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Trinity Assembly of God Church

Reaching People To Make Their Lives Better

The Kingdom of God 

Being the Salt & Light

Preached on 19 November, 2017

Scripture Mathew 5:13-16

 

Scripture: Mathew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  in the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Illustration

To start on a lighter note, this is a story about a pastor and his wife decide to have the church deacons and their wives over for dinner. It was quite a task, but the pastor and his wife want to be the “Salt and Light” for the leaders of their church. When the time for dinner came, everyone were seated and the pastor’s wife asks her little 4 year old daughter if she will say grace.  The girl said, “I don’t know what to say.”  The pastor wife her mom said, “just say what I say honey.”  Everyone bows their head the little girl says, “O dear Lord, why am I having all these people over for dinner! Amen!”

Introduction

Jesus calls us to be the salt and the light.  Which means that we are to bring every area of our life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ so that people will be able to see a difference which Jesus can bring in people in the individual, in the family, in the society.

Today I do not want to talk about the usual way this passage of scripture is preached and expounded rather give an insight into God’s heart and His Mission.  

It is sad that as Christians we live and believe that we have nothing to do with the world.  We are living as if tomorrow the world is going to be destroyed and hence we do not have anything to do with the world.  We are not part of the world.  This is what Christians generally think.  Hence, we find Christians only on Sunday’s and on all the rest of the days we do not find Christians.  

In fact, today the sad part is that churches are in the process of discipling believers to do what the church wants to do, rather than discipling believers to do what God wants them to do.

First of all we need to understand the heart of God and His mission.  What is God’s Mission?

God’s mission is to encourage people to work with the resources which He provides to bring forth new and good things into the natural world.  God wanted every believer to work alongside of God in His creation.  However, because of the fall, and the human condition, things have turned from very good to worse.  The Good News is that through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, God gives grace to people to return to Him.  He is healing the brokenness and has opened ways to fully restore his original purpose for the world, which includes our role for humanity, in co-creativity, alongside of Him.  God wants not only to redeem humanity, but to redeem all His creation.  This is the mission of God.

Rom.8:17 - That is why Paul says, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

As Christian believers we must participate in the mission of God through every activity of life that God expresses His creativity, sustain God’s creation and cooperate with God’s redemption.  We are the church, we gather to be discipled, and this discipleship is for going into the world and being part of the Mission of God.  As a church, individually and collectively we should meet the world, through daily interaction with people who are not Christians.  This can happen in the home, in the family, in the neighborhood, in the workplace, etc.  It means that we should live and work alongside of God in His Mission from Monday through Saturday in the places where we spend much of our time.

Hallelujah

Gen.1:26,27 – the Bible tells us that we have been made in the image and the likeness of God.  We are God’s image bearers.  N T Wright explains - We are like angled mirrors reflecting God and His glory to His creation and reflecting the glory of His Creation back to Him.

Now let us look at these two phrases that Jesus is using.

You are the salt

Matt.5:13 – “You are the Salt of the Earth.”

What is Jesus telling us? What is Jesus expecting?

Jesus is challenging us to be good salt, seasoning our lives and our relationships with the gospel flavor.  Apply the principles of love and service to others, and stand in contrast to the prevailing culture.  As followers of Christ we season our homes, our marriages, our churches, our workplaces, our neighbourhood, etc.  Our role in the world is not to make things boring, rather to make them interesting and tastier, meaningful and beautiful.  

Pay attention to this - When you cook food, salt is a minority in the entire recipe.  However, without it, the recipe is no good.  In the world we are a minority, just as salt adds flavor our lives should add flavor to bring about transformation.  Jesus is not teaching us how to cook but rather how to live.  We are living among sinful people so that they might experience God’s truth and love through us.  We are not to join in the sinful activity or become advocates of actions that displease God.

You are the light

Matt.5:14-16 – “You are the Light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  in the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

As a Christian our job is not just to maintain personal holiness, but also to touch the lives of everyone around us.  In our homes, in our neighbourhood, in our workplaces, in our society.  Jesus says, you are the light in a sense that we witness with our good deeds or good works.  “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

In humility and submission to God we should work for right relations, for merciful actions, and for peace.  When we live as a people of blessing, we are the salt and light in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our nation.  Jesus says no one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket.  Instead lamp is placed on a lamp stand where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.  Jesus is using this imagery to tell us how we His followers are to live in the world.

 

 

Tikkun Olam

At this juncture I would like to share something very important.  Have you heard of Tikkun Olam?  It is a Hebrew word literally meaning ‘repair of the world’.  Or in other words construction for eternity.  Jews bear a responsibility not only for their own moral, spiritual and material welfare, but also for the welfare of society at large.  In simple words it means establishing God’s Kingdom or Kingdom qualities throughout the world.  

Tikkun Olam is used refer Jewish obligations to engage in social action in reform and conservative movements.  We are called to create a model society the Kingdom of God among ourselves but also are responsible for the welfare of the society at large.  

Hallelujah

I want you to see this video, produced by CBN about how the movement “Tikkun Olam” is being carried our in Israel.  Hoping that the Holy Spirit will open our heart and give us understanding to all of us as what Jesus meant by saying – “You are the salt and the light.”  Please click on the link below to see the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVyMcBhLKMs

Conclusion

Dear friends there is no such thing as private or secret or hidden.  Being righteous means to have a right relationship.  Right relationship with God and with people around us. Following Christ is more than just an inward transformation, but a change in the way we live our life, the way we work, the place in the community of humans.  Hence, we are called out of the world and thrust into the world as emissaries, light bearers and salt shakers.  Salt cannot be in the shaker, it must come out of the shaker to flavor.  Light cannot be hidden it has to be put on the stand.

Touch the World – touch the people around you during this week by being the Salt and Light.  God bless you.