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Servanthood 10 Servant as A Light 01-14-07am

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 “The Salt and Light Servant of God

Sermon #10

Servanthood Series

Matthew 5:14-16; 01-14-07 a.m.

INTRODUCTION:

;    I get a lot of emails everyday and a lot of them are forwards that I read and discard, the real long ones I don’t even take the time to read.

;    I received this one and loved it; and I especially loved how it fit so perfectly into the theme of my morning messages.

;    “An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard.

Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door.  She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, gesturing to the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the "Choose Life" license plate holder, the "What Would Jesus Do?" bumper sticker, the "Follow Me to Sunday School" bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.

"Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."

;    If you say you are saved, does your life demonstrate the fruit of the life of a genuine believer?

;    Table: matches, candle, bushel basket, flashlight and searchlight.

;    In the message this morning, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew. 5:14).

;    The more luminous our integrity — our goodness, righteousness, and truth — the brighter the light shines in this dark, sinful world.

;    How can we shine more brightly?

;    “A man returning from a journey brought his wife a matchbox that would glow in the dark. After giving it to her she turned out the light, but the matchbox could not be seen. Both thought they had been cheated. Then the wife noticed some French words on the side of the box and asked a friend to translate them. The inscription said: “If you want me to shine in the night, keep me in the light.” We need to spend time alone with Jesus — the Light — in prayer, exposing our lives like photographic plates to his presence so that his image, his character, is burnt into ours. If we do this, we will spiritually be like Moses when he descended Sinai after being alone with God — his face shone with the light of God.”

;    We need to allow God’s truth to illumine our eager faces with goodness and righteousness and truth. If you want to shine in the night, keep in the light of His precious Word.[1]

;    Let’s bow our heads in prayer and seek God’s direction for this message this morning.

I.   YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

      Matthew 5:14-16

  A.  The World Needs Light because it Lives in

       Darkness.

1.      A light is meant to shine and thus provide direction to individuals so they can find their way.

2.      The believer does not have inherent light; rather we have reflective light; as we behold the glory of the Lord, we should be reflecting  it toward others.

3.      Therefore, we need to make sure that nothing comes between us and the Lord’s light.

4.      Light has always been a biblical metaphor, it was used by Jesus to describe Himself in

         John 9:5, “While I am in the world, I am the Light

             of  the world”

      a.  Light is meant to shine and illuminate a path

           which gives direction to those who are

           seeking it.

      b.  Light is intended to dispel darkness.

      c.  That is what Christ’s life did!

    6.  The question is not, “will you be the light of

         the world?” As a believer, YOU ARE the light

         of the world! The only question is, what kind

         of light will you be?

    7.  All that this world knows about God, they  

         know from those who call themselves

         Christians; no wonder the world is so  

         confused!

  B.  Jesus is the Light of the world - John 8:12

       “Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of

           the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness,

           but shall have the light of life”

    1.  As light, your good deeds will result in praise

         By those who belong to Jesus are brought

         out of darkness and put into His Kingdom of

         light.

    2.  Colossians 1:12-13 “Giving thanks unto the

              Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the

              inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us

              from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the

              kingdom of his dear Son:”

    3.  Through the life of the Christian Jesus’ light is

         to clearly shine forth into the darkness of

         human depravity.

    4.  The light-possessors become light-Transmit-

         ters; collectively believers are “the light”

         individually they are “lights” [2]

    5.  As a result, Christians have become light to

         the darkness in this world.

6.  Philippians 2:15, “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”

7. A godly life gives convincing testimony of

        the saving power of God and that is what

        brings glory to God.[3]

  C.  Two Examples of Illuminating Lights – vs. 14-

        15

       - Jesus uses these examples to further explain the

             Christians function as light in this dark world:

         -  The idea be conveyed is that followers of Christ must be

             both visible and radiant.

         -  They must be “in the light” and must also send out rays

             of light.

    1.  “A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.

a.      You are like a lighted city on a hill, (cities, like lights, are not designed or intended to be hidden but to be visible for all to see).

b.     Such a city, with its walls and fortresses, “cannot be hidden” it is clearly visible for every-one to see.

    2.  “Nor do men light a lamp and place it under a bushel

              (peck-measure) but on the lampstand, and it gives light to

              everyone in the house.

a.      In biblical times, a lamp was always kept burning in a home.

b.     These lamps were simple clay cups filled with olive oil into which a bit of flax was dropped to serve as a wick.

c.      These lamps were not designed to drive the darkness away; instead the lamps provided a point of light which oriented the individual enough so that he could find his way around in the house.

d.     The application is very simple, no one would be foolish enough to light such a lamp—evidently for the purpose of illumining the surroundings—and then immediately cover it with an object.

e.      It was designed to illuminate the room in which it was placed and not to be hidden or covered.

f.        The same goes for our professed faith in Jesus Christ.   

  D.  The Condition of the Lost World.

    1.  It does not matter how well educated a

         person may be, if he is without Christ, he

         is not “enlightened” by the truth but remains

         in darkness.

    2.  Salvation appeal.

    3.  It is important that you shine brightly

         because it is your responsibility to

         communicate God’s truth to those around

         you; as a light.

III.  THE PURPOSE FOR BEING LIGHTS

        Matthew 5:16b

  A.  To Glorify the Father

1.      Light-radiating people live so that others see their “good deeds” (their light shinning) and give “praise” not to themselves but to their “Father in heaven.”

2.      Your life should be drawing others to Jesus Christ and not turning them away.

3.      Unbelievers should be able to look at your life and say, “Only God could have done that in their life.” 

4.      A godly life gives convincing testimony of the saving power of God and that is what brings Him glory.

5.      You may feel that the light you shed is in-significant indeed when it is compared to the darkness all around you.

6.      But you are to stand up and let your light shine.

7.      I like the challenge set forth in 1 Peter 2:12, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation (Christ coming again in judgment).

CONCLUSION:

;    The concern of being salt & light is something that every Christian should consider very seriously.

;    The aim and purpose of every Christian is that they should be on this earth to glorify God.

;     One commentator makes this observation, “Salt and light are not symbols of our moral influence or political power; those figures represent the gospel witness and the power of holy living. That is how Jesus used the imagery in His Sermon on the Mount. Light represents the shining forth of truth. Salt is the preservative power of godly living. As light, we proclaim the truth; as salt we add seasoning and act as a preservative in society by manifesting righteous works in our own lives. Being salt and light should be a priority in every Christian’s life.[4]

;    Are you the salt of the earth? Are you a shinning light to this lost world? Are you allowing God to exhibit in your lives the truth of these startling statements of Jesus Christ?


----

[1]Hughes, R. K. (1990). Ephesians : The mystery of the body of Christ. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

[2]Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. 1953-2001. Vol. 9: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew. Accompanying biblical text is author's translation. New Testament Commentary . Baker Book House: Grand Rapids

[3]MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Mt 5:16). Nashville: Word Pub.

[4]MacArthur, J. 2002. Can God bless America? : The Biblical pathway to blessing . W Pub. Group: Nashville

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