1. In addition to growing in grace, the Lord's followers are to grow in the knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:18). 2. In John 5:39 Jesus revealed the proper source for information that will lead us to accomplish this growth -- the Scriptures. 3. In this lesson we are concentrating on the Lord's instructions to His followers concerning "salt and light" (Matthew 5:13-16).
I. (vs.13) THE LORD'S FOLLOWERS ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH
A. Salt influences things that it contacts. 1. It is used as a preservative [it prevents spoilage]. 2. It is used as a seasoning [it enhances the flavor of foods]. 3. As a preservative and seasoning, salt is certainly valuable. B. (vs.13a) Jesus compared His followers to salt to show how we are to have a positive influence upon the world. C. (vs.13b) Jesus emphasized the need for having the right kind of influence. 1. Salt that has lost its saltiness is good for nothing. 2. (See Luke 14:34-35) If we hear what Jesus said, we realize that a Christian without proper influence is of no benefit to His kingdom.
II. (vs.14-16) THE LORD'S FOLLOWERS ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
A. Light is also very useful and influential. 1. It dispels darkness. 2. It causes plants to grow. 3. Sunlight can change a person's disposition for the better. B. Jesus also used this comparison to teach His followers to have a positive influence upon the world. C. (vs.15-16) We must not hide our light -- we must let it shine before men. 1. This is accomplished by doing good works. 2. Our good works will lead others to glorify God. D. (Luke 11:33-36) The Lord warns us to make sure that the light in us is not darkness. E. God's people are also taught in Philippians 2:12-16 to "shine as lights in the world."