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                       "THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"

                      Salt And Light (Mt 5:13-16)

INTRODUCTION

1. In "The Beatitudes", the CHARACTER AND BLESSEDNESS of the
   citizens were described

2. In the final beatitude, Jesus described the attitude the world
   would often display towards the citizens of the kingdom (10-12)

3. Jesus now proceeds to describe the opposite:  The influence of
   the kingdom upon the world.

4. He does this by using two metaphors:  "salt" & "light"

I. "YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH" (Mt 5:13)

   A. SALT HAS SEVERAL CHARACTERISTICS...
      1. It is white, enhances flavor, preserves, etc.
      2. Based on the context, it is probably salt's ability to
         enhance flavor to which Jesus refers in his illustration
         a. Notice: "...but if the salt loses its flavor..."
         b. Salt has the ability to give flavor to that which is
            otherwise bland
         c. Job mentioned this ability in Job 6:6

   B. THROUGH THE METAPHOR OF "SALT"...
      1. Jesus illustrates that the relationship of the citizens of
         the kingdom to the world is one of:
         a. Making the world palatable (bearable) to God, and possibly
            to others as well
         b. Perhaps making it possible for God to continue to bear
            with this world and its "distasteful" wickedness
      2. The idea that the "righteous" few can make it is easier for
         God to forbear the many wicked is illustrated:
         a. In Abraham's conversation with God over Sodom - Gen 18:
            20-32
         b. In God's dealing with Jerusalem - Jer 5:1

   [So from God's point of view, the citizens of the kingdom give the
   world what good "flavor" it has!

   C. JESUS GOES ON TO WARN AGAINST LOSING OUR FLAVORING ABILITY!
      1. With pure salt...
         a. It actually never loses its flavor
         b. But when mixed with impurities salt can lose its ability
            to enhance flavor
      2. We too might lose our ability to be a "flavoring agent" for
         the world...
         a. If we allow "impurities" into our lives - 1Co 15:33
         b. Therefore, we need to keep ourselves from sin - Ep 5:3-7

   D. IF WE LOSE OUR "FLAVOR"...
      1. How are we going to be "seasoned"? (impurities prevent us
         from being useful)
      2. We will be thrown out!
         a. Is Jesus teaching the possibility of losing our
            salvation?
         b. He certainly does elsewhere! - Mt 13:40-43; Re 3:15-16

[First of all, then, we are told of the relationship of the citizens
of the kingdom to the world FROM GOD'S POINT OF VIEW: "You are the
salt of the earth."

Continuing, we find Jesus teaching concerning the citizens of the
kingdom as to their PRIMARY FUNCTION in the world...]

II. "YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD" (Mt 5:14-16)

   A. USED BY GOD TO TRANSMIT HIS GLORY TO THE WORLD!
      1. They are "lights" in a dark world - Php 2:14-15
      2. Their purpose:  to proclaim the praises of God! - 1Pe 2:9;
         Ep 5:8b-9

   B. THEY ARE NOT A "LIGHT" IN AND OF THEMSELVES...
      1. Only in the Lord - Ep 5:8a
      2. Christ is the "true" or "original" light - Jn 8:12
      3. Citizens of the kingdom are simply "luminaries" reflecting
         The One True Light, just as the moon reflects the sun
         - 2Co 4:6

   C. CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM HAVE A TWO-FOLD RESPONSIBILITY AS
      "THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD"...
      1. They must be VISIBLE
         a. Implied by Jesus in His use of a "city" and a "lampstand"
            as metaphors
         b. Jesus therefore expects His followers to be SEEN by the
            world - e.g., Jn 13:35; 17:21
      2. They must RADIATE (give light)
         a. This principle conveyed by the idea of the lamp
            1) Designed to SHINE on a lampstand
            2) Not put under a basket
         b. This principle explicitly stated in "let your light SO
            SHINE before men"
      3. The purpose of such VISIBLE RADIATION:  so men may GLORIFY
         THE FATHER in heaven - e.g., 1Pe 2:11-12; 2Co 9:12-13

CONCLUSION

1. Why be concerned with being "the salt of the earth" and "the light
   of the world"?

2. Because of the One Who is described as "YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN
   HEAVEN"!
   a. This expression should remind us that God is both:
      1) TENDER (a term of tenderness)
      2) and MAJESTIC (He is "in heaven")
   b. Such a Majestic Being Who is willing to be our Father makes Him:
      1) Worthy to be pleased!
      2) And worthy to be praised!

3. We who claim to be the children of God, citizens of the kingdom,
   are we:
   a. Pleasing to our Father (by being "the salt of the earth")?
   b. Praising Him (by being the "light of the world")?

If not, then may the prayer of David in Ps 51:10-15 become our own:

                 10  Create in me a clean heart, O
                 God; and renew a right spirit within
                 me.
                 11  Cast me not away from thy
                 presence; and take not thy holy
                 spirit from me.
                 12  Restore unto me the joy of thy
                 salvation; and uphold me [with thy]
                 free spirit.
                 13  [Then] will I teach
                 transgressors thy ways; and sinners
                 shall be converted unto thee.
                 14  Deliver me from
                 bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of
                 my salvation: [and] my tongue shall
                 sing aloud of thy righteousness.
                 15  O Lord, open thou my lips; and
                 my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
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