Hudson View Baptist Church
The Influence of the Believer
September 19, 2021

The Influence of the Believer

September 19, 2021

Foundational Principles for Godly Success:

a study through Christ’s Sermon on the Mount

Part 2: The Influence of the Believer 

Matthew 5:13-16

  • The Christian character described in the Beatitudes are so that the believer can live as a distinct influence described in this section.
  • There are some elements that remain useful beyond their primary purpose. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount points out that even a flower that dies can be tossed on the compost pile and at least be useful and compost after its days of brilliance and fragrance are over.
  • This is not true about salt. Jesus said that salt is good for nothing once it’s lost its savor. The same is true for light. Light is light. Once light stops providing light, it loses all function. Both elements are inescapably functional in that they change (influence) that which they come in contact with

“Nothing is left once it loses the essential quality and purpose for which it is made.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

Three Challenging Present Realities: 

The World is Continually of Sin

 

The implications upon the world (rotten and dark)

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. – Genesis 2:17

The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God. – Psalm 9:17

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. – James 1:15

 

Three Common Responses to sin and evil by Believers

1.) Because there is evil, I must against

2.) Because there is evil, I must hide from it. 

3.) Because there is evil, I must to it. 

What is the Bible’s response to these positions? 

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; – Philippians 1:12-13

…If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. – John 15:20, 16:2

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. – Philippians 2:15-16

 

The Believer has an Identity of

What is wrong with the three responses to sin that I shared is it’s focus: on sin. Fight sin, hide from sin, or relent to sin. We don’t respond to evil, we respond to the Gospel. Our next step must always be Gospel-motivated.

 

The Function of Salt

1.) Purifies/Prevents rottenness

2.) It adds to that which is bland

The Jewish crowd listening would have been reminded of the Leviticus 2 instructions for the grain offering that commanded that it should never contain leaven or honey (which would sweeten and decay) and should always have salt.

Just as a sacrifice was useless without salt, so is every good thing our world tries to accomplish without the basis of Christianity (Christ’s Gospel message).

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. – Colossians 4:6

Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. – Mark 9:50 

 

The Function of – expose sin, explain truth, and provide a way out darkness 

Believers are light because of their connection and relationship with Christ, Who is the Light. 

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: – Ephesians 5:8 

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. – John 8:12

Jesus was crucified simply because He was light. His very presence revealed and exposed the sinfulness of men’s hearts – and they killed Him for it.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. – John 3:19

 

The Formal Christian is and Ineffective 

A “formal Christian” is he that is a Christian by name and not by function.

 

A Savorless Christian is a useless Christian

…but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. – Matthew 5:13

Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. – Luke 14:34-35

 

A Hidden is Ineffective 

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

1.) The believer is likened to a city on a hill.

2.) The believer is never allowing his light to be unnoticed. 

3.) The believer is unapologetic in his testimony, allowing his light to shine for God’s glory

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. … Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. – Philippians 2:4, 14-16

 

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