Salt of the Earth and Light of the World (Matthew 5:13-16)
1. In John 8:12 Jesus identified Himself as "the light of the world." 2. Jesus talked about this further in John 9:4-5. a. He showed that He is "the light of the world" by doing the works that the Father gave Him to do. b. He considered being "the light of the world" to be a lifelong commitment. 3. In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus identified His followers as "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." a. We show that we are "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world" by doing the will of the Father. b. The Lord also wants us to follow His example by making lifelong commitments to being "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." 4. In our lesson we are studying the Lord's teaching in Matthew 5:13-16 as well as some additional passages.
I. JESUS BEGAN IN VS.13 BY SAYING THAT CHRISTIANS ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH
A. People familiar with salt understand that it influences things that it contacts. 1. It is used as a preservative in that it prevents spoilage. 2. It is also used as a seasoning in that 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 that 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 (see Luke 14:34-35). 2. Jesus wants us to have the right kind of influence, and He wants us to maintain our influence for good.
II. JESUS CONTINUED IN VS.14-16 BY SAYING THAT CHRISTIANS ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
A. Light is similar to salt in that it 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 lights -- we must let them shine before men. 1. This is accomplished by doing good works. 2. Our good works will lead others to glorify God. D. With the Lord's instructions in our minds, let us turn our attention to some . . .
III. ADDITIONAL PASSAGES THAT RELATE TO "LIGHT"
A. Romans 13:11-14 1. According to vs.11, now is not the time to sleep spiritually. 2. Since this is the case, vs.12 teaches us to: a. "cast off the works of darkness" b. "put on the armor of light." 3. Vs.13&14 show us what this involves. B. Ephesians 5:8-10 1. A person's condition before he becomes a Christian is described as "darkness." 2. A Christian's condition is described as "light in the Lord." 3. Christians are responsible for walking "as children of light." 4. Vs.9 mentions "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). C. Philippians 2:14-16 1. Christians are to "shine as lights in the world." 2. To accomplish this we must: a. "do all things without murmurings and disputings" b. hold "forth the word of life." D. 1 John 1:5-7 1. Christians are to "walk in the light as He [God] is in the light." 2. A person who claims to have fellowship with God while walking in darkness is a liar. 3. Those who walk in the light as God is in the light: a. have fellowship with God b. are continually cleansed by the Lord's blood.
1. In the beginning the world needed light, and God created it (Genesis 1:1-4a). 2. Years later the world needed a special kind of light, and God sent Jesus to provide it (John 12:46). 3. The world needs light today, and the Lord's people are responsible for reflecting His light by doing His will. 4. In Matthew 5:13-16 was Jesus talking to you? 5. When others observe you, can they identify you as "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world?"