Let’s look at three very different examples of what it looks like to be salt and light to the world

Wednesday, May 25, 2011, Part 3

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).

IDEA: Our good words are seen by others, but they should not be done to be seen by others.

PURPOSE: To help listeners realize that what appears to be a contradiction is actually a significant truth.

Is what seems like a contradiction necessarily an error?

Can an apparent contradiction lead us to an insight?

I. Look at Matthew 5:16 and the principle that dominates Matthew 6:1. Are they contradictions?

What does Jesus command in Matthew 6?

Religious observances should not be undertaken in front of other people so that they will notice you.

What does Jesus command in Matthew 5:16?

Let your light shine before people that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.

II. Is this a real contradiction? How do you put the two together?

For example, think of prayer or giving to the needy. Are these commendable acts or not?

Is there any significance in the reason we do good deeds?

Can we have a reputation for pious acts that are not piety at all? How?

Have you ever done a good act to be seen by others? Is it possible for that act to bring good to other people and bring glory to God?

III. Do Christians have to think about being salt and light where God has put them?

What might be involved in being salt and light in the entertainment world?

What might be involved in being salt and light in government?

What might be involved in being salt and light in high school or college?

What might be involved in being salt and light in the workplace?

Are there areas where Christians should not go to be salt and light?