Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: “Come closer.” Surrounded by peasants, the religious brass, and curious observers, Jesus beckons for his disciples to lean in and listen. When they do, he gives this group of fairly new believers two lasting metaphors for the type of influence that his followers will have in the world.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. How does the Sermon on the Mount bring to mind Moses on Mount Sinai?
2. What is the difference between living for God’s approval and living from God’s approval? How can we know that we have been accepted by God?
3. What was the primary use of salt in Jesus’ day? In what ways do you behave as the “salt of the earth” (5:13)?
4. How does salt lose its taste (5:13)?
5. What are some things that prevent light from being seen?
6. In what ways do you act as “light to the world” (5:14)?
1. Read Matthew 5:13-16.
2. “The Ten Commandments on a mountain followed salvation from Egypt; so now the Sermon on the Mount follows the Savior’s coming. Law follows Grace. In John the Baptist’s ministry, Law precedes Grace; In Jesus ministry beginning now, Grace precedes Law.” – Frederick Dale Bruner
3. With Moses: Law then Grace
4. With Jesus: Grace then Law
5. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” – John 1:17
6. “This epidemic of ‘Identity Amnesia’ is seen in serious Christian books that focus on improving outer behaviors … or overcoming sin, without much reference to God’s love for us or his ongoing work in us. It’s seen in the hymns and choruses we sing in which we declare our determination to follow Christ without a mention of his determination to cause us to do so. It can be observed in the astounding absence of the gospel in sermons. … These calls to godly living are built like houses in the sky: fine looking edifices, but lacking the essential foundation.” – Elyse Fitzpatrick
7. 01. The (negative) influence of Jesus’ followers is this: they restrain or slow down the progress of evil of the world.
8. Read Matthew 5:14-16
9. 02. The (positive) influence of Jesus’ followers is this: they illuminate for a sin-darkened world the hope and forgiveness found in our gracious God.
10. “The goal is that people be impressed by the Father who makes disciples this way rather than by the disciples who (miraculously) behave this way.”