Date: 23 August, 2015
Text: Matthew 5:13-16
Title: Salt and Light Christians
Introduction: Jesus is upon a mountain preaching to his men. The "Sermon on the Mount" has begun. Jesus began with attitudes ....
· poor in spirit
· they that mourn
· hunger and thirst after righteousness
· pure in heart
· peace maker
· persecuted for righteousness
· reviled for Jesus' sake
Our Lord now switches from attitudes to actions. He goes from internal to external. He has dealt with that which impacts us and NOW HE DEALS WITH THAT WHICH IMPACTS OTHERS. He does so with object lessons.
ill. A friend of mine is a chemistry teacher. He teaches during the year at a Christian high school and then works at a Christian camp in Alaska through the summer. (He just wrote about his chemistry exp. for the campers.)
example: Object lessons - big rock and other rocks in a jar. It appears they won't all fit. If you put the little rocks in and then the big rock, the big rock just rests on top. But, if you put the large rock in first the smallest will fit around it. Lesson - Put God first and then everything else. If you try to put God in on top of everything else you won't be able to do it.
JESUS WAS THE MASTER TEACHER. Jesus takes two things from the natural realm to illustrate the spiritual reality of which he speaks. He choses SALT and LIGHT.
Spiritually WE ARE TO BE SALTY SALT AND BRIGHT LIGHT. Christian, are you the salt and light God wants you to be?
I. Live up to your obligation.
A. How important is salt?
13 Ye are the salt of the earth:
ill. Imagine a world without salt.
"Salt is a biological necessity of human life. But we live our daily lives practically unaware of this basic biological fact. Most of our food already has salt added to it: check the labels on almost any prepared food in the house. But if you are in the habit of baking your own bread, or cooking your own porridge, it's immediately and disastrously obvious if you forget the salt.
In ancient times, salt (or the lack of it) could drastically affect the health of entire populations. Trade in salt was very important, and salt was valuable enough to be used as currency in some areas. The Latin phrase "salarium argentum," "salt money," referred to part of the payment made to every Roman soldier, and the word has been carried down the ages into the English word 'salary'." - online source
app. Can we not say that SPIRITUAL SALT IS A BIOLOGICAL NECESSITY OF SPIRITUAL LIFE. We are the salt of THE EARTH!
note: There is not much spiritual salt in Britain.
ill. Asking people if they know anyone who attends a church weekly. Most do not know of anyone! And what spiritual salt is here is mostly of very poor quality!
app. You ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH!
B. How important is light?
14 Ye are the light
of the world.
exp. Imagine a world without light!
ill. Even at night we have the moon and stars to give some illumination. BEING IN A CAVE WHEN THE LIGHTS WERE TURNED OUT.
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
exp. The world is in darkness without your illumination. Light does not exist outside of Christ! The world tries to make do with it's own HUMANISTIC LIGHT THAT IS NO LIGTH AT ALL!
"Reason, decency, tolerance, emphathy and hope are human traits that we should aspire to, not because we seek reward of eeternallife or because we fear the punishment of a supernatural being, but because they define our humanity. I have a strong sense of awe and wonder in the world, which my cells are so fleetingly a part of, that goes far deeper for me than anything religious faith can offer."- Mim Al-Khalili, President of the British Humanist Association
app. How we ought to be burdened about our responsability to shine the LIGHT OF CHRIST TO A SIN DARKENED WORLD. How we need to be the SALT OF THE EARTH!
II. Don't lose your saltiness.
ill. Modern evangelical Christianity has lost it's saltiness!
The morning after the night before. I woke up this morning with a heavy heart and a mind incredulous at the futility of human thinking when it turns away from the Word of God. Several people have written and asked what the decision of the General Assembly to allow the ordination of people in same sex relationships means for the Church of Scotland and the church in Scotland. The BBC and others of the secular news media have reported it as an historic day in the church, when it changed forever. I think they were right.
The official line is that, as the moderator declared, “this is a massive vote for the peace and unity of the church”; that this is a third way in which the two sides represented in the report of the theological commission have both conceded ground and come a position which both allows the Church of Scotland to retain its historic Christian position and yet come into the 21st Century. How has this miracle been wrought? The Assembly basically rejected the two years work of the theological commission and chose a motion made up over lunch and presented at the last minute by the former moderator, Albert Bogle and another evangelical, Alan Hamilton. The liberals who reject the Bible as the Word of God, are delighted, declaring that this is the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church. Stonewall are delighted. The self styled ‘Equality Network’ are delighted. The metro elites are delighted. But many of us who love the Church of Scotland are devastated. Why? Because yesterday, and it pains me as I write this, the Church of Scotland wrote its own suicide note.
- An article I believe by the minister at St. Peter's in Dundee.
A. Salt can lose it's saltiness.
13 ...but if the salt
have lost his savour,
exp. When men reject the truth of God's Word for their own humanistic ideas, the salt is lost. When men adopt worldly attitudes in actions which violate Biblical principles salt is lost.
Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
app. Are you losing your salt? Is the Word of God your authority. Are you living submitted to Jesus as Lord?
B. How can salt be made salty again?
wherewith shall it be salted?
exp. It's hopeless. Salt that loses is saltiness can not regain it!
note: When salt is given up, can it be gained back?
ill. When Lot warned his children to leave Sodom - it was too late. The lack of SALT in his life made him seem as a mocker to his children.
Ge 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
app. We need to be warned that salt lost is salt that in all probability can not be regained.
C. Salt that is not salty is worthless.
it is thenceforth good for nothing,
note: To what benefit is liberalism? - denying the literal interpretation of Scripture and believing in evolution while saying that you believe the Bible.
app. What "unbelieving liar" needs to hear that he is probably ok because Revelation 21:8 is not literal. It is somehow vague and mystical and the hearer is the authority as to it's meaning rather than God!
Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
app. Salt that is not salt is nothing. Who will be warned by salt that is NOT SALTY? It is worthless and good for nothing!
D. It is cast aside as worthless rock to be crushed by the feet of men.
but to be cast out,
and to be trodden under foot of men.
note: The church of Scotland has been walked on by the world. BBC has rejoiced in it's lack of salt and has gladly walked upon it.
exp. Christian when you live a life contrary to Christ the world rejoices against you. They don't respect you - they gladly walk upon your saltless life!
app. Where is the salty Christians. Salt is a preservative. Salt is a healer. Salt is necessary for spiritual life. WHERE TODAY IS THE SPIRITUAL SALT OF THE EARTH?
III. Build where it is most visible.
that is set on an hill
cannot be hid.
ill. Coming out of the mountains down into Durango, Colorado. Seeing the city lights for miles and miles before arriving. A light that is in a prominent place can not be hidden from sight.
ill. Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a dual on the top of Mount Carmel. He called all men to witness what God was going to do on that mountain. I Kings 18: 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
exp. Elijah built that altar on a hill where it could not be hid.
app. Christians we need to build in places where it can not be hid. How we need God's glory to be seen upon the mountain again. I'm glad God has put our church in a very visible location - physically. So that we can have a visibl light spiritually! Our church needs to be where it can be seen for miles around.
IV. Don't be stupid with the light.
exp. Jesus is going to express some very simple truths about lighting.
A. Nobody encloses a light where it can not be seen.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel,
question: When is the last time you installed a light under your bed or under a rug?
ill. Anyone who says we are to be A SECRET LIGHT has got it wrong. They don't come out and say that. They say, "We need to blend with the world to reach the world. We have to adopt their views. We have to adopt modern thinking. We need to adopt modern science. After all love is the most important thing. etc."
app. We are the LIGHT OF CHRIST. We are to shine unashamedly until God takes our light away.
B. Everybody puts light in the best possible location.
but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
exp. If you want your brother, sister, mother, father, neighbor, friend, co-worker, enemy, stranger to get saved. They have to come to the Light! Would you withhold from them that which they MUST HAVE TO GET SAVED!
question: But what if they hate me because of my light?
Joh 3:20-21 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
app. Sadly those who hate you hate Christ and will go to @#!*% . But, some will love and turn to the light and be saved. Don't let them go to @#!*% without light. Let it be their choice to reject not your choice to refuse them the light!
V. Shine the light.
A. It is commanded.
16 Let your light so shine before men,
exp. If you can "let" it, then you control it. It is your choice!
ill. I'm starting to let Mac turn on and off lights. He is only one but he understands what that switch does.
app. Christian, you know if you are hiding your light? Are you ashamed of Christ and seeking to be a secret Christian? Has sin caused your light to be dimmed? Have you lost your burden to show light to the world? When is the last time you witnessed or gave a gospel tract?
B. It is possible.
that they may see your good works,
exp. If you tell them they 'll see God's love in you. If you live like Christ in front of them, they will see God's love in you. Is the light of God shining through you?
app. People in this community may not want the message which we preach. But, they ought to know that we love them enough that we're willing to try to share it, even though they don't want to hear it.
C. It is revealing.
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
exp. What ought to be heard and seen is what brings most glory to our God.
ill. Woman - "I'm not a sinner." Unbelieve is sin, "Then I'm guilty I guess." What if you visited an art gallery and said about a painting, "I'm glad that an explosion is a paint factory made something so beautiful." I kindly say to you as the artist, "But I made the painting." And you say, "Ha! Nothing so beautiful as this could be made by one person. I believe in the big bang." FAR WORSE THAN THAT IS THE PERSON WHO REFUSES TO BELIEVE GOD MADE THEM AND THAT HE DIED TO SAVE THEM.
app. Christian - we need to say to the world, stop refusing to glorify the Creator AND the Saviour.
conclusion: If you are the only salt and light for your family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers - what have they got.
Are they in danger because of the lack of salt which alone sustains spiritual life?
Are they going along in pitch blackness because you refuse to share your light?
God help us to be SALT and LIGHT!