The point is that, if Jesus’ disciples are to act as a preservative in the world by conforming to kingdom norms, if they are "called to be a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low, constantly changing, or non-existent ... they can discharge this function only if they themselves retain their virtue" (Tasker).


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