The Sermon on the Mount = Matthew 5, 6, and 7.

Read 5:1-16

Who Are You? Salt and Light
  1. [The NATURE of Salt and Light]

  2. [The Higher Righteousness of the Kingdom]

  3. HOW exactly does our righteousness surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees? Kingdom righteousness differs from the righteousness of scribes and Pharisees (ancient or modern) in two important ways:
    1. First, kingdom righteousness is for the sake of others; not simply for our select group and certainly not to earn a reward. Notice that we are the salt of the EARTH and the light of the WORLD. In his declaration, Jesus declares that the presence of the kingdom is for the world!
      • April 1912 - Lifeboat 14 did what no other life boat did - They went back to save others. They knew that a lifeboat was for much more than the safety of the saved, it is for the rescue of the dying.
      • As righteous people, we are called out - not in contempt for the world, but for the sake of the world!
      • We overcome anger, lust, lying, and revenge, because like our Father we love others - including those who hate us. We do this not because he told us to; we do this because he told us who we are!
    2. Second, it emerges from our being and not just our doing. When we ARE salt and light our righteousness becomes a reflex and a discipline. It is our nature to be salty. It is our nature to shine.
      • We live in response to God's grace and mercy. Our good works are not an attempt to claim salvation or earn God's favor. The Holy Spirit is a gift. Those who have been baptized are new creation - and their good works, their righteousness, flows from who we have become in Christ.

  4. WHY exactly must our righteousness surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees?

I think a lighthouse is needed in Western Arkansas even though we are not on the coast. Good news! Jesus says - We Are that Lighthouse!

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 7 September 2003

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