Preacher’s Pulpit     Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: Matt 5:13-16
 
SUBJ: Christian Influence

Introduction:
The World according to the Bible is divided into two kinds of people.

First, believers . . . people who have heard and by faith received the gospel of Christ as evidenced by repentance and a change in  behavior.
 
(Luke 8:35 KJV)  "Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid."

Second, unbelievers . . . They are proud, self sufficient and do not understand their own unrighteousness before a Holy God.
 
(John 3:18 KJV)  "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Christ refers to the Believer as SALT AND LIGHT:

V-13a . . ."Ye are the salt of the earth:”
V-14a . . .”Ye are the light of the world."

Therefore, Christ is showing how the Believer is to INFLUENCE the Unbeliever.

Let's notice:

I. THE BELIEVER INFLUENCES THE UNBELIEVER BY WHAT THEY ARE, NOT WHAT THEY HAVE.
 
(Mat 5:13-14 KJV)  "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. {14} Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."

A. Christ did not say, “You have salt and light to dispense....”

B. But rather “Ye are the salt . . . Ye are the light...”

C. The believer's very presence in the world acts as Salt and Light.

1. Salt - to prevent corruption

2. Light - to expose error

D. The Believer having God's nature within is able to be Salt (prevent corruption) and Light (to expose error).
 
(2 Pet 1:4 KJV)  "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

 E. The Believer because of that New Nature is no longer:
 
(1 Cor 6:9-10 KJV)  "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, {10} Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

F. But now they are:
 
(1 Cor 6:11 KJV)  "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

G. Paul refers to the believer as  . . . “ a peculiar people”

Special Note: “This means it is the difference in their CHARACTER that distinguishes (to recognize as being different) them.

H. Seeing the believer's contentment (character) despite poverty and physical suffering causes the unbeliever to be amazed.
 
(2 Cor 6:10 KJV)  "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."

II. THE BELIEVER MUST BE IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF THE WORLD.

(Mat 5:16 KJV)  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

A. As Salt, they must act as a preservative in the decaying world around them.

B. As Light, they must expose darkness in the decaying world around them.

C. The admonishment is:

1. Salt losing it's savor (Christ likeness) is no longer usable.

2. Light hidden under a basket (loss of testimony) is no longer usable.

Conclusion: It is that changed life that brings light into darkness. It is that changed life that bring unbelievers to Christ. The sum of this message is:

(Mat 5:16 KJV)  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Where is your light shining today?

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