‘What Are We Here For?’

Matthew 5:13-16

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes what life looks like in his kingdom. Jesus is not adjusting how we view life, he is revolutionizing it to be entirely God-centered. In vs 13-16, Jesus reshapes how we understand our role in the world

Why are we here? What is our role or purpose?

The prevalent view is to get what we can out of life before it’s over

And that makes sense if this life is your own kingdom and this world is all we have

In Christ, we know better – life’s purpose stretches beyond our time in this world

That is what the Beatitudes (vs 3-12) want us to see; the blessed are those who know God is our life now and forever

God made life and everything in this world “good”

But humanity has rebelled against him and the whole earth “groans” (Romans 8:20-22)

God must bring justice, but he has also provided grace

But for God to complete our salvation, he must deliver us out of this rebellious world into his unspoiled kingdom

But God doesn’t remove us immediately

(1)  He is making our life to be fit for our eternity with him (which the rest of chapter 5 describes)

(2)  He uses us as his instruments to reach others (what our text describes)

Our role in Christ, is to live for his eternal agenda – the gospel

Jesus describes our role with two illustrations

1. God’s people are “the salt of the earth” (v13)

Salt had a variety of purposes: to preserve, purify and flavor

Our gospel role involves all three functions, but preserving is pre-eminent

The point is not that believers will preserve the world, the Bible declares that this world is condemned

However, individuals are preserved through the saving gospel of Christ

God saved us to be holy and he keeps us here to be instruments

What if we go through life ignoring our primary purposes? v13 says we are like salt that has lost its taste

The phrase “lost its taste” is more literally “become foolish”

We would have lost our distinction – our ‘Why’ for being here

2. God’s people are “the light of the world” (vs 14-16)

Light reveals what is True and what is Real

God is the greatest reality in life, and eternity is the greatest implication

In v16, Jesus makes it clear that how we live is part of the light that radiates from us

Our gospel influence is our words and works, not either / or

These works are not just moral living (Matt 23:23)

The works of the gospel include how we love and care for people

We proclaim the gospel, so people hear the most necessary truth

We live gospel, so they see what God’s heart is like

Every believer shares these roles

Jesus says it clearly: you are “the” salt and light of world

Although we have different abilities, opportunities and results, we all have the same purpose of living for Christ

And Jesus’ great work in this world is to save the lost

The gospel is the only hope people have from God, and his people are the only people to proclaim it

You don’t have to find out your role in life, here it is!

Jesus is our Lord, and he has given us our purpose

And every person we meet needs the agenda of the gospel working in their lives

No other purpose or position on earth comes close in importance

Nothing on the President of the United States’ desk equals your calling to live, share and display the gospel

Look again at vs13-16, most of it describes how pointless life becomes when we are ignoring our purpose

All this has implications for us as a church

As a church we need to be committed to living in biblical community

This is where we learn what that is and it is what people should experience when they visit

As The Church we also need to go out!  How can you be involved in the lives of people in your circle of the world?

Although we are the salt and light that the world needs, the world doesn’t appreciate this fact

The Beatitude immediately before vs 13-16, focused on when persecution comes to us

Jesus wants to encourage us and give us a healthy perspective about the world’s negative responses

Be Encouraged!  Life may be a struggle, but God is making us fit for eternity with him

Be Faithful!  This world may be evil, but God still has people he will save