Saved For A Purpose
By Taylor Thompson on March 27, 2022
Saved For A Purpose
By Taylor Thompson on March 27, 2022
Well, good morning. It is great to be with you guys here this morning. Did anybody bring one of these with you, anybody have a Bible with them? Go ahead and open it up to Matthew chapter 5, the Sermon on the Mount. And if you don't have a Bible, you can grab one here in the back or over here on the side. We would encourage everybody to grab a Bible because today, we have the great privilege of hearing the greatest sermon ever preached by the greatest preacher who ever lived, Jesus Christ. And this is the longest recorded sermon that we have from Jesus. And so, once you find your place, if you would, please stand back up for the reading of God's Word. And we are going to zero in on Matthew 5:13-16 here this morning. These are the words of Jesus:
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
That ends the reading of God's word. You guys can go ahead and have a seat. And in our passage here from Jesus, he gives us two things, says two things here that you are, number one, he says in verse 13, that you are the salt of the earth. And then in verse 14, he says that you are the light of the world. But who is he talking to? Who is Jesus saying is the salt, who is Jesus saying is the light? Well, right before verse 13, we have the Beatitudes, and these are very well known. If you've grown up in church, let's look at them afresh. And let's just see the context. Start with me in Matthew 5:3. These are the Beatitudes and Jesus, he talks about the person who has a blessed life, someone who is happy. And this isn't a list of things that you need to go and do to be happy, you know. This is describing a Christian person. Look what it says in Matthew 5:3, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Are those people that are recognizing that they have a need for God? They are poor in their spirit; they need something from God. Well, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Verse 4 says, “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Hey, if you know that you have sin, you know that you have a need for God, well, you'll be blessed when you mourn over your sin, because then you can be comforted. Can't be comforted out of your sin. If you don't know that you're living in your sin. Verse 5 says, “If I know that I have sin,” I know that I have this need for God. Well, that's going to give me this humility, this meekness. “Blessed are those who are meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” You see, I have this humility of myself. I know that I need God, I know that he has something that I need that only he can give. And so, I start hungering and I start thirsting for this righteousness. When that happens, when God saves somebody, when he offers them and pulls them out of the darkness and brings them into the light, well, then now they have mercy. And not only do they have it, but they can extend it to other people. You see, being saved by God affects everything about you. Verse 7, says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Hey, now you can pass on the mercy that you have received from God; you can now extend that to other people. Verse 8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” You see, this changes who you are. This changes you from the inside out. You have now a purity in your heart. And look at the effects on the relationships around you. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Hey, people that used to be my enemies, people that I used to hate, well now I'm making peace with them, the same piece that I've received from God. Well, now I can pass that peace on. And if I'm living that way, if I have been pulled out of this darkness, I've been placed into the light of Christ and he has saved me, well, people aren't going to like that. And it says in Matthew 5:10-12, it talks about that you are blessed when you are persecuted. You see, persecution is coming for those who are living a godly life in Christ Jesus, and he says, if you are being persecuted for righteousness’s sake, for doing what is right, well then consider yourself blessed that you can actually be happy. They “persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Verse 12 says to rejoice “and be glad, for your award is great in heaven.” See, someone who can be persecuted, and they can rejoice through that. That sounds like somebody who's not of this world. That sounds like somebody who got God has saved. And so, when Jesus now gets into verse 13, it's almost as if he has this big crowd. We're on the Sermon on the Mount. And like today, we have this massive group and people, well God he's bringing all the people to himself, and he's speaking to them. But it's almost as if he leaves the crowd just for a moment. And he talks to the disciples, he talks to the followers of Jesus, and he looks at them and he says, you are the salt of the earth. I don't know if you've ever considered yourself as salt. But here this morning, we need to, if you are a Christian person, it doesn't matter if you want to or not, you are salt. The only question that our passage brings to us is, how salty are we? Right? I'm not talking about in the way that the high schoolers use it these days. It's something that's bitter, but a Christian is commanded to be salty. It says that that's who you are, that you are salt. And let's think about that for a minute. Because when we think about salt may be here today, in our culture, we don't use it the same way as maybe Jesus was speaking of it in his time. We think of it maybe as something that adds flavor. In fact, if you know this, in our cafe, we have some ladies here at our church that make these little goodies and they sell them in the café, and hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Double Double project. Right? Little commercial for everybody right there. Do you want to support the Double Double project? Go buy yourself a cookie.
And these cookies, I had to try one this week, because these cookies aren't just your normal cookies, they have this sea salt on them. And so, I'm like, hey, if I'm talking about salt and light here this morning, I had to go put the sermon in that application, right. You're going to have some salt. So, I went over and I bought a cookie. Actually, my coworker bought it for me; it's very nice of them. And they bought me a cookie and I had a piece and I kind of broke off a piece that didn't have any salt. And I threw that in my mouth. I'm like, okay, this is a good chocolate chip cookie, right? Moist, it's good. But then I had a bite that had salt all over it. And I thought, I’ve got to have some more of that. Like, I had to go back for more. I didn't just stop at one bite, I'm like, give me some more of that, because that was a good cookie. And so, this week, when you go to fellowship group, stop by the cafe and grab yourself a cookie on your way to group. But that's how we usually use salt here. And today, we use it as something that maybe adds flavoring to our food group. Back in a time when Jesus is speaking, they would have thought that salt is a very valuable thing. I mean, some people, they got paid in salt. And I don't know about you, I've never been tempted when seeing a nice Mercedes drive, by I've never thought to myself, wow, I wonder how much salt that set them back. Like I've never considered like that person must have a lot of salt in their cupboards at home. Look at that car they're driving! Sea salt was something that was very valuable. In fact, when Jesus is saying there's something, that would have been in their minds as they heard this because that salt was really meant to preserve decay. They didn't have fridges, at the time of Jesus, what they would do is they would take salt and they would rub it into the meat. And that would help preserve; that would slow down the decay or the corruption of that food. And so when Jesus gets on the scene here, and he's talking to his people, and he looks at them, and he says that you are the salt of the earth, what Jesus is saying is that you are the people that are going to slow down, you are going to stop the decay of corruption in society. You're the ones that are going to preserve the earth. That's one of your purposes. If you have been saved by God is that you are now salt. And the only question that Jesus brings up here is, are you salty? Have you lost your taste? And if we are going to be the salt of the earth, and we're going to do what Jesus has commanded us to do, if we're going to be who Jesus has set us free to be, well, then we have to know that this earth is corrupt, that this earth is full of sin. And that sin destroys, that sin leads to death.
See, God, he made the world, and when he made it, he made it perfect. And it even says in Genesis that God walked with Adam and the cool the day, there was no separation of sin between them. And because sin entered the world, well, it just started to destroy the world. And it didn't take long until Genesis chapter 6, when God destroyed the entire world with a flood because the unrighteousness here on planet earth was too much. And God said, I'm going to destroy this earth. And I'm going to give earth a second chance. And he saved Noah and his family and a couple of righteous people he put on that ark, and they were saved. And then fast forward just a couple more verses in the book of Genesis in chapter 19 talks about how Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of the rampant wickedness and sin that was going on in that city that God destroyed that city.
Go with me to the book of First John, First John chapter 2. If we're going to be the salt of the earth. We’ve got to have a biblical definition. We got to know what God says about the earth and what God says about this world that you and I are living in. And in 1 John 2:15, he tells us not to love the things of the world. And it says, do not love the things of the world that are in the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” For all that is in the world, here's the things that are in the world, that the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life is not from the Father, but it's from the world. What it says in verse 17, it says that “the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” So, you’ve got to see that the world, it has sin, and it's passing away. And it says that if you love the world, if you love the things that are in the world, well, the love of the Father is not in you, because you cannot love the world and love God; those things are two totally different things. I mean, Jesus talks about this later on in our passage, and then we'll get into that he is the light; light has nothing to do with darkness. There is no darkness within the light. In fact, that's what he says in 1 John chapter 2:5. It says, this is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. See, the world has sinned, the world has corruption, and God, what he's doing is he's calling us out of the darkness and into the light. And we have to see that this world, this world is passing away, that this world is not going to last forever. But he says in 1 John 2:17, those who do the will of God, those who have been pulled out of the darkness and into the light, those who are salt, now they will abide forever. That's the promise for you and me, if you are a Christian person, if you are the salt of the earth, if you are the light of the world, well then you will abide with God forever.
Go with me to Romans chapter 1. And we are getting ready to go into the book of Romans. We are in the book of Acts right now. And some of us are getting very excited about going through the book of Romans when Acts is done, because Romans is a masterclass of the gospel. This is where Paul is going to make a great defense for God in preaching the gospel. And so, we're really praying that God will really teach us here at this church, that God would save many souls as we go through this book. But in Romans chapter 1, God talks about how he's bringing wrath upon those people, those nations that do not follow him. It says in Romans 1:22-23. It says, “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Read this and listen and see if this does not sound like the world that we live in. “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
You see, I used to work at a place that sounded just like this. I don't work there anymore. I just want to let everybody know that. This used to describe the place that I used to work at. I mean, you read this, and you start thinking this sounds like the High Schools of America. This sounds like our college campuses. This might sound like the very place that you work at. And even things that had become so familiar in our culture, things that have become so common, like disobedience to parents, is that not something that is just rampant in our country? Like when we see a child say “Yes, mom” or “Yes, dad,” that like blows our minds. Like what? This kid is actually going to do what their parents said? You see that? That's something that sounds so out there. And yet it's put there right in this list. I mean, look at this list. I mean, this is describing our world; this is describing the place that you live in. And God, he's saying that you've been pulled out of this world. And he's made you to be the salt to slow down the corruption of this world. You see, this world needs salty Christians. This world needs you to go into it and to preserve it from the decay, from the corruption.
Put it down like this for point number one: View the world through the lens of Scripture. Hey, if we're going to be the salt of the earth, we’ve got to know what the earth is all about. We’ve got to know that this world is not going to last forever, that there is decay, that there is sin. And now, we have been called out of the world and we need to see the world. And we need to see it in a way that the Scripture describes. Another way to think about this is, what is your worldview? What do you think about the world? Do you think it's just a good place? And that it's just going to keep on going? Or do you see what Jesus is saying here, that when sin is rampant in the world, well, God, he's against that? And this world is passing away along with all its desires. You see, we as Christians, we have been commissioned; you have been set free by God, and one of the purposes of your life is to preserve the culture. And I wonder, just thinking about the spheres of influence that you have in maybe the place where you work. I mean, do you have a family? Do you have children? Are you a salt in their life? Are you a student? Are you amongst a group of peers? Are you sitting in a classroom? Is that classroom less sinful because you are there? No. Sometimes you will find out that you're a Christian, and they start replaying everything that they just said to you in their mind. Like, what did I say to you? I am so sorry for the way I've been talking. Have you ever heard somebody say that to you? Like that happens, just by the fact they know that you're a Christian?
My dad, he used to work in construction. And some of you know this, because maybe you're on the job site every day. I remember, I once did some fire alarms for a time. And I was installing fire alarm systems, and I could not believe day one, what I heard on those job sites, like the amount of sin, the amount of profanity, the amount of corruption that people were talking about, that they were laughing about, that they were celebrating. Hey, what did you do this weekend? Oh, I did this. And it was like, oh, that's awesome. Like people, the way that they talk on job sites, and the way that they dishonor the name of Jesus, the way that they just use his name as a curse word is so disgusting. And as a Christian person, we are called into the world to be the salt. And my dad, he used to work on these job sites. And he was the guy in charge on the job site. And so, when they came to his site, well, he kind of had some of his own rules. And if they came in and they did their job, well, it was a great day. But one of my dad's rules on that job site was that he was going to have a G-rated job site. And if you've never been on a G-rated job site before, well, what that is is that it's G-rated. You're not allowed to talk about certain things. And my dad, when he heard people blaspheme the name of Jesus, when he heard people use foul and inappropriate language, and talk about things that should never be spoken of, my dad would say, hey, there's the door; we'll see you tomorrow. Okay, come back when you’ve cleaned out your mouth. Now, I was not there for that. So, I don't know exactly how that all went down. But I would imagine that some of those bosses, right, you’ve got the guy in there doing the tile, you’ve got the guy in there painting, and they hear that, so kick them off the job site. And they’d call my dad and say, hey, what's the problem? Why did you kick my boys off the site? We got to finish this job. And he says, hey, they broke the rules. They're not supposed to talk the way they talk. And I bet that guy, okay, I'll talk to them. Boom. Hey, guys, I talked to him. That guy's crazy, right? He's not going to let you talk that way. Clean up your mouth, go back there, do the job. Get out of there. Like, that was my dad. That's who he is. He's saying, hey, as long as you're on this job site, there are certain things that we're not going to do. We're not going to profane the name of Christ, not going to profane the name of the one who came to die for my sin. Right? So even just his presence there. I mean, even it just it slowed it, it delayed the corruption of those men. They weren't allowed to talk that way. And that was a great example to those guys.
And so I just wonder, what are those places where you have that kind of influence? Are you being an impact? Are you being an influence in the places that God has called you to be the salt of the earth? Go with me back to Matthew chapter 5, and you'll see that Jesus, he says that you are the salt of the earth. But he actually spends more time talking about what happens when you lose your saltiness. When you lose your flavoring, when you lose your taste. He said, as in Matthew 5:13, that “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.” He goes on to say that you're “the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” People don't light lamps and put them under baskets. That makes zero sense. So, if you are the salt of the earth, the only question is, is how salty are you? How's your flavoring? Because whether you like it or not, you are the salt of the earth. If you are a Christian person, you are salt. And that is an encouraging word from Jesus this morning. And the clear, the simple message here today is that you need to be who Jesus made you. Jesus made you to be salt, and you need to go and be salt. And it talks about here how you can lose that taste, you can lose your saltiness. You see, salt can't become something different; it's going to be salt. But at the time of Jesus, they had these other minerals that could get mixed in with the salt. One of them was gypsum, and the gypsum would come into the salt, and it would kind of dilute it. And so, it's the saltiness, it didn't make it something different, but it made it less impactful. It couldn't do what salt was doing. You couldn't grind that salt in there with all these other materials and expect that it's going to slow down the decay of that meat. And so, Jesus is saying, hey, don't let that gypsum come in, hey, don't let your saltiness get distorted.
Go with me to 2 Timothy chapter 2. And 2 Timothy talks a little bit more about this, expands maybe on this thought. And in 2 Timothy chapter 2, it's going to give us an example here. It talks about this house that has vessels in this house. And it talks about when we cleanse ourselves from what is dishonorable, well, then we are ready for every good work. Look at it, it says in 2 Timothy2:20-21. He says, “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,[d] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” Hey, don't let things come in and corrupt you. Don't let things come in and ruin your preserve in nature. That God has made you to be salt. When I am set apart from sin, when I have been set apart, as holy, and I'm an honorable vessel, well, then you are useful to the master of the house. You are then ready for every good work. And it goes on to say in verse 22, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Hey, if you have been set apart by God, if you've been set apart as holy, and now you are useful to the master, well, you then need to flee from youthful passions, and you need to pursue after righteousness. You see, I wonder how many of us have lost our influence in our workplaces, in our homes, with our families, or in the classroom, or with our neighbors? Because we talk just like they do.
I mean, how many times have we talked about, or how many times have you heard someone say, yeah, I would go to church, but why would I go to a place with a bunch of hypocrites, people that are claiming to be light, people that are claiming to be saved by God, they live and they talk and they laugh at the same things that I laugh at? You see, some of us, we can lose our saltiness, we can lose that flavor. And it doesn't mean that we're not salt, but it means that we're now ineffective for a God has called us to do to win souls for his kingdom, and to preserve the culture that is dying because we act just like it. Because we don't stand up and we don't shine the light into the world, but rather we hide. Go with me to Titus, just a page over Titus chapter 2. And this is going to address, maybe help us think through some ways that we can even act and walk and even talks about how we can do that right here in the church. Titus 2:1, it says, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound[a] doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works.” So, you are called to be a model, you are called to be a type of faith that when people follow you, or they seem purity, are they seeing a faith in God? Are they seeing, hey, this lady, she's going to really teach me how I can love my husband, how I can love my children? You see, if you're an older person in this room, you don't need a specific ministry to do this, you can do this. And we need this here at this church. We need older men and women to be passing on what they know about Jesus Christ to the younger generation. We've got younger people that are up on the mountain right now. We're praying that they would come back saying that they would come back revived. And we need parents, we need older men and women here at the church to pass on what they know about Christ to the next generation. And let me just encourage you, if you are a younger person in this room, if you are somebody who wouldn't classify yourself as the older man or the older woman, well, I would encourage you that if an older man or woman comes to you, and they're trying to teach you something about God, I would encourage you to listen to them. I would encourage you if they're trying to help you learn how to love your children or learn how to submit to your husband. That you would consider what they have to say. Because God here is telling us that we need to be models of this kind of behavior. Look what it says in verse Titus 2:8, because if I'm living this way, if I'm going to be this way, well, then I'm going to have opponents, alright. I'm supposed to be sound in speech and in conduct that cannot be condemned, “so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Because there's something evil someone can say about you, and it would be correct.
But we've been seeing this in the book of Acts. We saw how Peter and James got thrown into prison for preaching in the name of Jesus. And when they spoke, these men, they didn't know what to do with them. Because it's like, what did they do? And it's like, the crowd is, you know, wants them back. And they're like, well, let's just beat them up and throw them back outside and threaten them, hey, don't speak in the name of Jesus. We're seeing that with Paul. He's been put on trial, and yet people have nothing evil to say against him. You see, when people come, and they have something evil to say against you, it's either going to be true or it's going to be made up. And on that day, when someone comes and accuses you, is it going to be something that you have a clear conscience about that you can say, hey, that's not even true? You see, I was talking to one of my friends this week. And he was telling me that he was talking to a guy who was talking to another guy, so if you can follow this along with me here, that this one guy was coming to this other guy saying, hey, I have been slipping in sin. I'm here to confess that I've been living in sexual immorality, and I wanted to confess that to you; I need your help. I need you to help me get out of the sin. I need you to help me, show me what to do. And this guy said, oh, dude, we all struggle with that. In fact, you're going to struggle with that for the rest of your life. And my friend, when he heard this guy talk about that he looked at and he said, hey, man, it sounds like you're saying it's okay to live in your sin. And at that point, the guy turns to him, and he says, dude, where's the grace? Like, what's your deal? Like, oh, you're all about works. You're all about living righteously. Like, where's the grace? Don't use sin? Don't you fall into sin? And hey, where's the grace in that? And so, if we think that grace is a means to sin, if we think that because I have been saved by God, I know how this grace of God, that I can just keep on living in my sin. It doesn't matter how you talk at work, it doesn't matter what you say to your kids, It doesn't matter your conduct in your neighborhood. Well, then, what's the big deal? Because hey, we all have grace. You see, if grace is a license to sin, then you don't know how good grace saves us from our sins. Amen. Absolutely one hundred percent. The only reason why any of us in this room are saved is because of grace. It has nothing to do with what you did, has nothing to do with what you presented before God. No, you are saved, and saved alone by grace through faith. This is not your own doing. It is a gift of God that no one may boast. You see, we are saved by grace and by grace alone.
But look what he goes on to say in Titus 2:11. Look what he says here. He says, “For the by great or the grace of God has appeared.” Jesus has come, the light is in the world. And guess what he does? He brings salvation for all people. Jesus is offering the greatest gift anyone could ever receive. He's offering you salvation, and it's a gift. It's by grace. But look what grace does first. Titus 2:12. Grace trains us now “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.” Grace is training us. It's teaching us “to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Hey, is this world dark? Hey, do you live in a world that's been corrupted by sin? Hey, do you know what it's like to live in the darkness? You know what it's like to live in sin. And so, you've been now pulled out of that. And you now have self-control. You know why you can do that is because of grace. See, grace is actually the greatest; grace is so sweet. And some of us, we belittle grace because we think that God saved us. And now we can just live however we want. We don't have to be salt. We don't have to be light. We can just live the way everybody else lives. When grace is saying, no, I'm here to teach you. I'm here to train you “to live self-controlled, upright and godly in this present age.” It goes on to say in verse 13, if you've been set apart by God, if you now are an agent of good works, if you've been saved by Jesus, verse 13 says that we will be “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” See, if you have been saved, you have been saved out of all of your lawlessness, all of your impurity, and God now makes you a new person in Jesus Christ. You are now his own possession. And he has set you apart for good works. See, we can't lose our saltiness. We don't want to mix it in with sin. We want to mix it in with just acting like everybody else. No. We’ve been set apart from sin. And we've been set apart to do something that God wants to make you zealous for good works.
Put this down for point number two, if you're taking notes: Don't become tasteless, remain zealous. We need to remain zealous. We need to be people who are zealous for good, zealous for what God says, that we can make an impact, that we can be an influence in this world for Jesus Christ. And maybe you've been to a church that has really mishandled good works. And maybe when we start talking about good works, you just have a bad taste in your mouth. And you don't want to hear anything about it. Oh, here we go again, talking about doing good works. Go with me back to Matthew, chapter 5. Look what Jesus says. And look, I get it. I understand if you have a bad taste in your mouth about good works, because we have greatly mishandled works in the church. I mean, there are many people who think that if I do good, I can earn God's favor. We have many people thinking, well, I hope I get to go to heaven when I die. I hope that I've been good enough to be with Jesus in heaven. I hope that he doesn't cast me into the lake of fire. No, because I think I'm relatively a good person. You see we've mishandled works. Works are a good thing. God commands us to be people that are full of good works. But if you think that good works can save you or people have told you sometime in your life that you are saved by your good works, well, then I apologize, because that's not what Jesus says. Look what he says in Matthew 5:16. This is the point of our good works. It says in the same way, “let your light shine before others.” Alright, so people are supposed to see the light. If I'm shining light, people are going to see it. I'm supposed to actually let my light shine before others so that they may see your good works and do what gives glory to your Father who is in heaven. Hey, if you are able to go to somebody, and you're able to shine the light, and blind eyes are open, and people come to the light, you will never say, wow, look what I just did. I'm so glad that I'm good at this whole evangelism thing. I'm so glad that I know enough Bible. I'm so glad that I did my homework because, look, this person is now forever impacted. This person will be in the kingdom of heaven because of me. We don't have those people saying, hey, thank you so much for saving me. Know we cry out to God, and we say blessed be our God and Father. Praise the Lord Jesus because he's the one who saves. You see, we are supposed to let our light shine. We are supposed to be a model of good works. But our good works are not supposed to promote ourselves.
And maybe you've been in a church, or maybe you've seen many people, maybe you've even been burned by Christian people because they're just promoting themselves, because their good works are all about them. It's not pointing to Christ. It's not pointing to exalt the Father. It's not pointing to Jesus; it is not going to give glory to your Father who is in heaven because it's all about you. See, that's not what good works are for. We're supposed to be pointing people to Jesus, we're supposed to be shining the light in the darkness so that they can see his marvelous light, so that they would come to the light. And this is a really interesting thing, because if you've grown up in church, in fact, if you've got kids and after the service, you say, hey, what did you guys learn today? You know, nine times out of ten, in kids’ ministry, the correct answer is we learned about Jesus. All right, well, hey, kid, who's the light of the world, and they'll say, Jesus. I mean, if you've grown up in church, that's what you've heard that Jesus is the light of the world. And if you've heard that you will be correct. Jesus claims to be the light of the world that … Look at what it says here in verse 14. He now looks at the disciples, his people, the people that have been saved, and he says that you are the light of the world. Did you live like the white light of the world this week? Did you think this week at all that, hey, I am light, that I'm here now to reflect the truth and the glory of God, that I'm here now to shine the light in the dark, and I'm here to shine the light in my kids, in my family, in my workplace, in my schools, in my neighborhoods, wherever God may bring you, into the baseball teams of southern Orange County? Who are you called to be? You are called to be light in those places? Have you thought about that? You see, you don't get to decide whether you're light or not. If you've been saved, you are the light. The only question is, are you hiding under a basket? Are you up on a stand that everybody can see? Are you hiding under a basket?
Go with me to John, the Gospel of John Chapter 1. And Jesus gets into this. Or John, he writes about this and really, this idea of light is a major theme throughout the entire Scripture. And John talks about it quite a bit in his Gospel. He also talks about it in 1 John that we read earlier, and he goes on even to write Revelation, the unveiling. And he talks about this idea of light all over the place. And so, the Bible really talks a lot about light. In fact, you can do a great study on the light in the Scripture. But in in John 1:1-5, it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” You see, no matter how dark this world gets, the darkness will never cover the light of Jesus Christ. And it says in John 9-11. It kind of expands on this idea. It says, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” And we know that Jesus came into the world, and he came to shine the light. And he did everything that the father told him to do, perfectly pleasing in every single way. And his people put him on a cross. And he hung there, and he died for their sins. You see, Jesus, he came into the world to bring the light, he came to bring the light, and darkness has not overcome it.
Go with me to John chapter 17. And this is an amazing prayer by Jesus. If you've never read John 17, or you haven't read it in a while maybe this is some homework for you. Go read John chapter 17, and listen to Jesus. Pray to the Father, because a lot of it has to do with you. Jesus prays for us in John 17. And he says, in John 17:14-18, he says, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” And this is such an interesting idea. Jesus says it three times now He says, “As you sent me into the world, so I send them into the world.” See, Jesus, he was sent here on a mission. He was sent here to seek and save the lost. He was sent here to be the light to the world. And now Jesus is saying, just as I am not of the world, they are not of the world. Just as the Father has sent me into the world, I'm now sending them into the world. Jesus is sending you into the world in the same way that he came into the world, to be the light in the darkness, to shine, to expose sin, to bring to call men to come out of the darkness and into the light. You see, Jesus came on a seek and save mission. And now you are called to go out and be the light, to shine, to bring the truth to this dark world. That's what we're supposed to do. That's what Jesus is calling us to do. And he uses the same language in John chapter 15, when he says, “Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. The same way that God who made everything from eternity past, God, the Father and the Son love each other, this perfect kind of love. In the same way that God the Father loves his son is the same way that Jesus loves you. And he's saying, man, just as I came into the world to bring light to the world, that's what you're supposed to do. I'm calling you into the world.
Are you shining the light? Are you bringing light to this dark world? Go with me to John chapter 3 because this world desperately needs the light. And you are the only one who possesses that light. Jesus is saying, you alone are salt, that you and you alone are light; there is no other salt. There is no other light; you are it. And if you don't shine in the darkness, well, then how will people know? If you don't go into the world and make an impact, if you don't influence the people you're around, well, then who will you see? You and you alone are the light. And we looked at this passage a couple of weeks ago at the John 3:16 event. The most famous passages that a lot of people know about. John 3:16-21 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
See, people are in this dark world, people love their sin. And it says here that people are not coming to the light. People will reject you; people will persecute you because they don't want to stop doing their sins. They don't want to stop living in sexual immorality. They don't want to stop lying. They don't want to stop cheating. They don't want to stop stealing. They want to keep on living in that sin. They want to keep on pleasing themselves. And you see, last week, we talked about how Satan is out there, blinding the eyes of the unbelievers. And you are now called to bring the light to them. You know on Good Friday, a couple of years ago, I don't know if you guys were here or not. Many of us probably were not. But what we did is we talked about darkness. And I don't know if you were here in the room for that. But there was a moment in the service where all the lights went out. And it was dark. And like that whole week, what we had to do is we had to go into every nook and cranny of this room, and we had to figure out where is the light coming from. Because just a little bit of light will make an impact in this dark room. And so, we turned off all the lights. We had to do this during the daytime and there's light coming through the windows, from underneath the doors. There's even a light coming from this back room. Like even when you close the door, there's a window in there, and light would creep under the doorway and you'd see this glow. I remember I was seeing this green glow. Like I thought I had gotten all the light like we went in the ceiling and we're like covering the ceiling lights up there. We were covering like all these little lights inside the TV and the screens up here. I remember there was this green glow on this on the screen. And I was getting so frustrated. Like where's this light coming from? We went into all these electronics up here and back over here. It's like where's this little green glow, and I couldn't see it from my angle. But it was up here on the projector and there's just like above to where I couldn't see it. There's just this tiny little power light mocking me. Look at you, you think you're so clever. And I found it and I put a big piece of black duct tape on it. It's probably still up there. And what that did was in that moment, without any light in this room, the lights went out and it became dark, and it was so uncomfortable. If you were in that room it was like it just took like ten seconds and you started to feel the darkness. Like you couldn't see your own hand in front of your face. It was so dark you didn't dare try to get up and go get a drink or something because you would have fallen down six different times. Like you would not have been able to make out of this. It was so dark in here. And you could feel it. And it was uncomfortable. You see, that's how people are walking around. People are walking around, not being able to see the light. They don't see; they've been blinded. And you now have been called to go out to the world and shine the light, to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ. And some of us are afraid of blind people. Some of us are hiding from them. Some of us will not speak when we know it's time to speak. Some of us will not say, well, we know what needs to be said because we're afraid. We're hiding. We're hiding that light under a basket. Jesus is saying, why would you do that? That makes zero sense. Why would anybody light a lamp and put it under a basket? That's not what we've been called to do.
Put it down like this for point number three: Don't hide from the blind, but let your light shine. See, some of us were hiding from the blind. Some of us, we know people who, if they were to die today, they would be in darkness forever. And we have the light, and we don't say anything. Doesn't make any sense. Go with me to John chapter 8. This is actually where Jesus says that he is the light. And he's calling us out of the darkness. And it says this in John 8:12. “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.” This is at the feasts of tabernacle. And the people were celebrating there in Jerusalem, how God would lead them out of the wilderness by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. So as the people are celebrating this feast, they're lighting up Jerusalem and they're celebrating and there's this great light that's coming in. Even as Jesus is saying in the Sermon on the Mount, a city on a hill cannot be hidden. I couldn't help but think that this has got to be something that's in his mind as Jerusalem is lit up on this hill; everyone can see it. And he stands there and he masters the moment. And he calls out to the people and says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” See, this has become very confusing to people. This has become very confusing to people, especially in Southern California in church, that if I've been called out of the darkness that I will not, I cannot, continue to walk in darkness because I have the light of life. See, so many of us have heard this story. Or maybe this is our story once upon a time that we got saved when we were younger, and we came to Christ and we accepted Jesus to be our Savior. And then we did the whole high school thing. And then I got into college. And then after college, I started swerving and I started doing all that I ever wanted to do. I started getting drunk, I started living the way that I wanted to live, and I was living in sin, but it's okay because then I came back to God and I said, God, please forgive me, I want to live for you. And then shortly after that, I got married; I tried to get serious. But then sin started to creep in. And I'm living in sin in my marriage. And I'm doing all this and that. And it's like I'm going up, and I'm saying and now I'm living in sin and I'm up and I forgive and now I'm living in sin. And there are these big chunks, these periods of time where we're living in sin, and Jesus is saying that cannot happen. He's saying if you have been pulled out of the darkness, you now have the light of life. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness. He's pulled you out of that. You did not save yourself. Jesus saved you. And so how can you continue to walk in a pattern, in a state of your life where you're continuing to live in your sin? How is that even possible if Jesus has given you the light? If he's called you out of the darkness? Jesus is saying right here that it's not possible.
Look what he says in John 8:34. He says “Truly, truly,” and we know if you've been here for a while that every time Jesus says truly, truly he's going to say something that's hard to hear, or something that they may not believe. He says “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave[b] to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.” See if you are living in sin, and you are a slave to your sin, Romans talks about this, it talks about how you're either a slave of righteousness or you're a slave of sin, and you will obey your master. If you're living in sin, if you're practicing sin, if you're a slave of sin, well, then you can know for sure that, hey, I'm still in the darkness, that I have not come to the light, that I keep on living in sin. And Jesus has never actually set me free from my sin, and I need to come to him. And I need to be set free because I'm a slave and I obey my master. Do I obey righteousness, or am I obeying sin? You see, Jesus doesn't make it sound like you can just continue in sin, and everything's cool. Jesus is saying you either are light or you are darkness. That's what Jesus is telling us right here. And if you were here last week, this might sound a little familiar, because we did talk about this from the book of Acts, how Satan is out there blinding the eyes of the unbelievers. And we talked about that you need to turn to the light. And some of us heard that message. And some of us knew with certainty that we were still in the dark. Some of us knew that we were perishing. Some of you may have heard last week, or maybe you're here for the first time and you know that you are perishing in your sin, that you have never come to the light, that you're not shining in any light because you don't have it. And there are people here that were here last week, who admitted I am perishing, I am in the dark, and they went home, and they did nothing. And they came back to hear the same thing. And it just makes me wonder, man, who is God trying to get? Who needed to hear this twice? Who needed to hear this maybe for the first time? Because there are people that are living in darkness, and they know it, and they will not come to the light. Because they love the darkness. And Jesus is calling, and he's saying to you, come to the light and I will give you rest, I will set you free, I will pull you out of the darkness and I will make you a kingdom of light. Then you will go and impact and influence the world for him.
Go over to John chapter 9. John 9:35. Jesus just healed the blind man. He did this amazing miracle where this blind man has been blind from birth can now see. John 9:35-41: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him. Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.’ Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, ‘Are we also blind?’ Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.” In other words, if you were not blind, if you would admit that you cannot see, I would set you free, that you would become guiltless, that you'd be set free from all of your sin. Oh, if you would only admit that you are still blind. Well, then God can save you. If you'd only admit that you cannot see and that you need the light of Jesus, well, that's when the light comes. You see, God did not come to the earth, Jesus did not come, the physician has no need. If you're not sick, you have no need of physician. If you're not sick, then you're not going to need to go to the doctor. If you're not in the darkness, then you're not going to need the light. Jesus is saying, if you would just admit that you are darkness, well, then you are ready to receive the light. And these men, they do not believe in Jesus, they are puffed up, and they do not think that they're blind. And if they would only admit it, well, then they would have been saved.
Go with me to Revelation chapter 21. And this is how the story is going to end. And John, he writes to this theme in Revelation. He writes about how Jesus is the light. And we see this when we look at John, who saw us when we looked at 1 John, and now here we are in Revelation chapter 21. And in chapter 1, John sees the unveiled Jesus Christ, like Jesus, in the book of Revelation, it's the unveiling. It's the unveiling of Jesus, and John, he gets to see Jesus in all of his glory. And when he sees Jesus, it says that his “face was like the sun shining in full strength. And he fell down on his face as though dead. See, John, when he saw Jesus in all of his glory, he fainted. He passed out. He could not handle looking at Jesus as he was shining. And it says here in Revelation, chapter 21. It talks about this new city, verses 22-27. “And I saw no temple in the city for the temple was the Lord God, the Almighty and the Lamb. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.” See, there's going to be a city where there are no light bulbs. There's going to be a city where Jesus’ glory alone lights it up, this massive city. For every Christian in this room, we will experience the glory of Jesus forever. There will be no night because Jesus will always be there, and he will be shining. And his glory will light up the city. And it says in verse 27, that nothing unclean can enter it. See, if you're in the darkness, you cannot come to this city. If you are living in sin, you cannot enter. See this city is for those who have been called out of the darkness.
And many of us have been called out. Many of us know what it's like to be in the darkness because we were in the darkness. And Jesus, he has saved us, he has set us free. And now we are coming to you. And we are saying if you know that you are in the darkness, why are you still living in the dark? Why would you not come to the light? Look at what it says in Revelation 22:12-13. Jesus is saying, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” He is coming back. You see, the light was in the beginning, when Jesus made the world, the light came into the world to set us free from our sins, and the light is surely coming back. And for many of us, that is a great promise. For many of us, we can see in verse 20, when he says, “Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” See, many of us are waiting for this blessed hope, many of us are waiting for Jesus to come back, because we have seen the light and we can't wait to be with the light. But for some of us, this is a deadly warning that Jesus is coming back. And you need to hear the words of Jesus. This is either a great encouragement to you or this should be a warning to you that Jesus is coming. And if you're still living in darkness, you cannot enter his city, you will not enter his presence. So, I'd encourage you, if you have been pulled out of the darkness, if you know what it's like to be a slave of your sin, and now you've been called out of the darkness and you can see, man, you need to go to people and you need to tell them. You need to have conversations with people. What a great time for us to do that as we approach Easter. As we think about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, that he died, and he rose again that we can now have new life, man, people will come to church on Easter that would never come to church on a normal weekend. This is a great opportunity for us to shine the light. Let's not waste that opportunity. Let me pray for you guys.
God, we want to thank you so much for the words of Jesus Christ here this morning. Lord, that He has set us free from the domain of darkness, that he has transferred us into his marvelous light, not because of anything that we can do, not because of how good we are, but how we were raised only by the grace of God. And you have now set us apart to be the salt of the earth. And God I pray that we would be who you made us to be, God, that we would be salt, that our tastiness God would slow the decay of corruption in our homes, that in our neighborhoods, in our jobs, God that we would see the light shine to the darkness, that you would use us God, just as Jesus came into the world. God, I pray that we would go into the world, and we would shine his marvelous light. And then we would plead with people that we would ask them, have you ever experienced, have you ever seen the glory of Jesus, have you come to the light? And Father, I pray that you would use your church to save many souls, that you would use us to send out your light and your Truth, if they would lead us to you. Father, I pray for people that are hearing my voice, that have heard the words of Jesus here this morning. And many people who heard this last week and knew that they were in darkness, God, that they not continue to live in their sin. Father, I pray that you would pull them out of the darkness, or that you would transfer them into this kingdom that will never end. Father that you would give them the light of life; you would set them free from their sin. God, I pray that we would be a people who are zealous for good, and with our hearts that we would wait for our blessed hope for Jesus Christ, our great God and Savior, and that we could cry out all together: Come, Lord Jesus. We pray these things in his name.
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