all right if you'll take your Bibles this morning and turn to Matthew Chapter five Matthew, Chapter five. We prepare to complete our Siri's God's Kingdom on Earth. The contemporary Christian group Casting Crowns has a song and titled What This World Needs and I Want to share some of the lyrics with you for just a moment says what this world needs is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind.
Another two pit politician peddling lives another three ring circus society. What this world needs is not another sign waving super that thinks he's better than you. Another ear pleasing candy man Afraid of the truth, another prophet in an Armani suit.
What this world needs is a savior who will rescue a spirit who will lead a father who will love them in their time of need. The world needs Jesus a man, and he wants to use the church to get to them. We're the only ones who have the solution to everybody's deepest problem.
You know that, and that being the case, we need to be overcome. Er's, as we've talked about in the Serie is not just for our sake but for the sake of the whole world. I mean, no big deal, right? Weight of the world on your shoulders, that kind of thing, you know, No big deal.
We just got the whole world that we're supposed to be looking at a man. So who are we to the world? The world perceives us, is weak, old fashioned, hateful, intolerant and maybe even unintelligent. They do.
But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about who we're meant to be to the world from God's perspective. What? Who does he say we are to the world Who has he re created us to be to this world.
We've talked about who we are to God. We talked about who we are to each other. Today. We'll talk about who we are to the world, who God has called us to be and why that is extremely important. According to Matthew, 5 13 through 16 were solved and light.
It's one of the first things Jesus said of us. Did you know that looking at those versus strong Verse 13 you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty? again.
It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by man. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket.
But on the lamp stand, and it gives like toe all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your father, who is in heaven. Those who believe in Jesus or called the salt and light by Jesus, which means if we really believe in Jesus and that he's the messiah of the world, that he's our lord and he's our savior.
If he's called us to be salt in light, then that's an edict from our master. Now, salt back then was not like salt. Today we got a story by salt with these, you know it's a condiment, us. We just add it to kind of flavor our food.
But in the ancient world, salt was rare and quite valuable. In fact, it was a commodity Onley enjoyed by the elites. Some of us in this room would not have been privileged to have much salt around the house in that tae in time, it was so valuable that it was often used as currency.
In fact, in ancient Greece, when they would go to try to purchase a slave, they would use salt. And that's where we get the phrase. He's not worth his salt because sometimes they would look at the potential slave and say he's not worth the salt that I have.
I'm not buying it. That's not a common on slavery, but that's just where it comes from. Despite its value, if it lost its flavor, it lost its purpose. And, as Jesus says here is good for nothing more than to be scattered on pathways and walked on, which was a common thing in Israel.
Because the dead sea salt was full of impurities and didn't last long, it wasn't very good. Salt assault has several purposes, but the two most common are the most support for us this morning. Salt's preservative of food, thus lengthening the life of food.
It also changes the flavor of food, transforming its taste. So when Jesus cause of salt, he's telling us that we are a valuable part of his kingdom, his kingdom on earth. He's telling us that were intended to be used by him to transform and preserve the lives of other people with whom we come in contact.
Much like your salt comes in contact with your food from religion. Religious standpoint, salt symbolizes purity, which means we are to touch the lives of the impure and sinful with the purity of Christ in us so that they might be made new in him.
We gotta realize something here that's very important. If salt can lose its flavor and become useless and were solved, and so can we. If we let sin creep into our lives and allow that impurity and sinfulness to come in, then instead of spreading the purity of Jesus Christ in us, we're spreading the same impurities of the world to those around us at salt were either pure and Christ are impure on our own.
If we go our way in life and forsake the things of the world, we become impure. We may be safe, but we're not able to spread the pure salt that Jesus wants us to spread. To avoid that, we must abide in him and crucify the flesh with its passions and desires.
That way we can walk in the purity of the spirit of God and be pure life changing salt to the world around us. But she's also says we're light. The light is illuminating. We turn the lights off in here it would considerably dimmer, but because the sun shining outside we would still have light coming in.
But light dispels the darkness. The history of light begins in Genesis. Woman God said, Let there be light. This tells us that light was created by God. A man would go on to produce the light from elements that God created light with fire light produced through the use of oil and even gases and ultimately through electricity.
But man has never spoken light into existence. Never. You can't walk in the room and go Let there be light and these lights will Come on. You might be able to go if you got a clapper network. Yet that woke you up, didn't it? If you have a clapper, that'll wake you up.
But they turn the lights on. It'll do about light is ultimately from God. Who is the father of lights. According to James, 1 17 Jesus says were the light of the world, since we've just discovered it all.
Light is ultimately from God that he has to make us light, doesn't it? Which makes sense. We look at John 8 12 on the screen. Jesus says I am the light of the world that Wait a minute. I thought we were Chris.
That's what Jesus just said. Here you are. The light of the world will look at the rest of the verse because it's both. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life if we have him.
We have light in us. We have him in us. He is the light of life. But we become that light. When we receive him, we become the ones he wants to use to shared. Spread the gospel into shine forth his truth and his goodness and his love for the world around us.
He's the light of life In my relationship with him, we become that same light as such. We had to chase away darkness in all forms. We've got these lanterns at work. What he wants to buy them. I don't know why.
Well, I don't know why they're expensive, that's why. But their little blue tooth lanterns and they're rechargeable. And you can take it in. It will play your music. You can have it out. You have something out on your deck with your friends.
You can play music through it and have light as it gets darker outside. And you could pick it up and you can carry it around and put it someplace place because it's mobile. Well, are we kind of mobile? Are we kind of like that? Aren't we supposed to be carrying our light? Aren't we supposed to be just going to the world and taking that light and spreading that light everywhere we go? In fact, we're told us to go in all the world to make disciples.
I mean, as you go as you go through your life, your daily life. But I'm talking about going all the way to Africa, to Asia. I understand that as you go through your life, be lines dispel the darkness of the world around us.
If we're concerned about the darkness of the world around us and we should return to being the light of life. Listen to this. If you get nothing else, remember this. The world gets darker when God's people grow dimmer and we sit back and weak line and we complain about how bad the world's getting well, then start shot and stop whining and start shot An Amen, because that's what's gonna change this world.
That's what's gonna make a difference in this world. Where to shine his light in the world in order to track people to Jesus like a moth to a flame. You know what that's like. You're sitting there and you got a light going.
You're sitting on that debt. Maybe with that land and I was talking about and the darkness is all around. You know, of a sudden what comes out of the month comes out of the darkness, leaves the darkness to get to the light.
But if the light's not shining, it won't do that. Just stay in the darkness cause that's all it does to shine forth the truth of God so that I could see it accepted where the shine forth of love of God so that others who are settling for cheap imitation could come to know the love.
The true love of God in verses, 14 15 talks about taking that light and not hiding it. Not It's like a city on a hill. You can't hide it. Don't put it under a basket, but put it on a what on a lamp stand.
In other words, let God put you in a place of prominence so that you can shine and be seen by many. Listen, I want to tell you something. It's not humility to be a closet Christian. It's disobedience for 16.
Let your light shine before men that such way they may see your good works and glorify your father, who is in heaven. The light is meant to draw attention to our good work so that people can be say, Jesus is telling us to be life transforming salt and light that reveal sin and exposes the deeds done in darkness and shows people are contrast ing good works overall, what Jesus is telling us is to be representations of Christ.
To be representations of Christ, Turn if you will to John, Chapter 15 John, Chapter 15. How do we do that? How we representations of Christ being a representation of Christ is really not something we can put on, but rather something he makes us when we stay close to him.
The closer we are to him, the more likely we are to be a representation of Christ in my front yard at my house and some in my backyard. I have a few. I have azalea bushes. I mean, you've got azalea bushes.
They're all over the place here in south east North Carolina. I've gotta sell your bushes. What draws a person's attention to an azalea bush? Somebody tell me the flowers, the blooms, They're beautiful.
But the blooms only exist because their branches that lead back to a root in the ground through which life comes to the bush so it can bloom. So we could say that what makes the azalea bush beautiful is really the unseen route, because without the route that Bush should be nothing, it would die.
And of course, the balloon cannot exist on its own. And so, without the route, we would lose the beauty of the azalea Bush. That's a picture of the Church of Jesus gives us another one here in John 15 just the 1st 8 versus Reed.
I'm not gonna break them down a lot. Just let me read them and I'll refer back to the sun. I am the true vine and my father's the vine dresser. Every branch and me that does not bear fruit. He takes away in every branch that bears fruit.
He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already cleaned because of the word which I have spoken to. You abide in me and I in you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in divine.
So neither can you unless you abide in may. I am divine. You are the branches he who abides in me and I in him. He bears much fruit for a part. For me you could do nothing If anyone does not abide in me.
He has thrown away as a branch dries up and they gathered them, cast them into the fire and they're burned. If you abide in me and my words about it, you ask whatever you wish and it'll be done for you.
My father is glorified by this that you bear much fruit and so proved to be my disciples. We are attached to Jesus, who is divine here in Jesus analogy and my analogy of the azalea Bush is the root of the plans.
We branch out his branches from him with him and our center, and we go out in all different directions, representing Jesus wherever we go. We represented because we've taken on his name and call ourselves Christians.
How well we represent him is determined by how closely we abide in him. Jesus says If we abide in him, we will bear fruit guaranteed guarantee. What do we say attracts us to an azalea bush? The blue right? We don't pass by one look down to the ground to say my with a beautiful route, right? We don't do that.
We don't look at the gnarly, twisted branches. Say my what beautiful branches, though you are, by the way we noticed the blooms. I'm about to rattle your cage a little here, but hang with me. What makes us attractive? The world as Christians is not Jesus because they don't know he's in us unless we tell him.
And it certainly isn't us. It's the fruit we there. When people look at the church, they're looking for the blooms. They're looking to see what we are producing to see the result of our existence. The biggest reasons people give for rejecting Christ is that the church is full of hypocrites, and they also are looking at the negative effects the church has had on the world.
And we've had some the lost or looking for results and will reject Jesus based on negative results or accept him based on positive results in the church. Because that's what they're looking for, their looking for blooms that are beautiful.
They may also see nothing if they see no blooms or no fruit. Listen, and all they see is dark, useless branches that are no different from the world, and they come to believe the route is dead. So if we're going to represent Christ of the world, we have to abide in him that we bear fruit.
Once we bear fruit, others will notice and want to join in and don't get confused here. The fruit is not souls. It's not new. Converts become branches tied to the root. Who is Jesus? The fruit or the bloom is the good works Christ calls us to do that we talked about back in Matthew so that when they see our good works, that's when they'll be saved and glorify our father in heaven.
They're looking for our works. They're looking at our works. Good works is helping people impacting our community in a positive way, praying for and with people volunteering. Those are the things people notice about us, the tangible things they can see and recognize that there's something different about us.
Listen, people see Jesus just because you want by you might know he's in you, but they don't. The only way they'll ever truly know he is in you is through your good works. Sharing the gospel is still necessary, but people who are blind to the things the Lord will still need to see living proof that your God is real and that comes through good works.
Seeing the goodness of God flowing through you. Some might be concerned that I'm promoting a social gospel I'm not. We still must be gospel messengers so that we frame our good works in the person of Jesus.
Natalie likes to do artwork, and she's got a bunch of it around the house. Well, you go to an art gallery. You don't just see just a canvas there with its rough edges, with a painting there. What's around that painting? There's a frame around that painting.
Why? Because it takes that beautiful painting, which is what really attracts attention. But it sets it out from the wall and it defines it. It gives it parameters. It says. Look inside of me. Look at what's here.
The painting itself attracts the eye, but the frame defines it because it's a place to dwell if you will. Our good works are like a beautiful painting, but we must find a way to draw people's attention off of what we do and point to the one and whose name we do it.
We must frame are works in Jesus. We must say, this is who I am. This is my good works all fall within Jesus Christ, the framed within Jesus Christ. He defines may. He is who I am. I'm not blending into the wall around me or the world around me.
I'm defined by this frame that is Jesus Christ, and the beauty of my life is all set out there for you to see because of him in Romans Tan. You could just listen this or you could turn to if you want.
Romans tan 14 through 17. I'm gonna start if you get there. That's fine. How then, were they calling him and whom they've not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher how they preach unless they're sent? Just It is written.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things. However, they did not all heed the good news for Isaiah, says Lord, who has believed our report. So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.
Even if they see our good works, they still must call on the name of the Lord to be saved, not my name. Even if the work's your mind. Salvation is not not the name of Bolivia Baptist Church. Even if we help people, we still can't save them.
We have to point them to the frame, point them to the root point into Jesus. We have to tell them to attach themselves to him as the only source of salvation. And it's not easy. Some people don't want admit they're saying and turn to Jesus and repentance.
Some think that their goodness is enough, but they're good enough because all people are inherently good. That's what our world doesn't want to leave today. Our message of sinful fallen man is not always well received.
That's why our good works must be consistent. Our peace and joy and Christ must be evident. That way, when we deliver the message, they will see our works, see our unity, CS sincerity and be more likely to receive Jesus.
We started this series with Matthew 16 18 on the screen. Upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of Haiti's will not overpower it. We have been built upon Jesus through the work of the apostles, for the purpose of impacting the world with good works and the gospel message.
The world needs us to pour out salt, shine forth light and represent Jesus. Well, who are we to the world? That's what we've asked today. Were Lifeline thrown out by Jesus doll for salvation, lost as his Children, his servants and his bride were too revealing to the world.
We do it by being a united family supporting each other, holding each other accountable under loneliness. Out of these things will flow the love of God to the world in the form of good words. As a result of the good works, we can earn the opportunity to share the gospel.
We are the kingdom of God on earth. It's who you are. If you've accepted Jesus as your lord and savior, it's who you are. You are not defined by your job. You are not defined by your family. You are not even defined by this church.
You are defined and framed by Jesus Christ and him alone. He is our master. He has called assault in light. We need to be that May we abide in him so that we are who we are to the world. Let's pray, Father.
Got it. Thank you for your word today. God, what a challenge that you have put on our hearts to be salt and light, Lord, Sometimes analogies. You didn't lay on the heart, but sometimes a week. Rabb. Salt in a wound.
It hurts. Sometimes the world doesn't want us to be salt, But it's exactly what they need us to bay. Lord, help us to be who we are supposed to be. Not settling for second best, but giving you our whole heart, her whole life, putting you first being who you have said we are to this world world that is lost in dying.
Lord, forgive us how we fall short of that. Remind us of this message throughout this week. Reveal the opportunities you're bringing our way, Phyllis, with the courage and the want to to obey you others might indeed see Jesus in our works.
We might then be able to tell them about you. I pray this now in Jesusname. Hey, man.