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The Importance and Task of Christians

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작성자 카마리오한인연합감리교회 작성일22-09-16 17:32 조회66회 댓글0건

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Date: 9/16/22

Sermon Title: The Importance and Task of Christians

Context: Matthew 5:13-16

(Matt 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.

(Matt 5:14) You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

(Matt 5:15) 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.

(Matt 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.


 

Preaching Note  

1. In the first sermon, Jesus said that the kingdom of God came close. “From that time on, Jesus said, ‘Repent. He began to proclaim, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt 4:17). And through the words of the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12), Jesus spoke about the identity of a Christian, a disciple of Jesus who lives in the kingdom of God. A Christian who follows Jesus is the poor in spirit, the mourner, the meek, the hungry and thirsty for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemaker, and the one who is persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

In today's bible text, Matt 5:13-16, a Christian is an important person in the world because he/she represents the kingdom of God in the world. It emphasizes that the Christian's task is to give the world the glory of God. If we keep Christian identity as the people of God's kingdom in the world, we can face persecution and suffering. Even in such circumstances, a Christian is an important person in the world because he/she changes the world into the kingdom of God while maintaining his/her identity. Changing the world into the kingdom of God is an important task for Christians.

Q.1 How do I view the world?

 

2. You are the salt of the world. If salt loses its saltiness, what will restore its saltiness? Salt, which has lost its saltiness, is of no use; it is thrown outside, and people trample it” (verse 13). Salt goes into the food and makes the food taste good. And salt prevents spoilage of food. Salt plays an important role. This metaphor can be interpreted to mean that the disciples of Jesus are important beings indispensable to the world in that they testify of God and His kingdom.

    “You are the light of the world. A village built on a mountain cannot be hidden” (verse 14). Light brightens the darkness. It makes the way visible. Light plays an important role. Therefore, as in the metaphor of salt, here too, the emphasis is placed on the fact that the disciples are indispensable to the world.

   Christians are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Christians are distinct from the world and at the same time, are closely related to the world. Christians do not live completely independent of the world, but rather have a close relationship with the world. Not being influenced by the world but make relationships by influencing the world. A Christian is someone who taste the world through the role of salt. A Christian is a person who illuminates the world through the role of light. Just as salt and light are important in the world, Christians who change the world into the kingdom of God are important people that must be present in the world.

   The disciples who follow Jesus are not the salt and light of Israel, but those of the whole world. Christian do not exist for the benefit of any particular group. He/she is not partisan entity that divides sides and pursues the interests of one side. A Christian exists for the good of the whole world. A Christian exists for the sake of the whole world, not for his own benefit or for the benefit of one's side.

    “And he does not light a lamp and put it under a horse but put it on a lampstand. Then the lamp gives light to all who are in the house” (verse 15). A Christian does not exist for his or her own side, but for everyone in all the world. Christians are oriented towards universalism. The Christian is not one who pursues to shine for himself, but one who illuminates the world so that everyone in the world may shine.

Q.2 How am I contributing to the world?

 

3. In the same way, let your light shine upon men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (verse 16). ‘Good deeds’ are not good actions in general but acts of putting the word of God into practice. ‘Good deeds’ are acts that reveal the kingdom of God by putting God’s Word into practice. To shine a light on the world is to realize the righteousness of the law, interpreted in its right sense. Showing “good deeds” to others must be based on the disciples’ unique relationship to “the Father in Heaven.” The sermon that follows explains in detail the ‘good deeds’ that reveal the presence of the kingdom of God. It is none other than a life of faithful observance of the commandments according to the righteousness of the law as interpreted by Jesus.

   When Christians do good deeds that show the kingdom of God while maintaining their Christian identity even in the face of persecution, the people of the world glorify God. Then we experience the Kingdom of God coming here and now.

    The goal of good deeds is not to make me shine. It is desire, and what makes the world shine is spirituality. The Christian's task is to make the shining presence of God manifest to the world through Christians. The Christian's task is for the people of the world to glorify God through good deeds that show the kingdom of God.

Q.3 How do I show God's presence?


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