What is Church Wk 2 notes

  • Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light
    • “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lost its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s not longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men. You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven.”
      • “You”
        • Who is Jesus talking to. 
          • At the time He said this we know that His disciples were there. We often think of Jesus’ disciples as just the 12. however, we know that there were many more disciples than that. We read of Jesus sending out 70 in Luke. Plus this passage starts by talking of a multitude that was near by. Some say Jesus was speaking only to His disciples. Other say He was speaking to the crowd and that He had gone up on the mountain in order to be heard by all. Either way, when Jesus speaks in this way He is talking not only to those present, but to Christians that will come later. In other words He’s speaking to US!
      • “You are”
      • Jesus is not saying we CAN BE, or that we SHOULD BE. He’s saying that we ARE. The question is not if we are salt and light. The question is if we are still salty and what we are doing with out light. 
        • Salt can not stop being salt, but it can become unsalty. Jesus addresses this and talks of what should happen if salt becomes no longer salty.
      • “Salt”
      • Preserves
        • Salt has the power to prevent and even counteract corruption. This means that one of the functions is to keep things from spoiling. If the church is salt to the world, then is it not our job to help prevent “spoiling” in the areas we influence? However, salt does not prevent spoiling by sitting outside of the food and shouting at it. If can not prevent spoiling by sitting outside of it and telling the food that it is spoiling. In order for salt to prevent spoiling it has to be IN the food. It has to be in direct contact with the food. It has to be part of the food.
          • Canned foods tend to have a much higher amount of salt that their fresh or frozen alternatives. This is part of the reason that the canned foods have such a long shelf life. The salt is such a part of the food in that can that it pushes off the effect of spoiling for a very long time.
        • So, what does this have to do with the church? 
        • The Church has the potential to prevent “spoilage" in our communities and society. We have become like salt in a salt shaker, but never put in the food. We sit outside and removed from our communities and culture and talk about how things around us are going bad. In some cases we even shout at others telling them that they have gone bad. Just like salt has to be IN food to preserve it the church has to be IN our communities, in our society to preserve them. 
          • We sit back and tell people that if they will come to us we can keep them from spoiling. How ludicrous would it be to expect salt that sits on a shelf, in it’s own container to prevent food in the pantry from spoiling? Yet that is the approach many churches in America have taken. 
        • Flavors
        • Consider ham. Ham as we know it, in the majority of cases, has been cured with salt. Therefore the taste of ham that we are all familiar with has almost as much to do with the salt as it does with the pork itself. Without salt would the ham even be something we would enjoy?
          • Conducer bacon. Like ham, salt is used to cure the bacon. Therefore the flavor we are used to and enjoy is due, in large part, to the salt.
          • We don’t know the taste of these things without the flavor that salt adds. Likewise the church should be, and is, a part of the flavor of the world, even though many don’t recognize it as such. We think of the taste of ham or bacon simply as the taste of ham or bacon. But, salt is a major part of that. So, the church is also a major part of the flavor of life on this world, but most people outside the church don’t recognize it as such.
        • Gardening:
        • Luke 13:34-35 “Now, salt is good, but it salt should lose it’s taste, how will it be made salty?It isn’t fir for soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out…”
          • In addition to preserving and flavoring food. Salt also has the potential to prepare soil for planting. In fact some plants thrive in a salty soil. However, if the salt is not longer “salty” then it’s not even useful for that purpose.
            • Likewise the church has the potential to prepare the “soil” of our communities for a work of God, but only if we remain salty and are also connected with our community. 
        • Health:
        • Sodium (salt) is a vital part of the functioning of our body. Too little can actually cause psychosis. A person with too low a sodium can have hallucinations. They can become lethargic, unconscious. The can even die from too little sodium. 
        • vs 13 “… But if the salt should lose it’s taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on my men.”
        • We often ask how God could allow churches to close. Jesus said that He would build His church yet thousands of churches close each year. I think this verse gives some insight into this. If the church is salt, but a given local church has lost it’s “saltiness”, then its no longer of any use. This is not a sign that God has given up on the local body, but rather that the local body has given up on God. The influence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is such that if a church remains in Jesus, they will remain “salty”. Therefore, a church that has lost it’s saltiness has removed themselves  from Jesus’ influence.
          • the vine: John 15:5 “I am the vice, you are the branches. The one who remains in ME and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like branch and he withers.”
        • Luke 13:34-35 “Now, salt is good, but it salt should lose it’s taste, how will it be made salty?It isn’t fir for soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out…”
        • In addition to preserving and flavoring food. Salt also has the potential to prepare soil for planting. In fact some plants thrive in a salty soil. However, if the salt is not longer “salty” then it’s not even useful for that purpose.
          • Likewise the church has the potential to prepare the “soil” of our communities for a work of God, but only if we remain salty and are also connected with our community. 
      • Bottom Line:
      • If the church is to be salt to the earth, we must be part of our communities while still remaining in Jesus.