I remember landing in Paleroma Airbase in Honduras in '87, the bay door to the C-130 opening, and the 126 degree heat pouring over us, hitting us like a physical force. We were each issued not only an extra two-quart canteen, but salt pills as well. Plain water wasn't enough to keep us on our feet in that climate, with electrolytes fleeing our pores in steady streams of sweat. Combat Operations in Hot Climates requires water and SALT. I submit that spiritually speaking, it is sweltering in America, and the church here is overwhelmed and fainting.
Like the background to this page, I will try to combine salt and light with the water of the Word to portray a beautiful vision only God could provide. To much light? You'll have an obnoxious blinding glare. To much salt? A desiccated Dead Sea. In balance with the water of the Word of Truth? A beautiful relationship teeming with life...
The sermon, Right Relationships: Listening To Jesus Tell Us What Righteousness Does, based on Matt 5:1-25, is straight forward. The key points and scriptures, below, flow simply and powerfully. The tough part is walking in the constancy it describes - the constancy of the believer who's relationship with Christ is undeniably the preeminent feature of their existence. The "How To" of this sermon is what we at Sow What? went after this week.
1. Righteousness noticeably lives in mercy, purity, and peacemaking. (Matt 5: 7-9)
2. Righteousness loves people enough to share the truth. (Matt 5:13-16)
Living the righteousness of God means we will have both a negative (salt) and a positive (light) effect/affect on every relationship we have
Salt - rejecting lies and corruption; preservative of truth; condemning sin and not people
Light - edifying and nurturing in the Truth
Read - Romans 8:3-4, Luke 3:13, Acts 3:19, John 8:10-11
Key meaning - Biblical love protects and creates eternal life in people through righteous serving.
Read - 1 John 4:8-9, John 3:16-17, Mark 10:45
3. Righteousness Shares Grace and Truth (Psalms 34:18, John 1:17, Matt 5: 17-18)
Key meaning: Grace is what God GIVES you to live in His truth and be blessed.
Bottom Line Up Front
1. Conviction comes from God; not of us but through us
2. Repentance/Forgiveness is the only sin-stopper
3. It can never be God's Agenda "plus" or "minus" anything. His ways and wisdom are all there are; all that is righteous is of Him.
4. We should not dilute God's love with false mercy - that is the comfort of the enemy.
5. We need to obtain/maintain the brokenness/humility that comes from proximity to Jesus Christ