In review – Matthew chapters 5-7 are known as “The Sermon on the Mount” because Jesus gave it on a hillside near Capernaum, which was pretty much His headquarters when He was in Galilee. This “sermon” was probably a bunch of sermons given over a period of days.
Why do I say it was a bunch of sermons?
Whenever Jesus preached, His sermons always flowed. Like most sermons today they have a beginning, middle, and end. These “sermons” as you will see are short and to the point. I believe that they are just the notes that Matthew took to give the “highlights” of what Jesus was saying…
The first 16 verses of Matthew 5 describe the character of a true Christian. The rest of the Sermon on the Mount deals with the conduct that grows out of the character. Character always come before conduct, because what we are determines what we do. In verses 1-16 Jesus shows us that true righteousness is inward. In your heart.
Matthew chapter 5 shows us how to be a citizen of Heaven, a citizen in God’s Kingdom. Citizens of Heaven have a different life. If you live like you are there, you can have it all here. So He is telling us how to live now, so we can live like this in Heaven.
The first 12 verses covered last time, talk about the blessings we will get if we are like Jesus wants us to be…in other words, be like Jesus…The next verses tell us how we should be, not to get the blessings, but as a result of the blessings.
Warren Wiersbe said:
“There are two pictures of the Christian in closing. Salt and the light. Salt speaks of inward character that influences a decaying world. Light speaks of the outward testimony of good works that points to God. Our task is to keep our lives pure that we might “salt” this earth and hold back corruption so that the Gospel can get out. Our good works must accompany our dedicated lives as we let our lights shine.”
Matthew 5:13-2013 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.
Christians are the salt of the earth. Mankind, lying in ignorance and wickedness, were like a rubbish heap ready to rot. But Christ sent forth his disciples, by their lives and doctrines to season it with knowledge and grace. If they are not such as they should be, they are as salt that has lost its flavor.
Salt is a seasoning. What does it do? Salt adds flavor to things. So being the “salt of the earth” means we need to be able to add something to someone’s life. If this seasoning has no flavor it has no value. If Christians make no effort to change the world around them, they are of no use to God. If we are too much like the world, we are worthless. Christians should not blend in with everyone else. Instead, we should affect them positively, just as salt brings out the best flavor in food.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Our light must shine, by doing such good things as men may see. We should be like a city on a hill that has our lights shining and it cannot or should not be hidden from the world. We must aim at the glory of God.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Christians function positively to illuminate a world in darkness because they possess Christ, who is the Light…
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
We need to be a light in our neighborhoods, a light wherever we go. We have no light within ourselves, but the Word of God is our light.
Being a light means giving out the Word of God in one way or another. This doesn’t mean that you should be quoting Scripture all the time, but it does mean that you are to share the light that God has given you. Living like Christ. Point people to Christ.
It is very easy to cultivate some person by quietly and graciously introduce them to a Bible-teaching church or radio program. There are many ways in which you can be a light in the world.
These verses say that you and I are to let our light so shine in this world that we may glorify our Father in Heaven. In the present time, in this lost world in which you and I live, our prime motivation should be to bring glory to God. This is something that every Christian should consider very seriously. The aim and purpose of our lives should be go glorify God.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what Christ is like.
We hide out lights by (1) being quiet when we should speak, (2) going along with the crowd, (3) denying the light, (4) letting sin dim our light, (5) not explaining the light to others, (6) ignoring needs of others….
Be a beacon of truth! Don’t shut your light off from the rest of the world!
Let the light of Jesus Christ shine through you all of the time. Be like Jesus and be a light unto the world….