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Matthew 5:13-16

The Gospel Of Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We Started Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
In this Sermon, We Learn Some of the Things that Jesus Taught in His Ministry
This Sermon Teaches Us What it Looks Like to be a Citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven
He Began with the Beatitudes/Blessed/Happy
God Makes Happy Those With Certain Characteristics:
Poor in Spirit - Recognizing One’s Spiritual Need for Jesus
Those Who Mourn - Mourning Over the Current Wicked Ways of the World
The Meek/Gentle - The Kind, Humble, and Selfless
Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness - Crave for Righteousness to Fill the World and Themselves
The Merciful - Undeserved Compassion and Grace
The Pure in Heart - Sincere and Without Hypocrisy
The Peacemakers - Reconcile Others to One Another and to God
Those Who are Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness - Insulted, Persecuted, and Slandered for Following Jesus in Righteous Living
People with Those Characteristics are Made Happy by God Because They are Given the Kingdom and Promises of Future Blessings

Matthew 5:13-16

In this Next Part of Jesus’ Sermon, He Tells His Followers How These Characteristics Need to Be Shown Publicly as an Influence to the World
And When They Don’t, We are Considered Useless/Worthless Disciples
What Does it Mean for Something to Be Useless or Worthless
It Means that it isn’t Being Used for its Original Purpose
We Have Several Things Around Our House that Could Be Described as Useless and Worthless
Our Dining Room Table
VK’s Crib
Several Pieces of Furniture in Our House (Couch Included)
Mostly Used for Laundry
Our Garage
Filled with Useless/Worthless Junk
Which Makes it Useless for its Original Purpose of Storing Cars
Christians Can Also Be Considered Useless and Worthless
Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
LEB Translation Says, “We are His Creation”
NLT Says, “We are God’s Masterpiece”
And He Created Us, “So We can Do the Good Things He Planned for Us Long Ago”
NRSV Says He Created Us for Good Works, “to Be Our Way of Life”
God Created Us Brand New in Jesus Christ for the Purpose of Us Doing Good Works in this World for His Honor
Otherwise, it Would Make More Sense for Christians to Be Teleported Straight to Heaven Right After We are Baptized
But That’s Not What Happens
God has Always Been More Concerned with Bringing Heaven to Earth Through His People Than Bringing His People to Heaven
God Leaves Us Down Here so that We Can Continue Jesus’ Work of Reconciling the World to God Through King Jesus
Christians Who Aren’t Living Their Life in this Way are Useless/Worthless/Good for Nothing Disciples
That is What Our Text is About this Morning
Matthew 5:13 (NASB)
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
Jesus Calls His Disciples the Salt of the Earth
Salt had a Number of Uses in the Ancient World
But in the Bible, We See 3 Primary Uses that Would Apply Here
Improves Flavor
If Jesus Had These 3 Uses in Mind, He Said His Disciples Were to:
Purify the World by Confronting Wickedness, Corruption, Injustice, and Unrighteousness and Seeking to Put an End to it
Preseve the Good that is in the World by Working to Prevent the Spread of Wickedness, Corruption, Injustice, and Unrighteousness
Improve/Promote Goodness, Morality, Justice, and Righteousness Through Our Words and Actions
Jesus Said that Christians Make the World a Better Place
He Didn’t Say His Followers “Should Be, Would Be, or Can Be” Salt
He Said “They ARE Salt”
It is Engrained in the Very Nature of a Dedicated Follower of Jesus to Purify, Preserve, and Improve the World
But Jesus Tells Us that Salt Can Become Tasteless or Lose its Saltiness
The Salt We Have Today Does Not Lose its Saltiness
But the Impure Salt of Jesus’ Day was Likely Impure and Capable of Being Compromised and Losing its Saltiness
His Followers Stop Being the Salt of the World When They Become Compromised by the Ways of the World
Jesus Asked, “How Can it Be Made Salty Again?
One Rabbi at the End of the 1st Century Answered that Question in this Way:
“To Make Salt Salty Again, You Need to Salt it with the Afterbirth of a Mule.”
His Point: Mules are Sterile and Have No Afterbirth
You Can’t Make Salt Salty Again
It’s No Longer Good for its Intended Purpose
What is it Good for Now?
Absolutely Nothing
The Only Thing You Can Do With it Now is Throw it Out
If Jesus’ Followers Stop Being a Purifying, Preserving, and Improving Influence on the World…
They are Good for Absolutely Nothing and Ought to be Thrown Out
Jesus’ Followers are Meant to Further the Kingdom in this World
When They are Not Helping in this Effort, They are Useless to the Kingdom
The Greek Word for “Has Become Tasteless” is Only Found 4 Times in the New Testament
Twice it is Translated “Has Become Tasteless” (Matthew and Luke’s Account of Disciples Being Salt)
Other 2 Times it is Translated “Became Fools” and “Made Foolish”
Both Cases are of People Who Choose Worldly Wisdom and Living Over Godly Wisdom and Living
Rabbis Would Sometimes Use Salt as a Symbol for Wisdom
Losing Saltiness Means Being Made Foolish
When Jesus’ Followers Choose Worldly Wisdom and Living, They are Made Foolish
And When They are Made Foolish, They Have Become Useless/Worthless
A Citizen of the Kingdom Choosing to Live as if They are a Citizen of the World is Foolishness
Matthew 5:14 (NASB)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
Jesus Now Calls His Followers “Light”
This Would Infer that Jesus Saw the World as a Place Filled with Darkness…
And the Citizens of His Kingdom are the Light
They are Like a City High Up on a Hill
It is Impossible for Them to Not Shine Light into the World Around Them
The Scriptures and Jesus Tell Us a Lot About Light
Jesus Tells Us that He is the True Light of the World
John 8:12 (NASB)
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.”
John 9:5 (NASB)
“While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
We See from These Passages that Jesus is the True Light
His Disciples are Simply Reflections of His Light
And the Closer We are to Jesus, the Brighter His Light Will Shine Through Us
Is Your Light Shining Bright or is it Barely a Flicker?
Is Your Influence Affecting People or Do People Not Recognize You as a Christian?
Your Answer to Those Questions Will Tell You How Close You are to Jesus
Jesus is No Longer in this World
We are Meant to Carry On His Light in this Dark World
John 3 Shows Us that Light Does 2 Things:
John 3:19–21 (NASB)
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Light Exposes the Evil Deeds of Those Living in Darkness
And it Invites Those Who are Seeking to Do What is Right
It Exposes the Sin in Both Parties
But the Difference is:
Some Want Their Sin Exposed So They Can Irradicate it and Improve
Others Want Their Sins Hidden So They Can Remain in Them
Being the Light of the World Means Shining Light Everywhere We Go
When We Do that, People in Range of Our Light Will Begin to Recognize the Difference Between the Light that Lives Within Us and the Darkness that Lives Within Them
Then They Will Be Faced a Decision:
Hate Us
Or Join Us
There is No in Between
The Church Should Not Be Seen in a Neutral Light By Our Community
Our Community Should Either Hate Us or Love Us Because of Our Light
When the Community is Indifferent or Bored of the Church, that’s an Indicator that Our Light Isn’t Shining as Brightly as it Should
I’m Not Saying We Should Be the Salt that Rubs in Their Wounds
Or the Light that Shines in Their Eyes
All I’m Saying is, We Need to Live Like Jesus Without Trying to Hide it
When We Do that, People Will Recognize it
They Will See a Difference in Us
Those Who Love Darkness will Want Nothing to Do with Us
But Those with Good Hearts Will Find Hope in Our Light, and They will Want to Know Where it Comes From
Matthew 5:15 (NASB)
nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
It Doesn’t Make Sense for a Person to Light a Lamp and Then Cover it with a Bowl/Basket
You Place it Up High and Allow that Light to Illuminate the Entire House
Citizens of Jesus’ Kingdom Do Not Hide Their Light
It is in the Very Nature of a Lamp to Give Light
It is in the Very Nature of a Disciple of Jesus to Shine the Light of the Gospel in Their Life
A Flame that Gives Off No Light is Either…
Not a True Flame at All
Or is a Flame that is Being Covered and Hidden
And When You Cover a Flame, it Eventually Goes Out
A Disciple Within Whom the Gospel Does Not Shine is Either…
Not a True Disciple at All
Or is a Disciple that is Covering Up and Hiding the Gospel Out of Being Ashamed
And When a Disciple of Jesus is Ashamed of the Gospel, They Won’t Be a Disciple for Very Long
They Will Eventually Fall Away
Christians Must Not Hide Our Light
We Must Proudly Let it Shine so that Jesus’ Light Can Illuminate the Souls of Others as He Has Ours
Matthew 5:16 (NASB)
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Citizens of the Kingdom are to Shine Our Lights for All to See…
Like a City on a Hill and a Lamp on a Lampstand
Our Light is Shone Through Good Works
We Must Make Sure When We Do Good Works, that God is Receiving the Glory, Not Ourselves
What are the Good Works that Christians Should Be Doing?
Well, Let’s Just Start with What Jesus has Already Taught Us in this Sermon
Recognize Your Insufficiency to Save Yourself and Your Spiritual Need for Jesus
Mourn Over the Current Wicked Ways of the World
Be Meek, Gentle, Kind, Humble, and Selfless
Crave for Righteousness in Yourself and in Others
Show Mercy and Undeserved Compassion and Grace to Others
Be Sincere in Everything that You Do for Others and for God
Make Peace Between Others and Reconcile People to God
Rejoice When You are Insulted, Persecuted, and Slandered for Following Jesus in Righteous Living
Those Characteristics are a Good Place to Start When Being Salt and Light to the World
But Remember, Salt Can Only Purify, Preserve, and Improve What it Touches
And Light Can Only Expose Things in Which it Touches
Christians Can Only Have an Influence On Others When We Make an Effort to Touch Their Lives
What Did Jesus Teach Us?
His Disciples Purify, Preserve, and Improve the World
His Disciples Expose the Wickedness in the World and Invite Others to Join Us
We Do That By Openly and Publicly Doing Good Works for God’s Glory
So, Do Not Be Ashamed…
Go to Work, to School, to Your Homes, to the Store, and Everywhere With Your Mission in Mind
“I Am Going to Speak and Act in a Way that Represents Jesus and My Father to Those that are Around Me.”
Make this an Intentional Decision and Let God Provide the Increase
Jesus Teaches Us that His Disciples are Salt and Light
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