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January 9, 2022 5:00 am
Hope you have your Bibles with you this morning. Take those Bibles and turn to Matthew chapter 5 Matthew chapter 5. How many of you when you were growing up or maybe in your adult years.
You read the on the little house series by Laura Ingalls Wilder while Kate, there's a lot of people who would not read that that series is that the Larousse in the Prairie view seen the TV show okay there we go this a lot more handsets going up there in the very first book of the law of the little house series. It's is called the little house in the big woods.
Laura is very very young. She talks about growing up in a cabin in Wisconsin back in 1800s, and that one of the things is really difficult for them was getting and keeping food that would last all throughout the winter. She tells a story of how her paw went to go fishing one day and he came back with a wagon load of fish and they ate part of the fish with and they took the rest of them and they they pack them in salt to preserve the food and why salt well because it keeps the rot away right. It keeps the food from decaying now in our world of the Christian finds themselves. Often times, living in a lot of decay and rot in Jesus will refine today in our passage is that he offers a way of preservation when he says this he says you Christian you disciple of Jesus Christ. You are the salt of the earth is rims on Monday.
Salt and light were starting a series really that we kinda began back in the fall we worked to the Beatitudes in the fall. Today were jumping into continuing the sermon on the Mount is the greatest sermon in my opinion ever preached and that it's Jesus the priest.
The sermon is near the mid-beginning of his ministry and him and he just takes that topic by topic and he says here's some things that you need to know in some ways that you need to be growing as a Christian that you're in Matthew chapter 5 actual should go back to Matthew chapter 4 the end of chapter forwarding to see the background, the context of what takes us into the beginning of the sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 4 of us are reading in verse 23 and go all the way through chapter 5, verse two.
Here's what it says and he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with different diseases, various diseases and pains those oppressed by demons of those having seizures and paralytic's, and he healed them, and great crowds followed him from Galilee and an accomplice and from Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan, seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain when he sat down, his disciples came to him and he opened his mouth and taught them say. There is a story picked up in the fall with the Beatitudes so people from all over the place or following Jesus sees he's doing all these miracles.
He's teaching and there's something about him that people just want to follow and they want to be with Jesus is attractive to them so they, therefore, the following Jesus.
Chapter 4 there verse 25 we read that there's people from Galilee juice for people from the Decapolis, which is likely Romans who were coming got people from Jerusalem and surrounding areas. There there sick people. People in pain summer oppressed by demons paralyzed people.
People who are prone to seizures. Everybody's come to see Jesus. They want to see this man that is doing these great miracles in teaching these great things from a very early age. Every single Jew is tall that the way to be holy is to be separate. You will be holding you be separate again.
You stay away from the sick, stay away from the demon oppressed stay away from the lepers. You stay away from the unclean. You stay away and you be holy us with her taught from a very early age. But Jesus absolutely blows that mindset out of the water.
He said in matter who you are in matter what your experience in life.
It matter what sickness you have lepers yet come home sick people, the mentally ill come on the matter where you're from Gentile Jew don't matter. Come on in this large group of people comes in they and they they see Jesus and they want to know him they would experience him and so he goes this mount to the mountain and his disciples gather around him and then there's this multitude of people. Beyond that, and they just sit and listen to Jesus to know in this is a lesson with Jesus is teaching, not necessarily the multitude Jesus teaching the Christians that the disciples that are right around but he invites the multitude to join.
He's teaching the believer in him the follower of him. The committed want to him, but he saying come on anybody, that applies to us today will come to setting like this, we are learning we are where teaching from God's word is Christians were growing but invitations for everybody and anybody, come to Jesus gets it. Matthew chapter 5 verse 13 and this is where we pick up for today. And Jesus starts teaching topic by topic and he really starts addressing some real life issues that people face and will start reading in verse 13.
Okay, Matthew chapter 5 verse 13 he says you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has lost its taste, how show its saltiness be restored is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet your life the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house in the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and get glory to your Father who is in heaven before we go any further only go to the Lord in prayer just asked that he help us understand his word with and also help us to learn and grow. Based on this against the spring together. Father, we know without a doubt that you have something you want to teach us from your word today. So father, may we approach this time with open minds, open hearts, open hands, to just simply say, Lord, whatever you have for us. Help us to receive it and then solicit father, thank you for your word and thank you for Jesus who was so intentional with the sermon on the Mount help us understand how to live life. We love you, father in Jesus name we pray. Amen. Through process through this together.
Before we do own it only give your statement that own encourage you to write down somewhere. If you can. Or maybe just pull out your phone is a picture of it.
But here's a statement being exposes itself in the doing being exposes itself in the doing say what in the world you mean by that, given here's what I mean who you are.
Your character will inevitably translate into what you do your actions. Who you are only inside his is going to translate into what you do.
So Jesus starts the sermon by giving the Beatitudes the Beatitudes challenged his disciples to rethink who they are commanded to be poor in spirit to be mournful of sin. To be meek to be people who hunger and thirst for righteousness to be merciful to be pure in heart to be peacemakers to be even rejected and persecuted for the sake of the gospel that the Beatitudes what what comes next in the sermon, though, is how being translates into doing the Beatitudes is the being okay get that the character is is the growing in character, but now how does that translate into what we actually do because what we do will expose who we really are. So if you're characterized by these things you see on the screen right now these Beatitudes is good translate into what you do if you're not a person who's willing to be that there's no reason to do and here's why it's only can lead to frustration and confusion because you will be living in a works based salvation mindset where your you believe that that your value is tied only to what you do, rather than who you are. Try all day long to do what's right.
But if your heart is not captivated by the beauty of the gospel. If you haven't taken time to sit at Jesus feet and be with him first thing you do nothing to shoot yourself in the foot.
Take the time to be with Jesus first to learn from him the heart of one of his disciples then go live the Christian life of the abundance that naturally comes from be with Jesus.
But once you been with Jesus was the character. Is there, the doing is to be natural. And here's the doing, the Jesus talks about here is is you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has lost its taste, how show saltiness be restored still longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet down and I'm just curious. I'm not anticipating a yes answer to this but let me just ask, is there anybody in here who, when you were growing up. You did not have a refrigerator in your home or freezer. Okay. All right.
Just a couple of people, but for the last almost hundred years. Most people have had some kind of way to preserve meat, but he put in the refrigerator and it preserves it for a short amount of time for he put in a freezer and a preserve it for a long amount of time we've we've had this disability to preserve me in that way.
The only other truly effective way to preserve me is with salt to take the salt and you rub it on the meat mixture is packed in the meat or outside the meat, and it helps preserve the food.
Now I've told you many times if you been around much time at all you know that my favorite meal is steak and potatoes.
Okay it didn't get any better than that but second to steak and potatoes is country ham scrambled eggs and hash browns, shredded, not chunky hashbrowns every shredded not sake. It may also mean that thank you very much on a glass. The other way could probably let more people but anyway since Thursday about country ham for a moment. Every Christmas I buy a country ham a whole one and a couple of days before Christmas all take and soak in a little bit to get a little bit of the saltiness out of it and I'll bake it and we eat on that thing all throughout Christmas and it's amazing.
It is amazing, but the beauty of a country ham is that it's been preserve right and you know when you country ham is can be salty is been preserved with that salt, that salt is there to preserve that meat and add taste the salt wasn't there and the ham was left on its own without preservation, it would rot now to which compare this idea of a country ham with the salt and preserves it with a Christian.
Okay this is the same idea Christians exist just like salt to push back the rot of this world and what Jesus is saying in this verse is that apart from his disciples. This this world turns ever more rotten but we are here to push back the rottenness. When you look at the Beatitudes that Jesus outlines the beginning of the sermon and then you read this passage about the insult. We realize that the character of being that we talked about earlier quickly translates in a tangible way to making an impact in this world because our character is this.
We will make a difference because the disciple of Jesus as a peacemaker there pure in heart, they are merciful they are meek, etc. all those that whole list because they are that God is going to use that character to push back the rottenness of this world ever since the beginning of the church age.
We see this play out time and time and time again where evil and oftentimes even Satanic activity is prevalent in society. But the one glimmer of hope that shines brightly as the presence of Christians. Much of the Middle East and in parts of Africa, Asia right now where there is just ramp it persecution taken place.
It's a dark dark place. But then there's this glimmer of hope that comes up and there's this love in the middle of hate and there's this piece in the middle of war that comes about and that is that glimmer of hope. I'm talking about here, and that glimmer is pushing back the rottenness the darkness that's all around but Jesus is the salt loses flavor if salt has lost its taste, how show saltiness be restored is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet was a mean by this. Salt and it's by its very nature cannot lose it saltiness. Okay, it's all that it can't be anything except salt. The danger is not in the grain of salt itself becoming less salty. The danger is in the salt being adulterated by other components such as sand or other minerals as soon as other components than the salt are put into the mix. It's useless. You cannot take salt is mixed with sand or dirt or anything else and use it to preserve meat is not in work is not good for anything except to be thrown out somewhere like the street where it's not gonna kill grass the Christians power and pushing back the rottenness of this world is directly tied to their purity just like dirt nullifies the effectiveness of salt.
Sin nullifies the effectiveness of the Christian Christian CN contaminates their ability to point other people to the holiness of God and Jesus says this he said that when that is happened. What good are there walking lie. They say that there salt, but there's some sand mixed in. They say that to the real deal, but there's dirt this got in the salt shaker. Salt has lost its potency as you think your for a moment. It is a very good picture for us to understand this. Think about when the rapture occurs in we've heard about that. We learned about the rapture. There's coming a day in which she is going to catch the bride of Christ up the church and to carry us to heaven. All is left on this earth as unbelievers and then a short time after the rapture.
There are other people who do come to know Jesus but as a whole. The church is gone. The Christian faith as a whole is is is on were not meeting in settings like this anymore. What we find is not necessarily so much that that God takes his hand off of the world and says, okay Satan go. It's more that there's not the Christians. They are to push back the rottenness of this world and so the darkness is able to come in. The rot is able to come in and take over during the seven years of tribulation for three and half years not to be that bad last three and half years really really will in the major reason for that is because the saltiness of the Christians are gone.
The sad thing is that even in this time before the rapture. Churches are often so full of contaminated salt shakers is hard even be able to tell was legit and was not legitimate rottenness isn't being pushed back its gaining momentum because Christians are okay with continuing in their sin and are not being set apart as holy Jesus calls us the salt of the earth as his purpose for us that's already here to be the salt of the earth is that salt that pushes back the rottenness.
But Jesus doesn't stop it using the illustration of salt. He also talks about how his disciples are lights. Verses 14 through 16. Start with verse 14 you are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. There's two different types of light. This talk about their game, there's a light from a city on a hill under the light that comes from inside a house on a lampstand in both of these gives a really good picture of this light that comes from being disciples of Jesus personally of the city on a hill. Then there is no way to hide the slight this thing is right is so bright that it pushes back darkness all around them from my house where I live just south of town.
I can't see the skyscrapers Winston-Salem. I can't lay my eyes at night time on the light that comes from their Windows.
I can't see that but every single night I'm able to experience the light from the city just because of how bright it is especially cloudy night when the clouds are hanging low and there's this glow that that comes all over the area. Here now.
I can't see that city lights but I could see the glow from the effect of it. No way to hide it is good example being inside your house. You don't turn on a lamp and then cover the land but do you that would want to write the power and I like to have some the power that your taken things off my power bill.
But you don't do that you put a light in a room at such a place that it illuminates the room, not just one little area illuminates the whole room. The sin of this world makes this world dark place and the only thing this could drive back the darkness is the light of Jesus Christ and that light shines through his disciples that shines through us.
Verse 16 we find the purpose in all of this. Why be salt. Why be light in the same way, let your light shine before men, before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
That's the purpose right there through the same way that the salt and light works. Let your spiritual light shine before others wiser than you see your good works and glorify God is warmer here for him to receive the glory that he alone is due. Let your character being we talked about before, let your character impact your actions.
So God receives the glory that he is due.
Let your character impact your actions so he receives glory that was practically mean for us today in our own and really apply it to us.
Your first moment to say something to me a picture here on the screen. It's a map of the city was asylum with a light right in the Middle East that light right in the middle that's placed right at Salem Baptist Church gave Samantha was asylum and right in the middle there is is Salem Baptist Church and young women would been in existence for 113 years it's been a light shining here where people can see Jesus experience Jesus and come to know him as a personal savior and I pray that many many many more years until the Lord comes back. We will be that lights the man is a lot of area outside our church, the one light is in the middle, but there's a lot of space that represents a whole lot of people outside our church. What is, what if just for family units in our church decided to be a beacon of light right where they live just for.
Here's what that map would look like density not have.
You have just one you got for other lights that are shining out there. These are people who decided they can be a light, not just as a part of church were you, and you see it and you serve, but they can be a light in their neighborhood or they can be a light in their workplace specials for family units again will say 15 115 family units within our church said you know what I want to be that light all the maps change a little bit there and it little bit brighter around here. These are people who decided to be a light where they live as well is ministering to the ministry of this local church are the snow from 15 to 50 boom in lot brighter now and about hundred and you say that's ridiculous. We don't have that ability as a church we do we do. Do you realize that in 2021 alone. We had over 170 family units for individuals in our church who contributed to our church in some way, whether that was their financial gifts or serving hundred and 70 is 100 lights right here that map looks a whole lot different than the first woman I search that first map carries the mindset that the church building is the exclusive place where ministry takes place, but this last map shows us that the ministry takes place during the week wherever God has placed you nest on the say the church is not important because, on the contrary, know the function of the mission of the local church can never be replaced. Ever. It's God's plan a for reaching the lost. When you leave today.
You're gonna walk underneath the doors and if you look on those doors as you go out you can walk underneath some signs that say you are now entering the mission field.
The Christian Alaska question. Are you living as if you're entering the mission field or you living as if you are the mission field. That's the difference whether your light is shining or not. Are you living as if you are going to the mission field wherever God placed you or you living as if you are the mission field with you and your family committed 2022 to being a year in which you just asked God every single day, to show me a way that I can be a light in my neighborhood or my workplace is a simple question. What if you just asked them for opportunities to be salt and push back the rottenness of this world. I can guarantee you I can guarantee it because I've been there.
I've lived it. Okay. When I asked God for opportunities to be a light in my neighborhood or a light to people around me. He gives me opportunities to do so and I get to join him where he's working in that I truly believe that when we ask him to use us. He will just waiting for he's waiting for us to ask how would you would use me to share one quote with you here in the number close out the challenge.
Campbell Morgan was.
It was a British evangelist and pastor and author back during the mid-1800s. He lived from 1863, of three 1959, 245 weeks explaining Matthew chapter 5 verse 13 through 16, where we been today when he explains that he sums up everything that Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5. In this way, he says, having declared that the supreme matter in his kingdom is character.
We talk about that right and having described that character in the Beatitudes. The king showed that the purpose of the realization of character in the subjects of his kingdom is that they may exercise an influence upon those who are outside the kingdom. Salt is needed where there is corruption light is needed where there is darkness. Jesus looking out over the north multitudes of his day, and he's literally looking out over the multitudes. He's got his disciples right there. But then there's all these people who are living in darkness walking in darkness they don't know they don't know that Jesus has come to be the Redeemer. They don't know that Jesus come to be the Savior is looking out at all the sickness all of this for all of this was the disciples you go be the salt and you will be the light, Jesus, looking out over the multitudes of his day's all the corruption, the disintegration of life at every point, it's breakup is spoliation and because of his love of the multitudes, he knew that the thing they needed most was salt in order that the corruption might be arrested. Will you commit to making 2022 a year of being uncontaminated salt and in extinguishable light we you push back the rottenness or will you and will you we shined the light so bright so brightly that people give glory to the only one who is worthy of the glory to God is done so much in saving us. He sent Jesus to this earth to die in my place in your place. He's done so much in saving us the least that we can do is live our lives in sold-out service to him as uncontaminated salt and in extinguishable light so sit at his feet, learn from them. Be in and do father, help us to do that was to be men and women Christians of character that there is no doubt that we are pure and undefiled salt that are light has no shade covering it up, but it's illuminating wherever you place this will help us to be people of character, who then go and do a father. We love you, but we only love you because you first loved us and you sent Jesus to die in our place, and for that Lord. We are so thankful now.
May we minister out of the overflow of what you have done and give all glory to you in Jesus name we pray