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The Sermon on the Mount #3 - The Christian's Influence

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The Sermon on the Mount #3:

The Christian’s Influence

 

Text: Matt. 5.13-16

Thesis: To prove that a Christian has a powerful influence that he/she may use to bring

             God the glory.

Introduction:

(1)    Have you ever heard of “peer pressure?”

(2)    Did you know that there is such a thing as “positive pressure?”

(3)    Consider past examples such as Joseph and Daniel who, even in difficult situations, had a tremendous influence for good.

Discussion:

I.                   The Christian is to bring out the best in people (Matt. 5.13).

A.    “Salt of the earth”-

1.      “‘Salt’ was known to the people of Jesus' day for its power for preserving food (Lev. 2:13; Exo. 30:35; Ezek. 43:24) and for giving taste to it (Job 6:6; Col. 4:6)” (LWC).

2.      Christians are to bring out the best in others.

a.       Too often, we allow others to bring out the worst in us.

b.      Often, we are the ones being influenced.

c.       Nevertheless, we should be a “change agent” in the positive sense.

(1)   How is this done?

(2)   Simply, we must walk the life that we profess.

(3)   This extends to what we do, say, watch, etc.

(4)   Once people know that we are not a hypocrite, then we can gain their respect and have an influence upon them.

B.     “Loses its flavor”-

1.      Salt may lose its ability to be a “flavoring agent” when it is mixed with impurities. When it does, then it is no longer good for anything.

2.      When Christians become too much like the world, then they lose their ability to impact people for the good.

II.                The Christian is to stand out in this world (Matt. 5.14-15).

A.      Obviously, the world around us is in “darkness” (cf. Phil. 2.14-15).

B.      Christians are to be the lights leading men to safety.

1.      Christians are the “lights” in that they reflect the only true light, Jesus Christ (cf. John 8.12).

2.      How are we to be lights?

a.       We must be visible lights.

(1)    This means that we are to be seen by the world.

(2)    We go to them.  We don’t expect them to come to us.

b.      We must be radiate lights.

(1)    We are told to let our lights “so shine.”

(2)    “This let light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

III.             The Christian is to show God to others (Matt. 5.16).

A.    We are to proclaim the praises of God (Eph. 2.9).

B.     The life that we live will either cause men to love or hate God.

C.     “What is the gospel according to you?”

An unknown author once wrote:

                        You write a sermon, a chapter a day,

                        By the deeds that you do, and the words that you say;

                        Men read what you write, whether false or true;

                        So what is the gospel according to you?

Conclusion:

(1)    Would you be found guilty of being a Christian?

(2)    Do you cause others to see God?

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