Notes from the Gathering 3.15.14, Matthew 5: 13-16
May the Summary begin: Welcome to River Market Community Church!
We are a church plant. If we are honest this is the last thing we all thought we would be doing...starting a church together. We are a variety of people from different backgrounds and places in life...
But, We have encountered the gospel and it has changed us...
Gospel- simply put
Sinner saved by Jesus works and not your works for a relationship with God. Embrace, repent, and believe.
We exist to glorify God by the gospel of Jesus; as a family joined by the Spirit, transforming the City.
Where we(the plant) are currently: verbal explanation
Where we(the plant) are headed: verbal explanation
Leading Questions (sent out week prior to gathering):
1. Matthew 5: 13-16
How is salt used, and what does it do?
a)List some of the ways in which you could be “salt” in your world.
b)How has your “saltiness” caused others to glorify God and Jesus Christ, whom we serve?
c)What is it like living as salt in a saltshaker versus living as salt in places where the flavor of Christ is missing?How is light used, and what does it do?
2. Read Luke 11:33-36 what are some ways Christians can be light? Read Philippians 2:12-16 what takes place in believers before they work out their salvation and “shine like stars?”
a)From Matthew 5, what is the purpose of a believer’s letting his or her light shine?
b)How will you ask God for his direction and power to make this true in your life?
--PRAY first, PRAY now--
...RADIANCE OF LIFE...
(Why we are here)Matthew 5:13-16
Where scripture falls in entirety thru the word. Creation, fall, redemption, restoration.We have been walking thru the Gospel of Matthew...(expound)
“You are the salt of the earth. 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 underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16 NIV)
Question: What are scripture objections? Intellectual, moral??-Why we are here(not glorify father): do what feels good. Ecclesiastes, -Jesus is an idiot, salt doesn't loose it's saltiness.
“You are the salt of the earth. 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 underfoot. (Matthew 5:13 NIV)
When I say salt, the first thing that comes to mind is __________?
What would your life be like without salt?
In the ancient world salt was highly valued:-Greeks called salt divine(theion).-Romans had a Latin saying they used as a jingle. "There is nothing more useful than sun and salt." (Nil utilius sole et sale.)
Time of Jesus-salt was connected in people's minds with 3 things:1. Purity- -its glistening whiteness. -Romans: Purest of all things because it came from the purest, the sun and the sea.-most primitive form of all offerings to the gods.SO- if a Christian is to be the salt of the earth they must be an example of purity.
What does purity look like for you currently?Set the standard: honesty, diligence in work, morally, speech, in conduct and even thought.(James 1:27)
2. Preservative--it was used to keep things from going bad and rotten, and to hold decay and putrefaction at bay.Plutarch said, "...meat is a dead body and part of a dead body, and will, if left to itself, go bad; but salt preserves it and keeps it fresh, and therefore like a new soul inserted into a dead body.
-preserves from corruption and acts as an antiseptic.SO- if a Christian is to be the salt of the earth: be a cleansing antiseptic in the society they find themselves(being that which stops decay and death) & be a person whose presence allows for healing and new life to happen.
Think over the last couple weeks. Have you been someone who stops decay and death or have you spread disease(morally, intellectually, spiritually)?
3. Lends flavor to things- -food without salt lacks flavor and can be even a sickening thing. Salt brings the flavor of the food out!(I have a friend who is an excellent cook, when I first ate their food I would always ask what seasonings did you use to make this taste so good. I was always astonished at their answer[now, I'm used to it and don't even ask anymore]. Answer: very simple, short list of pepper, salt, and usually some garlic.)
Christianity is to life what salt is to food. But often it is the opposite view of others(people looking at the Church) and that what Christians embrace...(they have lost the radiance of life)
We are to be seasoning that brings out God-flavors on this earth...How can Christianity bring flavor to life?
World vs. Christians
Angered, Worried and anxious world- Christian to be peace filled and tranquil.Depressed world- Christian to be filled with the joy of life.Insecure- secure in who we are in ChristNot look of undertakers- but look as diffusers of hope, healing, joy, etc.
...LOSE SALTINESS...V13b '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 underfoot.'- not important-(Jesus isn't an idiot, lol) Salt doesn't lose it's flavor. Possibly elude to usage as heating element in external ovens. Helped retain heat, when lost power to do so they would throw out on the road leading to the oven.Uselessness invites disaster- if we are not actively being salt we invite and are on a path to disaster.
LOL- Misunderstanding of this passage: Jews and early Christian church. Act of Penitence- laying down in doorway where they would say, "trample upon me who am the salt which has lost its savour."
How do we prevent ourselves from becoming flavorless?
How about when we look in the mirror and the reflection we see looks slightly dirty, beginning to rot with a hint of anxiety, worry, hopelessness, apathy, hate, anger, discontent, lost and insecurity, etc etc. What do we do then?
This is how the Message puts it: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage."
V14, 15- THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD - What would your life be like without light?
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:14, 15 NIV)
JEWS UNDERSTOOD expression:-spoke of Jerusalem as the "light to the Gentiles." And famous Rabbis where often called "a lamp of Israel."-they also understood that no man or woman, group of people ore City kindled their own light, it was a borrowed light that came from outside themselves.-Jesus said you are to shine. The shine, the radiance will come from me, God.
When Jesus said that a Christian is to be a light of the world, what did he mean? (Let's look at 3 things)1. Light- It is meant to be seen, to reveal that which is unseen.-Jesus did Not say be the light of the Church, but light of the world. What is significant about this?-Where should it be seen?-How should it be seen? (Should the brightness of our light be adjusted? If so, why/how?)
2. Light- be used as a guide/help.-be an example, be willing to speak up, be willing to stand your ground morally, ---be guiding lights: there are many people in the world that won't stand by themselves and do the right thing, but if someone else comes along taking the lead, they will follow; we are to be the strong ones that people can lean on and get support to take the right path. Many people are waiting for and longing for a lead to take a stand and do the thing that they don't think they can do and take on by themselves.
3. Light- be a warning/encouraging(truth bearing) light.-often a warning which says stop, danger danger ahead.--to offer a rebuke with your arm around someone can be what someone needs. ---warnings given, not in anger, not in irritation, not in criticism, not in condemnation, not in a desire to hurt, but in love, they will be effective.
Jesus said, "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5 NIV)
-be that which I have claimed to be. Follow me, Be like me...
How do you get light in your house? (Flip a switch,
We as Light- be seen/reveal the unseen, are helping/guiding, and sometimes a warning/encouraging.
This is how the Message says it: “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!
V16 SHINING FOR GODIn the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NIV)
1. People are to see our good deeds.-Greek: agathos- defines a thing as good in quality.-Greek: kalos- thing is not only good, but it is also winsome and attractive.--there is a goodness which attracts and a goodness which repels. ---How?/Why?
2. Good deeds are meant to draw attention, not to ourselves but to God.-Jesus is prohibiting "theatrical goodness."
This is how the Message puts it: Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
HERE TONIGHT, WE ARE ALL AT DIFFERENT PLACES...--GOSPEL--unpack and look at what Jesus has done and is doing for us and how forgiveness, freedom, power result in the free gift of the radiance of life being placed within those that believe in what Jesus taught and did for them.
APPLICATION-For personal thought and action:
Spend time looking in the mirror
What do you radiate? What is your radiance?
Don't run if you don't like where you are. Face it own it take it to God. Admit it to Him, tell him you want to be different and ask him for help. Then take it to someone within the family that God is creating and has been moving you toward and making you part of. Don't fear what they will think, you already took it to God and who is greater than He? You need some additional salt, let God work through someone to give it to you. Ask for their help, for them to pray for you, ask for them to speak truth into your life, for them to give you guidance and to give encouragement.
While looking in the mirror...if God reveals relationships that need mending. Do the same as above, admit and repent from your faults/mistakes/sin. Accept the forgiveness God offers. Ask God to show you what to do to make amends. Ask God for help. Ask someone else for help if you need.
End of gathering. who are we praying for? Add to list... & Close in prayer.