Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Mathew 5:13-16, ESV)
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9, ESV)
"The world out there is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity. The world is waiting for a new demonstration from Christianity!" (Leonard Ravenhill, English evangelist, author)
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
AS SALT, WE MUST NOT LOSE OUR ABILITY TO INFLUENCE!
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."
"The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising." (Leonard Ravenhill, English evangelist, author)
" 5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious,
seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." (Colossians 4:5-6, ESV)
AS LIGHT, WE MUST JOIN TOGETHER THAT OUR LIGHT BECOMES BRIGHTER!
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
"Jesus, looking out over the multitudes of His day, saw the corruption and the collapse of life at every point.... He saw them wrapped in gloom, sitting in darkness, groping amidst fogs and mists, and He knew that they needed, above everything else, light." (G. Campbell Morgan, British Pastor, 1863-1945)
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
Week 1 - Salt and Light
When I think of names like Hudson Taylor, William Carey, Jim Elliot, Adoniram Judson, Lottie Moon, and George Whitfield…the concept of ‘salt and light’ come to mind. These missionaries’ lives, as well as many others, were characterized by two things—being Salt and Light to the lost world. In these days, the nature of salt was not for flavor—but for preservation. We see these Heroes of the faith being ‘salt’ in their compassion for the lost and their drive to protect and save the lost from the world’s corruption. We see them being ‘light’ in their dedication to making the message of the GOSPEL known. These missionaries stand out to many who have followed them, many people look up to them, admire them, preach about them, and strive to be like them. So, my question to you is, what made them a missionary? Was it because they traveled to foreign lands preaching the GOSPEL? Was it because “missionary” was their “Full-time” vocation? What it because they were gifted and intelligent? Was it because they were articulate with the way they share the GOSPEL? Was it because they were gifted more or differently that the rest of us? No, that is not what made them a missionary. Now, to say yes to any of the previous statements is not at all a bad thing…but each statement in itself does not summarize what it is to be a missionary! What made them a missionary…what makes anyone a missionary is this: Making a conscious decision to be faithful to the Great Commission, being salt and light, in places where the GOSPEL is not the central feature to the Culture! What does that mean? That means making JESUS known where He is obscure…making JESUS famous where He is infamous is essential to making your life count for the GOSPEL.
1. As a group, discuss any place that you would identify Jesus as being the central feature of the culture?
2. So, based on our definition of being a missionary from above, what does this mean?
This includes the workplace for the dentist, accountant, manager, engineer, nurse, programmer, the lawyer, and any other vocation you can think of! This includes the college campuses across our nation where philosophy and academia reign…NOT THE GOSPEL! This definitely includes the public schools where prayer and any reference to GOD is prohibited or at best--suppressed! This includes the grocery store, Wal-Mart, the bank, the restaurant, the mall, the movies, the hair salon, the barber shop, the locker room, the waiting room, the golf course, the country club, etc… The most alarming thing about everything just mentioned, is that all of it describes America! Other countries are sending missionaries into our country because they see that we are a “culture where the GOSPEL is not the central feature”!
3. What does this tell you about the American faith as a whole?
Being a missionary does not always include leaving behind a secular job and career to go overseas and minister…sometimes it means embracing that career and using it as your mission field here in America. We desperately need missionaries to our workforce, to our campuses, and to our culture!
The Great Commission
As a group read Matthew 28:16-20. What is the command that JESUS is giving here?
First we need to see that it was JESUS’ last recorded instruction/command to His disciples. It is almost as if JESUS was reinforcing the most important thing for them to do right before he left! “I am about to leave…OH, wait…don’t forget…”Make Disciples”. It was important enough for that to be the last thing that He instructed His Disciples.
4. Why is this command so important?
This is the method that was chosen. That we be the ‘Salt’ to preserve God’s sheep and hinder them from corruption and that we would be the ‘light’ used to spread the message of Victory over Death…THE GOSPEL. Paul says in 1 Cor. 9:23, summarizing why he ministers to the lost, “I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings”. When we share the GOSPEL it allows us to share in its blessings. As we see it work in and through others…it strengthens our faith in its power!
As a group, turn to and read John 20:21.
5. As JESUS was sent…SO…we are sent. What does this mean?
Finally, turn to Phil. 2:14-16 as a group.
6. How do these verses illustrate the ‘Salt’ and ‘Light’ concept from Matt. 5:13-16?
We have been sent, just as Christ was sent! He came to preserve and save by being the Gospel—dying to secure it. We have been sent to preserve and save by sharing the message of the Gospel! Remember, Jesus is the image-bearer of the Gospel—we are the message-bearers of the Gospel! We have no power to save—but we are told in the Great commission that all authority has been given to Christ and it is on that authority, not our own, that we are to go and fearlessly be ‘Salt and Light’—proclaiming the message of the Gospel.