MATTHEW 5:1-16  


 

MATTHEW 5:1-16

INTRODUCTION

Since God is the Creator and we are creatures from His hand (Acts 17:29), it is both natural and proper that we relate to Him on His terms. In His perfect wisdom He has designed us to function in a certain way; our soul to operate on His viewpoint in order to find true fulfillment in life.

God's kingdom is a kingdom of light.

"God is LIGHT and in Him there is no darkness, not any," (1 John 1:5).

See: GOD is light

Light refers to the essence of God which is detailed in His ten character attributes.

See: GOD'S CHARACTER: The Ten Absolute Attributes of the Godhead

The term is used in the bible, in contrast with darkness, to indicate the two opposing viewpoints that have existed in the universe since the rebellion of the angel, Lucifer, at some time prior to the creation of the human race.
See: THE LIGHT SYSTEM

The kingdom of light contains a Divine Value System which provides the standards for proper function in moral living and in serving God. Adam and Ishah (the woman) were placed in the garden of Eden and given the commission to guard the standards of the Divine Value System as they lived with every physical and spiritual resource needed for true fulfillment in life.

The human race came under the authority of the kingdom of darkness, when Satan accomplished the fall of man "in Adam" by deceiving the woman into disobeying God, and through her defeated Adam. The result is that Satan usurped Adam's earthly authority and is now functional as the ruler of this world and the "god" of this world (John 14:30; 2 Cor. 4:4).

As a result of the fall of man (through Adam's disobedience in the garden), the whole human race is born in sin (Psalm 51:5; Rom. 5:12) and lives in sin (Eph. 2:1-3). And since "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), man's destiny is the lake of fire which was originally designed for the fallen angels (Mat. 25:41) and is designated as "the second death" (Rev. 20:14).

Furthermore, the presence of sin taints man's existence so that he is unable to enjoy the perfect peace and joy that God designed for him (Isaiah 57:21; John 14:27).

Accordingly, in order for people to escape the lake of fire and to enjoy a superior quality of life here on earth, it is necessary for each individual in the human race to be saved from the penalty of sin.

In fact, it is God's plan to use the human race to glorify Himself through the vindication of His love, righteousness and justice in the eyes of the fallen angels, who accuse Him of being unloving, unrighteous and unfair. However, a person's function as a servant of God in this capacity begins at the moment of salvation and requires a humility acceptance of several spiritual factors before a person will even accept God's policy for entering into a saving relationship with God.

If the creature decides to operate independently from God, he will be living with a malfunctioning soul and not experience the peace and joy God has designed for them. This rebellion against God's standards is described at Ec. 7:29.

"God made men upright, but they have sought out many rationalizations."

This is caused by the sin nature as Paul explains at Romans 7:14-23.

The sin nature influences the soul of man to act independent from God and seek a "way of life" that is different from the Divine moral standards that God designed for the proper function of the human race.
See: The Sin Nature

The required attitude from the creature is humility. This is represented "in principle" by the phrase, "the fear of the Lord."

The word, fear, does double duty in the Hebrew and Greek, having both a positive and a negative meaning. The negative meaning, of course, is to be afraid. The positive meaning on the other hand, is to reverence and respect someone or something.

True humility means to view everything in life as God does - self, others, creation, God, life, death, etc. It is therefore, necessary to learn the standards of the Divine Value System so that one can properly evaluate and relate to reality. If a believer does not function with true humility, he will be replacing those Divine viewpoint standards with his own perceptions and ideas; his own human value system. With such a value system in control, he will end up neither experiencing the abundant life of peace and joy, nor functioning properly as an ambassador of Christ here on earth.

It is this issue of true humility in several areas, that Jesus is teaching about in the Sermon on the Mount.

One of these areas is the reality of spiritual depravity. Ie, man is a sinner in need of God's provision for deliverance from his sin. This is the first thing Jesus deals with as He begins this discourse.

MATTHEW 5:1-16

A. The subject of this discourse is an orientation to humility for advance in the kingdom of light (the light system).

(Verses 13-16 - you can't be a light bearer until you are IN the light)

B. The purpose the believer remains here on earth is to experience the benefits of the Divine Value System and to represent it to others in the world (Romans 14:17).

1. The first issue for function in light is character growth.
The believer is left here on earth so that his character can be reformed (transformed) into that which reflects Christ's righteousness and love. This is represented by the word, "righteousness" at Romans 14:17.

2. The immediate result of consistency in reflecting Christ's character in the life is the experience of the abundant life of peace, joy and inner stability. This is represented by "peace and joy" at Romans 14:17.

3. The third purpose for remaining here on earth is to serve God.
To take the standards of the Divine Value System and represent them to unbelievers in the form of the gospel and to believers, through teaching about the urgency for spiritual growth and fellowship with God. This is expressed at Romans 14:18,

"for he who in this way serves Christ is pleasing to God."

 

C. Blessed: makarios = happy. This refers to the reality of Divine joy through advance and function in light. The principle of John 15:11 and Psalm 1:1

Knowledge and USE of Bible Truth produces true peace and joy.

D. The kingdom of light is a term that refers to God's kingdom with emphasis on spiritual enlightenment and fulfillment in contrast to the fear and frustration that characterizes those who are in rebellion against God (in darkness).

VERSE 3, The basis for entrance into light is creature humility.

1. Poor in spirit: ptochos means to be totally deficient of material sustenance and therefore, dependent on others and beggarly.

A. However, this word in this context does not refer to "physical" poverty. It does not refer to material deprivation of any kind.
There is no merit or joy in being materially poor and it certainly does NOT mean that one possesses the kingdom of God.

B. It is used spiritually to indicate recognition of creature status; ie., creature limitations and dependence on the creator; creature humility. "What is man?" (Psalm 8:4)

C. Creature humility is the attitude that recognizes that one is a creature made by God and dependent upon Him for life and sustenance.

D. This is called fear (Greek, phobos), which is a respect type attitude that recognizes authority and power. Creature humility is when the creature, man, recognizes that God has absolute authority and power.

E. Both entrance and function in light depends on creature humility (relationship and fellowship).

1. The attitude that "leads" to responding to God's plan of salvation is called "fear" at Acts 10:35.

2. The attitude that obeys God's policies for Christian living after one is saved is called "fear" at 1 Peter 1:17.

F. The emphasis at this point is the status of relationship in God's kingdom of light and the experiential joy of that status. This is not referring to some "future" possession, but the present reality of being a citizen of heaven (Philip. 3:20).

 

2. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven: This refers to STATUS in light; possession of the kingdom through relationship with God. Ie, having been born into God's spiritual family.

The issue of "poverty" is the recognition of one's spiritual poverty and dependence on God's policy for reversal of that poverty condition.

The one who "truly" recognizes his poverty condition, will accept God's policy for entrance into spiritual life. Ie, he will trust in the Messiah as savior. This attitude then, "naturally" leads to trust in the Messiah. If one does not trust in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, then there was no "genuine" creature humility present.

Often times creature humility is confused with "religious zeal."
Religion is man's attempt to reach God on man's terms instead of God's terms. It corrupts creature humility with various systems of salvation by works, teaching that the creature can "do" something to accomplish salvation or even preserve salvation, rather than simply accepting the "completed package" as God offers it to him.

3. The kingdom of heaven refers to the viewpoint and influence of God's essence in the universe. Man's participation in that kingdom comes through trust in the Messiah. At that moment of time, the person is transferred OUT FROM the kingdom of darkness (Satan's rule) and permanently placed into God's kingdom of light (Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:9).

A. kingdom of God: There is no distinction between the two terms, kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven. They both refer to the same "sphere" of spiritual reality (cf. Luke 6:20).

B. kingdom of his son: Col. 1:13

C. kingdom of light: Col. 1:12-13

D. light in the Lord: Eph. 5:8b (1 Pet. 2:9)

The "status" in the kingdom of God is through positional identification with the Messiah. Before the resurrection of Jesus, this positional identification was a "judicial" recognition by God that accepted the believer in anticipation of Christ's victory on the cross. After the resurrection, the positional identification is an "actual" union with Christ accomplished by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The term, "light IN THE LORD," communicates this "positional" reality and the transfer from darkness to light that occurs at the moment of time that someone trusts in Christ.

The believer has been raised up and seated with Christ in the heavenlies so that God the Father actually sees that believer as He sees Jesus (perfectly righteous and sinless) because of this positional (or "spiritual") identification of the believer with Christ. This is also why believers are called "saints." A saint is simply one who has been set apart as unique and special IN UNION with Christ. The word "holy" and "saint" are the same Greek word and refer to the positional PERFECTION that the believer has IN CHRIST.

3. Humility factors for entrance into light.

A. Mat. 18:3-4 (principle of total dependence on another)

B. Mat. 7:13-14, The narrow gate (all roads do NOT lead to heaven).

C. Jn. 14:6, I am the way (Acts 4:12)

D. Jn. 10:9, I am the door

E. Jn. 12:35-36, 46, believe in the light

F. Jn. 16:8-11 (convicting ministry of the Spirit)

4. But possession of the kingdom has a fellowship stage also.

A. Eph. 5:8c - walk as children of light

B. 1 Jn. 1:7 - walk in the light

C. 1 Tim. 6:11-12 - "take hold onto life" (v. 18-19)

D. Rom. 14:17, "righteousness, peace and joy, in the Holy Spirit."

E. See Topic: FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

 

5. This walk or function in light also depends on creature humility.

A. We don't lose our creature status.

B. We must not lose awareness of our creature limitations.

C. So, phobos perpetuates that attitude into the Christian way of life, so that we can advance and fulfill our purpose for being here (Mat. 5:14-16; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:9).

6. Fellowship humility, growth humility and living (application) humility are all extensions of creature humility and are amplified in this discourse.

 

VERSE 4, Entrance into light also depends on sin humility.

1. happy: makarios, again indicates the soul prosperity (true inner happiness) that results from recovery from sin and guilt.

2. Those who mourn: pentheo, as a present active participle indicates an attitude of genuine sorrow that results from recognition of one's sinful status (total depravity).

3. Salvation and sin humility are necessary for entrance into light. If the person does not recognize that he has a need, then he will not "seek" God.

A. Total depravity: Rom. 3:9-18, 23; 5:6-10; Eph. 2:1-3 includes Is. 57:21 (The Holy Spirit convicts the world of SIN, John 16:9).

B. Man's destiny in darkness: Mat. 25:41; Rev. 20:15

1. John 3:16 - perish

2. John 3:18 - judged

3. John 3:36 - wrath of God abides on him
(The Holy Spirit convicts of judgment, John 16:10).

C. God's provision: Jn. 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 5:6-8;
(The Holy Spirit convicts of righteousness, John 16:11).

D. Man's response: Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31; Is. 64:6 (faith).

4. Also, sin humility is related to fellowship in order to function in light. Ps. 51:17

A. Personal sins: Ps. 51:1-4; 1 Jn. 1:10
B. Sin nature: Ps. 51:5; 1 Jn. 1:8; Rom. 7:17-21
C. solution: Ps. 51:6 via v. 17 and Pr. 28:13;
D. prevention: Ps. 119:11
E. Recovery from reversion (back-sliding), James 4:9.

5. They shall be comforted: parakaleo, does not refer to "comfort," but encouragement. This refers to encouragement through participation in the Divine solution concerning man's sinfulness.

A. Through salvation relationship: Acts 13:38-39
Knowledge of Christ's unlimited ransom and the promise of redemption.

B. Through fellowship reality: 1 Jn. 1:7,9

6. There can be absolutely no progress in light (the Christian life) apart from accepting Divine policies for both entrance and function.

7. This issue of "function" in the light system is further amplified in verses 5:21-37 where Jesus gives us the proper orientation to the doctrine of BENEFICENT LOVE, by putting the teachings of the Law back into its original "spiritual" context.

VERSE 5, Application humility toward others with emphasis on status.

1. The gentle: praus - adjective for grace expression that recognizes the freedoms and rights of others.

2. Gentleness refers to the application of humility to others in all three areas of expression: mental, verbal and overt.

A. We have no right to judge another with human viewpoint, subjectivity or emotional standards. Mental attitude sins.

B. We have no right to speak out against another and express human viewpoint, subjectivity or emotionalism concerning that person's status or actions. (Rom. 14:4)

C. We have no right to physically abuse, torment or oppress others.

D. Therefore, it is personal objectivity and honesty toward all others in creature status.

3. Gentleness relates to the promise of social stability in the land in which you live. "shall inherit the land."

A. klāronomeo, as a future active indicative, indicates the possibility of maximum enjoyment of one's social environment by grace living in relationship to others. Grace living takes God's moral and spiritual standards (The Divine Value System) and consistently applies them to other people.

B. land: gā = land, earth, soil, ground - depends on context.

C. 1 Peter 3:10-12 (cf. Eph. 6:1-3 with Exodus 20:12)

1. Deut. 5:33; 6:1-2
2. Psalm 25:12-13 (Prov. 2:20-22)
3. Psalm 37
4. Psalm 34:8-14

4. Amplified at Mat. 5:38-48; 6:1-18; 7:1-12

5. THE LOGICAL PROGRESS SO FAR

A. recognition of Divine authority: creature humility.

B. recognition of personal character deficiency: sin humility.

C. And then, personal objectivity toward others.

D. After this comes growth progress as we pursue truth, "hunger and thirst for righteousness."

 

VERSE 6, Growth humility is necessary for advance in the kingdom of light

1. Relationship (born into the family) is the doorway to status and the filling of the Holy spirit is the doorway to function.

2. But without progress in growth (knowledge content) you can't really enjoy the quality of life God has designed for those in His family.
Instead, as James teaches us, this person will be a "two-souled man, unstable in all his ways," (James 1:8).

3. Hunger and thirst: this is used to indicate a natural, necessary and intense desire.

A. In the physical realm, you cannot go a day or a very large part of a day without feeling that desire and need.

B. If you don't meet that need, you do not function normally.
Your concentration is broken and physical stability and well-being is affected.

4. for righteousness: dikaiosunā, puts the hunger and thirst into the spiritual realm. It refers to Divine viewpoint standards and character reflection; knowledge of God and participation in his plan.

5. True growth humility recognizes several factors and is daily occupied with them.

A. The need:

1. Spiritual ignorance: 1 Cor. 2:9-10, 12

a. Need: 1 Pet. 2:1-3, "grow in respect to salvation."
b. Paul's desire: 1 Cor. 10:1; 12:1; 2 Cor. 1:8; 1 Th. 4:13
c. The arrogance issue: Rom. 11:25; 1 Cor. 8:1
d. Divine recognition: 1 Cor. 14:38

 

2. Spiritual opposition: 2 Cor. 11:13-15; 2 Tim. 3:13-14

3. See: GROWTH: The Urgency of Spiritual Growth

B. The provision: 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2:14-15

C. The mechanics: 1 Tim. 4:13, prosechō, present active imperative.
Give attention; hold closely and tightly to something.

1. reading: the anagnōsis provides orientation/review of what has been taught. (Eph. 3:4; Col. 4:16; Rev. 1:3)

2. exhortation: the paraklāsis - motivational (promises)

3. teaching: the didaskalia - informative; facts and principles

4. The communication gifts: Eph. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:2) Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Thes. 5:20-22)

5. Meditation: Josh. 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; Philip. 4:8

 

6. And they shall be satisfied: the future passive indicative indicates the promised reality of spiritual fulfillment as the believer is diligent in the pursuit of God's truth.

A. God honors positive volition: Jn. 7:17; Jas. 1:5-7
B. But when God provides truth, we must properly respond to it.

1. We must eat it: Jer. 15:16
2. We must use it: Jn. 13:17; Rom. 15:13; James 1:22

C. This response is called purify your hearts at James 4:8.

D. And indicated by the pure in heart of Mat. 5:8.
(Purity of heart is evidence of progress in growth.)

E. Purity refers to the cleansing out of human viewpoint (darkness standards) that influences the believer to function independently from God (2 Cor. 7:1; Rom. 12:2).

7. See: GROWTH: Spiritual growth

 

VERSE 7, Application humility toward others and their needs.

1. The merciful: eleāmon occurs only two times (Heb. 2:17).

It refers to grace sensitivity, compassion and generosity.
(gentleness = objectivity; mercy = sensitivity)

A. This word is used to communicate Christ's ministry as our high priest in Heb. 2:17

B. Mercy applies doctrine in the area of meeting the spiritual and material needs of others without mental or verbal antagonism. (Beneficent love - agapā)
Cf. 1 Pet. 4:9, "without complaint," gongusmos.

C. Amplified in Mat. 5:38-48; 7:1-12

2. They shall receive mercy: eleeo; the future passive indicative, once again refers to the reality of experienced blessing in time as a result of applying the Divine Value System in every area of life.

A. Natural result of grace living is a share in Divine mercy, (Pr. 3:34; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:6).
Mercy/grace from God is the reality of rapport and communion with Him as we function with the sin nature "rendered inoperative" (Col. 3:5).

B. This is a fellowship and application issue as illustrated in Mat. 6:14-15.

C. If we don't use doctrine (the standards of the Divine Value System) to express mercy (through love) we have allowed the sin nature's dictates (lusts of the flesh) to control us.

D. We are out of fellowship and experience the natural and applied consequences of having sin in our life.

1. We experience the opposite of peace and joy (natural consequences).

2. And we fall on the negative side of justice and love; ie, discipline (applied consequences) from a loving Father (Heb. 12:6).

E. The positive side of justice and love is mercy.

F. This is not a works system, but simply the reality of light vs. darkness (2 Cor. 6:14b) and application of the law of sowing and reaping. Gal. 6:7-9. (light living produces light blessings.)

 

VERSE 8, Character reflection as the by-product of growth humility.

1. Pure in heart: The adjective, katharos, means cleansed and indicates that a change of viewpoint has occurred.

A. old viewpoint: darkness standards reflected through the sin nature. Eph. 5:8a; 2:2-3; 4:22; Col. 2:8, 20-23

B. New viewpoint: light standards reflected through the Holy Spirit. (Gal. 5:16) Eph. 4:23-24; Rom. 12:2

C. So this is the direct result of growth. Divine viewpoint standards purify the heart so it can now function clearly and see reality through the eyes of God.
Jas. 4:8 cf. 1 Pet. 1:22; 2 Pet. 1:8-9; Ps. 119:105; 36:9

 

2. Shall see God: this is maximum reflection of the 5 character qualities of the love complex (2 Pet. 1:6-7) and the 15 virtues of love (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

A. Jn. 14:21,23; 15:9-10
B. From glory to glory: 2 Cor. 3:18
C. Cf. Jn. 1:18 w/ 14:9 plus -

1. My peace: Jn. 14:27
2. My joy: Jn. 15:11
3. Christ formed in you: Gal. 4:19
4. Christ at home in the heart: Eph. 3:17

D. The God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:9; 2 Cor. 13:11

3. This is not talking about "physically" seeing God, but experiencing rapport and fellowship with Him as our character begins to conform to His.

4. Amplified in Mat. 6:1-18; 7:24-29; 7:5

 

VERSES 9-12, service humility as the goal of our function in light

Verse 9, The principle:

1. peacemakers: eirānopoios refers to the function of the ambassador - a light-bearer

A. toward unbelievers: Heb. 12:14; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Rom. 5:1 Eph. 5:11-13

B. Toward believers: Rom. 14:17-19; 15:1; Gal. 6:1

C. The witness of life and message as a light of the world. Mat. 5:13-16; Phil. 2:15b
(Jn. 12:35-36, 46 cf. Jn. 15:18-20, 26-27 w/ 17:18-21)

 

2. Called: Here, kaleo (future passive indicative) means designated or recognized as - -.

This is not referring to "becoming" a son of God, but to "acting" like a son of God through consistency in character reflection.

3. sons of God: representatives of God through consistent character reflection.

Mat. 5:43-48; Eph. 5:8c with v.1, as children
Eph. 5:3, "as is proper among saints."
Luke 6:27-36 and Philip. 2:15a

4. Amplified in Mat. 5:13-16; 7:4-6;

 

VERSE 10 Orientation to past believers:

1. persecuted: dioko (perfect passive participle) indicates the past antagonism from the Devil's world; the darkness hates the light.
The word means to pursue with intensity. It is used in a context of being diligent and also in a context of aggressive persecution.

2. for righteousness: dikaiosunā - reflection of light standards through adherence to the Divine Value System in pre-Messianic times. It refers to proper representation of the plan and character of God.

3. refers to believers of the Past, prior to the Messiah generation.

A. Illustrated by Jesus: Mat. 23:35
B. Illustrated by the Hall of Fame: Heb. 11:35-37

4. For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven: present status of these Old Testament believers. The status is not because of persecution but persecution for RIGHTEOUSNESS is evidence of their status.

5. The emphasis is the present status of past believers.
This serves as preliminary to verse 11 so that we might find encouragement in the face of undeserved suffering.
No matter what happens we are possessors of the kingdom. 2 Cor. 4:16 -- 5:8

Verses 11-12, orientation to future persecution:

The issue of faithfulness in an antagonistic environment.

1. When: hotan, anticipates the reality of persecution based on the principle of John 15:20-21 and 2 Tim. 3:12.

2. Men shall revile you: oneididzo (future active indicative) means to insult and ridicule.

3. persecute you: dioko (future active indicative) as the emphasis of physical violence.

4. and speak all evil: pas ponāros

A. Evil refers to overt or verbal activity that attacks the stability and welfare of society. The word, refers to an infectious type evil that seeks to influence and dominate all within its vicinity. It is thus used in this persecution context to indicate an intense antagonistic aggression toward the one who represents the Divine Value System in society.

B. All (pas) indicates no limit in their attempt to discredit believers.
C. falsely: pseudomai (present middle participle) indicates fulfillment of the principle of verse 10, "for RIGHTEOUSNESS," (not because of actual evil in your life)

D. cf. 1 Pet. 2:12; 3:16; Titus 2:8;

5. on account of me: indicates direct representation of Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

6. Different from verse 10 because in the Old Testament the issue in service was not a personal representation of Christ, but a representation (or reflection) of Divine RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Now, in the Church age, it is representation of BOTH.

7. Compare Luke 6:26, the human viewpoint "benefit" of spiritual compromise. When we fail to live by the Divine Value System, we compromise spiritual truth so that ALL men will be friendly with us. We don't want the confrontations that result from standing up for truth, so we compromise with the human value system in order to avoid persecution.

8. However, at Mat. 10:28-39, the expected persecution (2 Tim. 3:12) that results from not compromising may be as severe as physical death, but has no eternal impact.

 

VERSE 12

1. rejoice: chairo (present active imperative), indicates inner joy, contentment and confidence based on trust in the Divine Value System. Rom. 15:13; James 1:2; 1 Peter 4:12-14

2. And be glad: agalliao (present middle imperative), is the word that indicates the overt expression of inner joy.

3. Offsets the frowns and tears of doubt and despair with continued confidence and proclamation of truth.

A. Acts 16:25, singing
B. Acts 4:5-8, 13, 20, 29; 5:29, confidence
C. Acts 5:41; 7:60

4. For your reward in Heaven is great: reference to the crown of life mentioned in James 1:12 and Rev. 2:10.

A. Rewards in general: 2 Cor. 5:9-10 with 1 Cor. 3:12-15
B. Rewards "in time:" Gal. 6:6-10; Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:24-25

5. For so they persecuted the prophets before you: The believers of verse 10.

6. Humility in authority, fellowship, growth and application is the basis for endurance in persecution and results in eternal rewards.
In addition, humility results in experiencing maximum peace and joy in time (here on earth) through recognition and acceptance of these truths.

 

VERSES 13-16, Christian Ambassadorship

Salt and light are the two metaphors used to describe the "effects" of the functional Christian's presence on the earth.

1. You are the salt of the earth: Salt possesses several interesting properties.

A. It functions as a PRESERVATIVE of meat by being thoroughly rubbed into the pieces.

B. It functions as flavor enhancer, making various foods more palatable or ATTRACTIVE.

C. It functions as an ANTISEPTIC (applied to newborn babies) and assists in HEALING various wounds by being rubbed gently into the damaged skin,

D. Salt is a necessary chemical for STABILITY in the physical body. The salt content can be depleted through sweating in excessive heat conditions but this can be prevented by ingestion of salt so that the body's stability can be maintained.

E. Salt naturally produces THIRST in those who partake of it, making them desire water for satisfaction.

2. The Christian as "salt" has a spiritual effect on those within his periphery. The believer, as the salt of the earth, promotes the Divine Value System in the midst of a crooked and perverse human society.

God's morality system is designed to provide freedom and stability for the human race in the areas of marriage, family and business.

When the believer consistently reflects those moral standards, society is influenced. To the degree that Christian values are evidenced within a society, to that degree, the people will experience freedom and stability.

A. As the Christian ambassador lives the abundant life of peace and joy, it makes Christianity attractive to others - both believers and unbelievers.

B. As the believer's life is seasoned with salt (Christian values) it provides to those who heed, protection from evil's infection and a healing from spiritual failure (James 5:19-20; Gal. 6:1).

The functional Christian is the one who knows and uses the Divine Value System. Romans 15:1 calls him "you who are strong," and emphasizes the possession of knowledge content. Galatians 6:1 calls him, "you who are spiritual" and emphasizes the filling/control of the Holy Spirit.

It is such a one as this, who is able to spiritually and morally help other believers who are weak (deficient of pertinent standards) or who have sinned (quenched the control of the Spirit).

3. When salt becomes tasteless: PURE chemical salt cannot actually "lose" its saltiness. However, it can become contaminated and "lose" its beneficial properties. The metaphor is thus appropriate to communicate the "uselessness" of the non-functional believer. The one who does not grow in The Faith is subject to contamination by the viewpoint and influence of the darkness system and will be unable to experience personal spiritual benefit, let alone "spiritually" benefit others.

4. The "image" of being thrown out finds its complement in the doctrine of Divine Discipline. The erring, non-functional believer (child of God) is disciplined by the Father in order to move him back into the place of efficient representation of Christ. After ample disciplinary warnings, if the believer continues to remain "out of fellowship" with God, God will remove him from this earth through physical death. He will take him "out of the mix" (the place of function as an ambassador for Christ) but not take him out of the family. He will thus forfeit heavenly rewards and stand before the Son embarrassed and ashamed, but he will not lose his heavenly status of eternal life with God.

See Topic: Divine Discipline; and Salvation Security

 

VERSES 14-15 The Light of the World

The Christian is also called, the light of the world.

Every believer remains here on earth to represent Christ and the Divine Value System to the human race and in so doing, Glorify God.

1. 1 Pet. 2:9, "proclaim the virtues of Him."

2. Eph. 2:10, "FOR good works."

3. 1 Cor. 6:19-20, "glorify God in your body."

4. 2 Cor. 5:20, "we are ambassadors for Christ."

5. Romans 14:7-8, We live or die "for the Lord."

6. Romans 12:1, your body as a living sacrifice which is "reasonable service."

 

VERSE 16

Only those who advance in growth and operate under the filling/control of the Spirit are truly light bearers. Thus the exhortation here, "Let your light shine before men," as well as at Philip. 2:14-16, "holding forth the word of life."

As the believer is consistent in reflecting the Divine Value System in every area of life (production of "good works" - as defined by God's word and not by religion, philosophy, society, or individuals) the LIGHT of God's truth reaches to those in need and God is glorified.

1. Men see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

2. 1 Pet. 2:12, The Gentiles observe your good deeds and will be drawn to God.

3. 1 Pet. 3:2, the "pure manner of life in the sphere of reverence" makes an impact on a rebellious, disobedient spouse.

4. James 2:14-26, good works are the "flag" that draws attention to the reality of one's genuine Christianity.

At Proverbs 4:18, the word, "righteous" refers to the believer who is operating in the sphere of the DVS, in fellowship with God, and LIVING OUT the standards of God's righteousness in his life ("path of the righteous). The result is that his life becomes a beacon of light shining brighter and brighter reaching everyone within his periphery.

Ps.37:30, The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice

Prov. 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life

Prov. 10:20 The tongue of the righteous is {as} choice silver

Prov. 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many

Prov. 10:31 The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom

Prov. 10:32 The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable

Prov. 12:26 The righteous is a guide to his neighbor

Christianity is to be lived OVERTLY. It is why God has left us here on earth. The believer who fails to grow in grace and knowledge and fails to operate according to the standards of the Divine Value System, CANNOT be an effective light bearer for God. Some, to be sure, can parrot an accurate gospel message (Philip. 1:15-18) and give people the information they need to get saved. But they will not have the resources to fully represent Christ beyond salvation issues, their life will not demonstrate the values of Christianity, and they themselves will be characterized by the "double-mindedness" which leads to doubt, fear, worry, discouragement -- anything BUT the abundant life of peace and joy.

See Topic: Ambassadorship: professional Christian ambassador
And: SERVING GOD


Questions and comments are always welcome

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İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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