Summary: As God’s people we are not expected not just to know what we should believe but we need also to know how to behave
TOPIC: USEFUL OR USELESS
((A Life that Honors God – Sermon on the Mount Series)
Text: Matthew 5:13-16
Introduction: (ILL. Brain of a professor, a scientist and a bench basketball player.)
(ILL. Show two Bible – one is used and one is still new but already old and ask: Which do you like if you choose?) Of course people will choose the new one. But I want you to know that I will choose the old one because I owned both of this Bible why because old one who is torn and look already old was being use always compare to the other one that it is really look like very new but the truth is it never been used. If I used the Old one I can bring it and share to others just because it has the marks of my devotions in the past that I can go back to use. Sometimes we are being deceived by the looks but not God. Let’s open our Bible in Matthew 5:13-16 (read).
While I am reading and studying Sermon on the Mount I noticed that 5:13-16 and 7:24-29 is the only part that Jesus used comparison. This seems to me that Jesus used 5:13-16 as His text and 7:24-29 as His conclusion. And 5:3-12, the Beatitude is His introduction and the rest of Chapter 5 to Chapter 7 is the body of His sermon. We can say that this is the transition for the rest of the sermon. And from this text we can see two’s:
1. TWO IDENTITY
v. 13a, “You are the salt of the earth.” – There is the earth and then there are you – the salt. Jesus isn’t asking for volunteers here. Anyone want to be the salt of the earth? Whether you want to be or not, you are salt. You is emphatic (clear, absolute, definite) – “You and only you” are the salt of the earth.
v. 14a, “You are the light of the earth.” – Again there is the earth and then there are you – the light. Jesus isn’t asking for volunteers here. Anyone want to be the light of the earth? Whether you want to be or not, you are light. You again is emphatic (clear, absolute, definite) – “You and only you” are the light of the earth.
2. TWO INTENT (PURPOSE)
People today are groping for some kind of meaning to life. People are turning to illegal drugs, immoral lifestyles, and some to suicide because life is a meaningless cycle of disappointment and despair. Many Christians suffer in the same way a sense of aimlessness. The joy of life becomes a cycle of boredom and ritual routine. Churches often become lethargic and stagnant because they lose a sense of purpose and direction. What is your purpose for living? What is the purpose for your church’s existence? JESUS ADDRESSES THESE QUESTIONS AND TELLS US: “YOU ARE THE SALT AND LIGHT OF THE EARTH.” Reminding us not just of our identity but our purpose:
v. 13b, “But if the salt loses its saltiness.” – Our Witnessing – The question is not whether we are salt or not. The question is we functioning. Since this is my identity, what is my function as salt? My function: First, it is a seasoning. This is a good time of year to be reminded of that. Just pick up any modern cookbook and count how many recipes include salt. Almost everything you will eat on Thanksgiving Day will have some salt in it. Even the cakes and pies will use a pinch of salt. Second, it is a preservative. This is no doubt its main use. Salt retards spoilage. It doesn’t prevent the process of decay, but it slows it down and prevents its spread. Meat left to itself will spoil. Cure the meat with salt and it will last a long, long time. Third, salt strings/for healing. We speak of pouring salt on an open wound. “We are called to be not the honey of the world but the salt of the earth. Salt stings on an open wound, but it also saves one from gangrene.” Fourth, salt gives strength. You can’t live with sodium in your diet. Without it, your body quickly weakens. That’s one reason the Romans gave their soldiers salt. They knew that putting salt on their vegetables would give them needed strength. (The word “salad” is related to the Latin word for salt.) Salt was one of the most common substances in the ancient world. Roman soldiers were paid in salt and would revolt if they didn’t get their ration. Indeed, our English word "salary" comes from the Latin salarium which literally means "salt-money." Fifth, salt creates thirst. That’s why they put it on potato chips and pretzels. It creates thirst and causes you to crave something to drink. Salt. That’s what Jesus was talking about. Salt stops the spread of moral evil and preserves society from total corruption.