120930 sm 04 oh my goodness - Matthew 5_13

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Lesson 4 in a series on the Sermon on the Mount. Adapted from a lesson with the same title by Chip Bell at www.Bible.org. Presented September 30, 2012, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells.

Lesson 4 in a series on the Sermon on the Mount. Adapted from a lesson with the same title by Chip Bell at www.Bible.org. Presented September 30, 2012, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells.

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  • The New Testament tells us about the things that Jesus taught his followersas he tried to change their way of thinking to get them to think from God’s perspective instead of from a limited human perspective. Today we continue our study of the “Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5-7.
  • We’re studying Matthew 5-7, also known as the Sermon on the Mount. It’s one of the lessons Jesus taught to those who followed him. Here Jesus introduces them to something called God’s Kingdom. That’s why we’re calling Matthew 5-7 “The Disciple’s Handbook”, because in it Jesus tells his followers what they need to know as citizens of God’s Kingdom.
  • Continuing to look at the Disciple’s character from Matthew 5:1-16.For three weeks, looking at Beatitudes, nine values that characterize disciples. Kingdom isn’t something you qualify for by leading an upright life and performing great acts of service for mankind. Belongs to those who are spiritually bankrupt, to those who are filled with grief because of what sin has done to our world, and to those who cannot handle on their own everything life throws at them. The place where we will finally have justice, but at the same time we will be forgiven of all our mistakes and misdeeds. Possible because Jesus died for us, satisfying justice and providing us with his own purity, allowing us to enter into God’s presence absolutely perfect. As disciples, we work for peace between God and man and among men. But our efforts will be answered with persecution, insults, and slander. We will suffer for doing the right thing and we will suffer just because we are associated with Jesus. Jesus naturally goes on to discuss the issue of living on earth more thoroughly.
  • In the next verses, 13-16, Jesus uses two metaphors—two word pictures—to describe the role his followers will play during their “layover” here on earth. If you are a follower of Jesus, these two pictures tell you what you’re here for. Jesus says you are salt and light. You are here to make a difference.One who made a difference: Father Damien of Molokai, January 3, 1840 – April 15, 1889), was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium. Video by Max Lucado, who was a student of Neil Lightfoot.
  • For the next two lessons, we’re going to study these two pictures. They are found side-by-side in Matthew 5:13-16. This week, we begin with the first picture in verse 13.
  • Salt was very common in Jesus’ day, but also a valuable substance.Were you surprised that I came up with nine uses of salt in the ANE?Pliny the Elder, Natural History (Roman encyclopedia written AD 77-79) 31. 102: "Nothing is more useful than salt and sunshine“.No wonder Jesus used metaphors of salt (today) and light (next sermon)
  • Preservative (preventing spoilage of food).No refrigeration.Salt was rubbed into meat, a little salt would slow decay.Fish that were caught in the Sea of Galilee were packed in salt and sent to market in Jerusalem.The salt kept the fish from spoiling.
  • Seasoning (adding flavor to food) – Condiment. When salt is applied to food properly, it is not so that one can taste the salt, but so that enhances the taste of the food.Job 6:6 NIV84 Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the white of an egg?
  • Medicinal (healing and cleansing) – Curative powers. Hinders spread of corruption. Rubbed on newborns as antiseptic. God said the following to the people of Jerusalem:Ezekiel 16:4 NIV84 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths.Disciples are called to be a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low, constantly changing, or non-existent.We can discharge this function only if we retain our virtue.
  • Restorative (sustaining body moisture in very dry climates). Hikers are encouraged to take salt tablets to keep their body chemistry right.Table salt is one of the key ingredients in Gatorade.Creates thirst. In moderation, it prevents dehydration. In excess, it causes dehydration. Think about this as we go along: What is beneficial in moderation is harmful in excess.
  • Agricultural (farmers used salt as a fertilizer) – Salt was used in the ancient world … in small doses as a fertilizer (cf. Eugene P. Deatrick, "Salt, Soil, Savor," BA 25 [1962]: 44- 45, also BDAG 41). But in large quantities, it made land barren.
  • Sterilization (used to sterilize soil in conquered areas).When Abimelech defeated Shechem, we read:Judges 9:45 NIV84 All that day Abimelech pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.Whatwas beneficial in moderation can be harmful in excess.
  • Religious (added to sacrifices)Leviticus 2:13 NIV84 Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.
  • Ceremonial (used to confirm treaties and alliances)2 Chronicles 13:5 NIV84 5 Don't you know that the LORD, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?
  • Economic (means of exchange)Sometimes Roman soldiers were paid in salt (Pentecost, p. 78)If one of them was not performing his duties well, it was said that “he wasn’t worth his salt”. The etymology of “salary” is “salt”.Probably one ought not to be looking for anything too precise. The main point is that salt has the capacity to benefit in quite fundamental ways. But, as we’ve seen, also keep in mind that what is beneficial in moderation can be harmful in excess.
  • Top three answers: 26% - Preservative30% - Seasoning21% - MedicinalRest of the answers:7% - Restorative3% - Agricultural2% - Sterilization9% - Religious2% - Ceremonial0% - Economic
  • 5% - Preservative16% - Seasoning2% - Medicinal2% - Restorative7% - Agricultural19% - Sterilization9% - Religious14% - Ceremonial26% - Economic
  • ‘to have salt’ in oneself as making for peace with others
  • speech ‘seasoned with salt’ as gracious speech, offering apt answers You add distinctiveness to the flavor of life on earth and you help to preserve human society; you keep it from spoiling. What is it about a believer that makes life more palatable and pure? I think Jesus is talking about the basic goodness that should characterize his disciples. If you’re putting his words into practice in your life, then you will become like Jesus – compassionate, truthful, honest, kind and loving. Characterized by: presence of good deeds and absence of vices. The kind of person that others are attracted to just because you are such a good person. Believers have made this world a better place. Hospitals, orphanages and universities opened in name of Christ. Missionaries have brought literacy, medicine, education, and practical training to millions in the name of Christ. American believers have been extremely generous in gifts to the world. But some have murdered, stolen and fought wars in name of Christ. Some have promoted racial and gender discrimination with the claim of biblical authority. These acted in the name of Christ, but did not obey the teachings of Christ.
  • ^ Because it is the teachings of the Bible (almost exclusively among the world’s beliefs) that elevated women to their proper place as human beings equal in value to any man. ^ Inspired the prohibition of slavery^ Promotes equal treatment of all people because they are all equally valuable to God. ^ Formed the basis of western law^ Inspired democratic freedom. ^ Has been a reliable moral compass that has served mankind well for thousands of years despite all the attempts to distort it or misrepresent it. ^ Teaches the principles of honesty, fidelity, respect for others, respect for property, justice, generosity, and non-retaliation. ^ Promotes peace and encourages men to treat each other with kindness, patience, compassion and understanding.
  • Those who follow Jesus and put the words of the Bible into practice have had and continue to have a tremendous impact on this world for good. That is what Jesus means when he says, “You are the salt of the earth.” If we follow the Disciple’s Handbook, we will be “a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low, constantly changing or non-existent.” (Tasker) And we will greatly benefit the world by the good deeds we do. You are the salt of the earth: a preservative, a flavor enhancer. As you follow the teachings of Jesus, pursuing good deeds and personal purity, you make this sorry world a much better place to live.
  • 21% - It gets old through disuse19% - It combines with other substances chemically42% - It becomes weaker as it is mixed with impurities9% - It leaches from material it is mixed with9% - It cannot lose its saltinessThis would be the answers the rabbis would give. Salt cannot lose its saltiness.
  • Talmud: R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a. d. 90), was asked "When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?“ He replied, "By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule." He was then asked, "Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?" to which he replied: "Can salt lose its flavor?" The point is that both are impossible. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. Similar to Matthew 19:24 NIV84 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a (sewing)needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.“The verb μωρανθη (moranthe, "loses its saltiness") is used four times in the NT. In Rom 1: 22 and 1 Cor 1: 20 it has its more common meaning "to make or become foolish" (cf. cognate μωρε["fool"] in Matthew 5:22). Romans 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?Disciples who lose their savor are in fact making fools of themselves. A disciple who does not live like a disciple (5:3-12) is worth no more than tasteless salt - and tasteless salt is no better than dirt.
  • Here’s one of the things we’ve tried: Being confrontational
  • 84% - Yes16% - NoLet’s think about that a bit.Little – palatable; Lot – inedibleLittle – restorative; Lot – dehydrationLittle – fertilizer; Lot - sterilization
  • Westboro Baptist Church is one of the most offensive so-called Christian groups in our nation.They’re so bad that I saw a video of the KKK protesting the Westboro Baptist Church at a military funeral.Just how bad do you have to be so that a group of White supremacist bigots who hate Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and basically anyone who is not a White Anglo Saxon Protestant would protest you?Yet they claim to be speaking for God with the signs on these two slides.
  • There were so many videos that I wanted to include, but they were so offensive that I just couldn’t bring myself to share them with you.I even saw a video in which they claim that God sent the shooters to Aurora, CO, Tucson, AZ, Fort Hood, TX, Columbine, etc.
  • I thought about including video of Steven L. Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church, in Tempe, AZ, who preached a sermon on “Why I Hate Barack Obama”, in which he said he gets on his knees at night and prays that the President will die a horrible death.I thought about including video of Terry Jones, the preacher at the Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, FL, who burned a Quran this Spring, then claimed he wasn’t responsible for the deaths of Americans abroad in the protests that followed. More recently, he’s been linked with that movie “Innocence of Muslims” that has cause a world-wide fire storm.How do you pour gasoline on a fire, and then say you’re not responsible that people get burned?
  • Everything the Bible says about getting in the world’s face over homosexuality, abortion, military service, etc.^ That’s right – NOTHING!By marching with inflammatory and offensive placards, writing unkind editorials, boycotting businesses who make charitable contributions or try to provide equal benefits to all their employees, by treating this as a war of us vs. them, are we making this world a purer and more palatable place?” I think not. These protests don’t promote morality; but they give a false impression to the world that Christians are unloving, unkind bigots who hypocritically believe we are morally superior and are selfish and insensitive enough to think that our views of right and wrong should be forced on others. Christians organize protests about gay marriage and abortion, but not greed, gossip, adultery, lying or self-righteous pride? Why? Sometimes the desire to promote morality in our society motivates Christians to try to legislate against sin. I believe there is a legitimate place for morality in politics (and we’ll talk about that in a minute). But I also believe that we have not been careful, fair or kind in some laws that the Christian community has promoted and endorsed.
  • If anyone had the standing to condemn the world over its sin, it was Jesus. And yet he did not. If that is what we are supposed to be doing, then why didn’t Jesus do it? And why didn’t he specifically tell us to? This verse immediately follows a verse that you’ve probably heard of:
  • It’s clear in the Bible that the message of Jesus and his followers to the sinful world is one of love and forgiveness, not one of condemnation and confrontation. But you might be saying, “Yes, the message is all about forgiveness. But these people don’t know that they need forgiveness and they won’t know unless I tell them.” You know what? The Bible says that job belongs to someone else.
  • It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convince people that they are guilty and need forgiveness. That’s not our job. That shouldn’t be our approach. Instead, we are there to offer forgiveness to those who recognize they need it. Remember this verse from last week?
  • The preachers in the early church took a much different approach than the protestors of our day. They lived in a society that was terribly corrupt; a society in which abortion was commonplace and homosexuality was accepted as an alternate lifestyle. And yet the New Testament says absolutely nothing about any protests, confrontations, boycotts, or petitions against sin in society. When speaking to unbelievers, they did not condemn their sin. They did not even try to point out how sinful they were. They only stressed that God was offering them forgiveness and pleaded with them to turn to God and accept his forgiveness for their sins. There are many passages in the New Testament that confront sin and talk about how inappropriate it is. But you know what? As far as I know, every one of those passages is addressed to Christians and deals with the issue of sin in the church among believers. They do not reproach unbelievers for their sin. Rather, they plead with them to accept forgiveness if they recognize they need it.
  • That brings us to the question of what we need to do in order to be the salt of the earth, in order to have purifying and palatable influence on the world.
  • The word “in” (μέσος) here actually means “in the middle of”, like salt rubbed into the meat. When you live in the middle of a crooked and depraved society, it can be difficult to maintain the kind of goodness that Jesus teaches us to pursue. It’s easy to let our moral standards lapse. It’s easy to take care of ourselves instead of serving others. In other words, it’s easy to lose our saltiness.
  • But if we really want to have a moral influence the world, the biblical way to do it is to actually live moral lives ourselves. Kids worry a lot about whether their brothers and sisters are doing what they’re supposed to do. They come in and say, “Mom, Johnny’s got one of those things you told everybody not to touch.” I used to get really tired of all the help I get from Carlaraising Jennifer. I’d say, “Look, you worry about you. You’ve got more than enough work to do making sure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do and not doing what you’re not supposed to do. Leave your sister alone.” That might be good advice for us as Christians. Is there some reason, biblical or otherwise why we can’t concentrate on our own morality and quit worrying about whether or not the other sinners are sinning?
  • Research shows that the incidence of adultery, pre-marital sex and divorce is roughly the same inside the church as it is in society as a whole. ^ Christians can be ungenerous, stingy and hard to please. Have you ever cringed to see a fish symbol – because you know they’re going to be a pain to work with?If followers of Jesus are to be the salt of the earth, we must begin by working on our own morality. I think we’ve got more than enough to keep us busy. At least I do. Can you imagine what kind of impact the church would have on society if Christians really practiced what they believe, if they purged themselves of sin and concentrated on being good, decent, kind people? Is there something that you need to change? I’m not going to picket your house. I’m going to remind you that Jesus offers you forgiveness so you can be rid of the sin that feels comfortable but is eating away at your soul. The church is meant to be a place where sinners are forgiven and then commit themselves to living a life of moral purity. That’s how we will influence our world.
  • We live in a somewhat unique government. In a sense, we the people are the rulers of our country. As Christians, I think it is appropriate that we ask ourselves, “What kinds of laws should a Christian ruler make?” We don’t have time to go into a lot of detail about this issue but I think it is very appropriate that we vote, write, speak, and persuade other citizens to pass morally upright laws. There are just two observations I’d like to make about how we do it. First, I think we need to be kind. We are called to be peacemakers not rabble-rousers. If we cannot speak about politics kindly then let’s not speak about it at all. For the Christian, I believe there is no place at all in the political process for cruelty, anger, or belligerence. What about protests? I don’t know. It depends what look like. Are they kind and respectful or belligerent? If someone did the same thing to our church because they disagreed with what we believed, would you consider it persecution? If so, then what authority do we have for persecuting those who disagree with God that a certain behavior isn’t sin?
  • Political conservatives usually focus on two or three moral issues to the exclusion of others. The Bible does teach that homosexual conduct and abortion are wrong. But it also teaches that it is wrong to deny justice to the poor, or to discriminate against a person because he has a different parentage, or to abuse the environment, or to wage war for selfish or capricious reasons. It also teaches about many other sins, the kinds of things that none of us want our government to police, prosecute or punish. Some of these moral issues are priorities for political liberals. And yet the war cry of the political conservatives is so loud in the church that often these other “liberal” moral issues get lost in the din. If this is how a believer feels about the political views of the typical church, just imagine how we come across to unbelievers. I believe there is a place for a Christian to promote morality in society through the political process.
  • Whether we like it or not, we live in a country that is ruled by the majority of the people. And the law of our land says that, whether or not it conforms to biblical teaching, the majority gets to decide what will be allowed. Is there any reason that we cannot join in the dialogue and advocate our personal support for a particular moral position without demonizing those who disagree? That would be an appropriate way to influence the morality of our society—as one citizen, respectfully expressing a personal opinion that is informed by the teachings of Jesus in the Bible. The existence of moral laws will not bring morality to our society. But, if we pursue our own personal morality, if we live like the good, decent, honest, generous, upright people that God wants us to be, then we will have an purifying and palatable effect on the world. We will be the salt of the earth. Are you making a difference?

Transcript

  • 1. OH! MY GOODNESS! Matthew 5:13THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOKStudies in the Sermon on the Mount
  • 2. THE DISCIPLE’S HANDBOOK Worship Economy Code RelationshipsCharacter Disciple’s Choices
  • 3. THE DISCIPLE’S CHARACTERLifestyles of the Poor and Nameless (5:1-5)With Liberty and Justice for Me (5:6-8)Peace Without Honor (5:9-12)Oh, My Goodness! (5:13)
  • 4. ONE WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE Father Damien of Molokai
  • 5. FATHER DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI
  • 6. A METAPHOR: SALT Matthew 5:13
  • 7. Matthew 5:13"You are the salt of the earth.
  • 8. Uses ofSalt Preservative
  • 9. Uses ofSalt Seasoning Preservative
  • 10. Uses ofSalt Medicinal Seasoning Preservative
  • 11. Uses ofSalt Medicinal Restorative Seasoning Preservative
  • 12. Uses of AgriculturalSalt Medicinal Restorative Seasoning Preservative
  • 13. Uses of AgriculturalSalt Medicinal Restorative Seasoning Preservative Sterilization
  • 14. Uses of AgriculturalSalt Medicinal Restorative Seasoning Preservative Sterilization Religious
  • 15. Uses of AgriculturalSalt Medicinal Restorative Seasoning Preservative Sterilization Religious Ceremonial
  • 16. Uses of Agricultural EconomicSalt Medicinal Restorative Seasoning Preservative Sterilization Religious Ceremonial
  • 17. 1. Salt had a variety of uses in the ancient world. Of thefollowing, which do you think Jesus had foremost in his mind when he said disciples are "the salt of the earth"? 2% 0% 2% 9% Preservative 3% 26% Seasoning 7% Medicinal Restorative 21% Agricultural Sterilization 30% Religious Ceremonial Economic
  • 18. 2. Which of the following do you think least represents whatJesus meant when he said disciples are "the salt of the earth"? 5% 26% 16% Preservative Seasoning 2% 2% Medicinal 7% Restorative 14% Agricultural Sterilization 9% 19% Religious Ceremonial Economic
  • 19. Mark 9:50 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt inyourselves, and be at peace with each other."
  • 20. Colossians 4:5-6Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;make the most of every opportunity. 6 Letyour conversation be always full ofgrace, seasoned with salt, so that you mayknow how to answer everyone.
  • 21. The influence of the BibleElevated Eliminated Promotes Basis ofwomen slavery equality western lawInspired Moral Vital Promotesfreedom compass principles peace
  • 22. Matthew 5:13"You are the salt of the earth.
  • 23. Notice the end of the verse: 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.
  • 24. 4. How can salt lose its saltiness? 9% It gets old through disuse 21%9% It combines with other substances chemically 19% It becomes weaker as it is mixed with impurities42% It leaches from material it is mixed with It cannot lose its saltiness
  • 25. What does this mean?But if the salt loses itssaltiness, how can it be madesalty again? It is no longer goodfor anything, except to be thrownout and trampled by men.
  • 26. WHAT WE’VE TRIED Being Confrontational
  • 27. 3. Salt can be beneficial in small quantities, but harmful in larger quantities. Do you think that disciples sometimes domore harm than good by trying to overpower the world, rather than simply influencing it? 16% Yes No 84%
  • 28. Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, KS
  • 29. Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, KS
  • 30. Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, KS
  • 31. Incendiary Christians
  • 32. The Bible on Christian Activism
  • 33. John 3:17God did not send his Son into theworld to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
  • 34. John 3:16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoeverbelieves in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • 35. John 16:8 When [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict theworld of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:
  • 36. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20God ... gave us the ministry of reconciliation: … 20 We are Christs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. Weimplore you on Christs behalf: Be reconciled to God.
  • 37. WHAT WE NEED TO DO 1. Pursue Personal Morality
  • 38. Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may becomeblameless and pure, children of God withoutfault in a crooked and depraved generation.
  • 39. The Biblical way to influence the world
  • 40. Sin exists in the church
  • 41. WHAT WE NEED TO DO 1. Pursue Personal Morality 2. Advocate Morality as a Citizen
  • 42. 1 Peter 3:15-16Do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.
  • 43. Imagine how we come across to unbelievers!
  • 44. ARE YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE?