Verse: Matthew 5:13–5:14
In our study of Matthew chapter 5, we move from the Beatitudes to what is often called The Similitudes. Here Jesus is saying that the citizens of His kingdom are salt and light of this world. We first need to understand what these things meant in the time of Jesus. Salt was used for much more than it is used today. It was used in offering Leviticus 2:13, or ratification of covenants Numbers18:19, friendship between people or tribes, disinfectant after childbirth Ezekiel 16:4, and as currency. Most importantly it was used for preservation of meats. This is what Jesus had in mind when he said these things. He knew that the world system is decaying and has placed us in this world to preserve it. As human beings, we corrupt everything and our sinful desires are influencing and destroying society. Christian influence is the only preservative. Where there is a strong, just and compassionate society there will be a strong Christian influence. The Holy Spirit has been given to this world to restrain lawlessness. This is the same Holy Spirit that lives within us as Christians. We have what the world needs. Jesus says this is what we already are not just what we should be.
1. How do we as Christians slow the decay of the world around us?
- How can you, or do you stand up for what is right?
2. How is your Christian influence preserving the world around you?
- Are you truly acting as salt and light?
3. As a community group, how can we be salt and light to our communities?
Salt adds flavor, so as kingdom citizens not only do we preserve and disinfect, we also bring flavor to this world. We should live our lives in a way that people will see us and want to have what we have. We must live our lives to the fullest as God intended, creating culture and not borrowing from the world’s culture. They should look to us to see how we live our lives. Salt naturally creates thirst, and so as Gods people it should create a thirst for the things of God. By looking at the lives we live, people around us become open to what God would have for their life. Jesus also speaks of us as a light. Where salt is subtle light is obvious. We should live our lives in a way that we bring the light into the lives of those around us. People are living in darkness and we are the light in the world. We cannot hide it. Our faith is meant to be public and lived out conspicuously. We must Love our neighbors as ourselves imitating Christ while getting to know and serve others Hebrew 13:1-2. We must be hospitable and welcoming to strangers and most importantly tell them about Jesus presenting the Gospel well Colossians 4:2-5. We are Christ's representatives in this world and so we must be lights in everything we do so that we can give glory to God.
1. How are we going to be light in this world?
2. In what ways have you tried to hide your light?
3. How are we doing as a church?
- Do we love our neighbors? How?
- Are we imitating Christ? How?
- Are we getting to know and serving others? How?
- Are we hospitable and welcoming? How?
- Are we sharing the Gospel? How?
4. Is the way we live a witness to the world