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Make the Difference: Salt and Light

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Make A Difference—Matthew 5:13-16

Intro…

  • It’s tough to watch the direction of our nation/culture…
    • Collapse of morality—Seen in entertainment, public office & even in church leaders.
    • Collapse of Judeo Christian values—No longer can we assume people know/believe the Bible.
  • So, what do we do/have we done?
    • We come to church & complain w/like-minded people.
    • We pray for God to change people’s hearts & put the right person in office.
  • Jesus said something 2000 years ago that speaks directly to the problem we’re facing today.—The Sermon on the Mount…
    • Matthew’s purpose in writing: to present Jesus as King of king
    • The Sermon on the Mount: Statement of His kingdom’s moral principles. (He was telling His disciples what he expected.)

I. 1st, Jesus was speaking to His disciples—v.13, 1-2

  • Jesus called His disciples to make a diff. in the world…
  • The words Matthew recorded, thru the HS, were also intended for Christians today.
  • If you are a Christian, Jesus is talking to U!
    • Repeat: “Jesus is talking to me.”

II. Jesus tells His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth.”—13.

  • 2 main purposes for salt: Preservation & flavor. (Rom. Soldiers often paid in salt—org. “not worth his salt”)
    • Rubbed into raw meat to kill bacteria & prevent decay.
  • In essence Jesus is saying… this world is in decay—dying. (foxnews.com headlines…)
    •  It’s only chance of preservation is if His disciples step in.
    • B/c of sin the world will decay, we can help slow the process.
  • By implication, who will salt the earth of Christians don’t?
    • No one!—The only hope for preservation of our society...
  • What about when salt loses its effectiveness?
    • Salt loses its effectiveness when it’s contaminated.—Beattit…
    • We as Christians must retain our Christlikeness in the world…
      • What does Christlikeness look like?—Gal. 5:16, 19-23

III. Jesus tells His disciples, “You are the light…”—14-16.

  • Jesus was the light: John 8:12
    • We are lights thru Jesus—2 Cor. 4:6
    • God has made it poss. To shine thru JC.
  • He gives 2 examples… (We’re a little dim, so He illustrates…)
    • “A city on a hill”—Ill. Seeing El Paso, TX in 1998.
      • You must turn off a light to prevent it’s shining.
    • “Light a lamp”—the point of a lamp is to give light.

Closing…  (Why must we make a difference/be salt & light?)—16.

·          We’ve been watching our nation/culture fall apart…

o         Thru the collapse of morality & Judeo-Christian values.

·          It’s happened for 2 reasons: various scriptures

o         Our Christianity has been contaminated by worldly values.

§          Seen in the way we dress, language we use, places we go, how we treat our spouse, going to church on Sundays, believed that we’re being intolerant when we say Jesus is the only…

§          1 John 2:15—to many of us love the world—Christians look & act as much like the world as the world does/there’s no diff.

o         Many Christians have cut themselves off from the world.

§          We’re afraid to be contaminated so we cut ourselves off.

§          What’s the modern basket?—The church building.

§          We’ve withdrawn from the community/or we’ve separated out Christian faith—Live your Christian faith at school/work

·          “Let you light shine before others…”—live out your Christian faith & tell people about Jesus.

·          “that they may see your good works…”—James 2:14, 20, 24

·          “and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”

God has called U, as His follower, to make a difference in this world—to be salt and light.

www.foxnews.com headlines…

  • Al Qaeda leader reportedly killed in US strike
  • Teen girl gets life for poisoning grandmother
  • Gunman nabbed after holding 5th-graders.
  • Consumer Spending dried up
  • Man charged with beating & burning girlfriend’s baby
  • Texas Mom throws 4-year-old daughter into traffic.

Galatians 5:16 (NASB95) 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (Sinful nature/old self)

John 8:12 (NASB95)  12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NASB95) 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Galatians 5:19-23 (NASB95) 19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Various scriptures from closing…

1 Timothy 2:9 (NASB95) 9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly…

Colossians 4:6 (NASB95) 6  Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

1 John 2:15 (NASB95) 15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NASB95) 9  I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

James 2:14 (NASB95) 14  What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

James 2:20 (NASB95) 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

James 2:24 (NASB95) 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

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