Title: Relevant- The Job Description

Sermon Summary

This message discusses the instructions Jesus gave to His disciples during His Sermon on the Mount which called on them to be salt and light in the world! Jesus had come to seek and to save people who were lost to the truth and love of God. Jesus transferred His job description to His followers with His mandate for them to be salt and light to the world. Salt adds flavor to food and acts a preservative. Jesus was using the analogy of salt because true religion was supposed to flavor life and preserve life with the truth of God! Additionally, we are also to shine the light of God's love, mercy and truth into a world filled with darkness. A good analogy would be that we are salt shakers and flashlights by allowing Jesus to live in us and shine through us! 

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. In the introduction to the message Pastor Larry mentioned Jesus being our Savior. This implies that we are saved from something or somethings. Larry also mentioned that we are also saved to something! Discuss what "being saved" means to you, with both of these things in mind.

2. Our job description has everything to do with us being willing to share the good news that Jesus wants to save others from their sin and save them to live a new life! We do this not only by talking about Jesus to other people, but also by the way we live our lives. Explain why sharing the good news and backing it up with your actions go hand in hand.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Colossians 1:10-14 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

3. Jesus said we were to be the salt of the earth and if we lose that we loose our impact on society. What are the characteristics of salt that should also be characteristics in a person's life who follows Jesus?

Matthew 5:13 “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 by men.

4. Jesus said we are the light of the world! What are some practical and relevant ways in which we can shine the light of Jesus in a world of darkness?

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

1 Peter 3:15-17 - 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. NIV

Full Sermon Notes

"Your presence is heaven…Your glory is all around me!" If this is true for you, then my question is this…"Why in the world would you not want others to have what you have in your relationship with Jesus? Why would we not want to share and show how this relationship has changed our lives and how it could change anyone who is willing to be changed? Today we'll talk about this!

Let's pray and ask God to teach us how to share His love and to give us the desire to do so!

"Father God I pray with all my heart that I will never lose the passionate desire to share Your good news, Your amazing love, Your promise to forgive, and Your promise to be present with us in our daily lives!! There's so many out there who are always searching, yet never finding! Help me to say something, do something, or be something that will in some way draw others to You! Help me to faithfully lead and teach our church to do the same in their daily lives. Help us to understand the job description you gave to all followers of Christ. Fill me with Your precious Holy Spirit, as I speak. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Last week we asked the question: Who's Your Boss? First we talked about Jesus becoming our Savior when we admit we need a Savior, believe Jesus died on the cross to be that Savior, and call on Him to be our Savior! That's a one and done. But Jesus wants to also be our boss, not to lord it over us in a power hungry kind of way, but because He desires to direct us to God's best for us!

The decision to allow Jesus to be Lord of your life is not "a one and done," but a life-long, daily decision! And when we allow Jesus to be our boss, our guide, our leader, one of the first things He will emphasize to us is the importance of letting other people know why we've made such a decision. And why does a person make the decision to allow Jesus to be their boss on a daily basis?

It all has to do with Him being our Savior! What does it mean when a person uses that religious phraseology, "I got saved!" Someone in the world might be curious as to what Jesus saved you from. I mean were you shipwrecked on an island or something? What are you talking about?
Well for me it's a lot of things.

He saved me from the penalty and the power of sin!

He saved me from my past!

He saved me from fear of the future!

He saved me from a wasted life!

He saved me from the deception of depression and despair! 

He saved me from my self!

And here's a beautiful thing, it's not just what He saved me from, it's what He saved me to!

He saved me to live a holy life!

He saved me to live for others! 

He saved me to live in hope!

He saved me to live encouraged!

He saved me to live in truth!

He saved me to live in forgiveness!

He saved me to live with purpose!

And all of this has to do with the job description Jesus gave to His followers. It's amazing! Let's read the job description given by Jesus Himself in His sermon on the mount!
Matthew 5:13-16 “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 by men. “You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

ETS: Jesus gave an overview of the job description for His disciples when He says we are the salt and the light of the earth!

ESS: The job description of a disciple is to be the salt and light of the earth!

OSS: Today I pray you will begin to understand your job description as the salt and light of the earth!                                                                                                  

Probing Question: What are the details of the job description for a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Unifying Word: Details

Transitional Sentence: Let's look at the details of the a disciple's job description.

Detail #1
You are the Salt
of the Earth

Matthew 5:13a “You are the salt of the earth...

When Jesus was in this world He was the spiritual salt of the earth. He infused the flavor of God's truth into what had become a world filled with false and tasteless religion. Salt, during Biblical times served not only as a seasoning for food, but it was a preservative. Jesus was using the analogy of salt because true religion was supposed to flavor life and preserve life with the truth of God!

He confronted the religious leaders of His day with the fact that they were not following God's job description. They had ceased to be the salt of the earth. When Jesus was preparing to leave this world, He let it be known He was leaving the job to His disciples. How do I know this? He told them, "You are the salt of the earth." Also, listen to Jesus' prayer just before His Crucifixion...

John 17:13-18 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

You and I have been sent into the world to continue the mission of Jesus! Do you know what Jesus' job description was when He was here on the earth? It's so important and relevant to our daily life. If you don't remember Let me jog your memory…

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

We are to continue the search and rescue mission of Jesus by being salt in a world that desperately needs the life giving, life preserving qualities of salt. And yes, your physical body does need some sodium to live. "It's needed to transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscle fibers (including those in the heart and blood vessels), and maintain a proper fluid balance." Health.harvard.edu

It's just that we don't really need the extra we all add to our foods. But I'm not here to preach about that because I like salt! My wife used to get on at about using so much salt, and my grandmother would say, "Don't fuss at him honey, when he gets old like me they won't let him have it!" Ok, back to the spiritual metaphor of being the salt of the earth. Detail #2 of our job description…

Detail #2
Stay Salty!

Matthew 5:13 “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 by men.

Here's something fascinating. The literal translation of verse 13 has a clause that reads…"if the salt should become foolish."
Of course Jesus was saying if the salt loses it's saltiness, and if the salt He was talking about is the truth and wisdom of God, and we lose that, then we become foolish!

Maybe that's why Jesus prayed for the disciples to be sanctified by the truth and said, "Your word is truth!" Here's another fascinating fact. Chemically speaking, salt is sodium chloride. Unless you change the chemical composition of salt it will not lose it's saltiness. But you can dilute it to the point that it is no longer discernible for taste or effective as a preservative.

Dr. Frank Stagg made this observation: "The salt taken from the Dead Sea in Jesus' time was a mixture of salt and other matter. Exposed to weather, the salt could be lost, leaving only what had the appearance of salt."
Wow! Do you see the implications here for us and our job description to be the salt of the earth? If we allow the things and ways of this world to dilute the truth and wisdom of God in our lives then we will lose our ability to do our job of being the salt of the world. We may have the religious trappings, but a false or fake religion. And here's something to think about. Remember the literal translation of verse 13, "If the salt should become foolish?"

Here's the truth. I am foolish to think that I can be the salt of the earth if I'm not living according to the wisdom of God! I don't have the chemical makeup spiritually to be the salt. So I have to depend on Jesus to flow through me. I depend on God's wisdom, His truth to give my life the salinity it needs to make a difference in the world.

I guess you could say, I'm just a salt shaker. And as long as I let Jesus fill me up with His Spirit, His principles, His ways, His direction, then I can bring salt to the world. I want to live my life in such a way that I'm sprinkling a little bit of Jesus everywhere I go and with everything I do and say! And I'm not talking about an obnoxious, in your face, look at me I'm so religious, kind of thing! That's not the kind of flavor the world needs, because it's bitter, and overwhelming in a bad way. The world is looking for the real deal! Genuine! Authentic! Oh it can be passionate, but always under the control of The Holy Spirit of Christ, and when He is in control you will act with the same kind of attitude and Spirit as Jesus. Paul put it this way...

Philippians 2:1-5 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Detail #3
You are the
Light of the World!

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world…

Our world is struggling with spiritual darkness! While this struggle is nothing new, it is as important as ever before that we combat the darkness with the light. And how do we do that? Once again we are simply the vessels. It's like we're the flashlights and Jesus is the light shining through us to show the way to a lost and dying world.

In fact, Jesus explained it to Paul when He confronted him on the road to Damascus in a vision. It was when Paul was still named Saul of Tarsus and he was lost in deep spiritual darkness. Paul shared the story when he shared his testimony with King Agrippa. It's found in Acts 26:11-18

Acts 26:11-18 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them. “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.

I guess you could say God not only changed Saul's name to Paul, but He gave him a brand new job description and it was to turn people from the dark powers of Satan to the glorious light and power of God so they could receive forgiveness and a place in God's family. Paul told King Agrippa that he was not disobedient to the vision he had received from God! And this leads us to the next detail in our job description...

Detail #4
Don't hide your light!

Matthew 5:14-15 “You are the light of the world. A city 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.

Jesus was using a picture here that makes me want to get my camera and tripod. Just think of an ancient city built in the mountains and the light that would be emanating from the candles and cooking fires. When I first started going to Haiti back in the late eighties, you could see little fires dotted all over the mountain sides. It was beautiful.

Here's the point Jesus was making: When the glorious light of Jesus Christ has shone in your heart and changed your life, it's going to be almost impossible to hide that. Even if your shy, at some point, you'll bubble over and say something about this new relationship you've discovered with Jesus Christ and how it's changed your life. You won't be obnoxious about it, but it will show.

In fact, the freedom from darkness you'll discover in the light of Christ will be so powerful that you may find yourself somewhat bold about shining your light, not in prideful way, but in an enthusiastic way! You won't be able to help yourself! Peter and John once got arrested for shining their light into the life of a crippled beggar and the guy was healed.

The hypocritical religious leaders of the day were so upset. Here's part of the story in Acts 4:16-21...

Acts 4:16-21 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.

Jesus said when people light a candle, they put it on a stand so it will give light. It would be foolish and useless to light a candle and then cover it up. The same thing with the light of Jesus in your life. A disciple of Christ, a follower of Jesus, should be only too happy to share the light they have received with others. In fact, let's just see what Jesus said next. It's the last part of our job description...

Detail #5
Let your light shine through your life!

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Now some people want to play the humility card here so they don't have to do this. They may even quote the Scripture where Jesus said don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing when it comes to giving, and when it comes to praying go into your prayer closet.

But you can't take those things out of context. In those instances Jesus was talking about people who were doing there good deeds in order to be seen by others and look super spiritual in a prideful kind of way. They weren't trying to shine the light of Jesus into a dark world, they were basically screaming, "Hey shine the spotlight on me, look how great I am!"

Jesus will call you out on that every time! But Jesus said in our job description to let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. There's the difference. Are you shining the light on you to get glory for yourself, or are you shining the light of Jesus into a dark world by the way you live so people can find Jesus and glorify God? Paul said it beautifully in his letter to the Colossians. Boy, Paul really took his new job description seriously. Listen to what he said.

Colossians 1:10-14 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Closing illustration and prayer!