Salt and Light
Today we continue our series “Follow Jesus”. Today’s sermon is “Salt and Light”. We started the series with the message You Must Be Born Again. Last week we continued with the message the Circle. We looked at growing closer to Jesus.
Today we will begin looking at the what Jesus said about his followers.
Remember in John 3:1-20 in verse 3, Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
As born again followers of Jesus we can see the kingdom of God. But when our eyes are opened and we can see we have responsibility.
Turn to Matthew chapter 5 Part 1
5 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
Jesus speaks to his followers. This is His words for us. Picture yourself with Jesus on the hillside over looking the Sea of Galilee.
3 “You’re blessed (happy fortunate) when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Now Part 2
Salt and Light
13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.
We are here as followers of Jesus to be seasoning. We are to bring God-flavors to earth. We are to show His love and character to the lost and broken.
If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
If we lose our distinction. If no one can tell us from the world then we lose our reason for being. What did Jesus say? He said Let me tell you why you are here. The followers of Jesus exist to show the world what living for God looks like. To show the world there is more to this life than meets the eat. There is a spiritual world. A kingdom not of this world that we can invite them into.
Jesus said you must be born again to see the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom. We will see Jesus as king expects His kingdom to function based on His rule and reign.
2 Chronicles 13:5 declares a covenant of salt between God and the House of Davis to rule.
Salt used for healing of the Water
2 Kings 2:19 The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.” 20 “Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’ ” 22 And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.
14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.
We are to be light. Light drives out darkness. If you want to eliminate darkness turn on the light. In a dark room the smallest candle over comes the darkness. The darkness cannot stop the light. The way darkness takes over is for the light to go out. John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Light is life. Jesus is the light of the world. John 8:12 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
1 John 1:5-9 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Jesus sent us to be his light in the world. To tell and to demonstrate that God is light.
1 Peter 2:9 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Revelation 21:23 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
iii. Jesus never challenged us to become salt or light. He simply said that we are – and we are either fulfilling or failing that given responsibility.
- A key thought in both the pictures of salt and light is distinction. Salt is needed because the world is rotting and decaying, and if our Christianity is also rotting and decaying, it won’t be any good. Light is needed because the world is in darkness, and if our Christianity imitates the darkness, we have nothing to show the world. To be effective we must seek and display the Christian distinctive. We can never affect the world for Jesus by becoming like the world.