Studies In

The Sermon on the Mount

                         "Ye Are The Light of The World"
                                  Matthew 5:14-16


I.   This is our Lord's description of the Christian life and influence.

  A. Darkness and night represent error, sin, unrighteousness.

  B. Light and day represent righteousness, truth, good works.

II.  This is another great compliment: "There is not enough darkness in
     the whole world to put out the light of one candle."

III. Yet, our light is dependent upon him.  (Malachi 4:2; John 8:12.)

  A. This lesson is important because Jesus said it, and it is true.

  B. Our soul's interest, now and in eternity, is involved.


I.   BENEFITS OF LIGHT:  Why let light shine?

  A. Necessary for life.

     1.   For bodies, plants, living things.

     2.   All life depends upon sun's energy. (See World Book

  B. What light does.

     1.   Natural light overcomes, dispels darkness.

     2.   Awakens, cheers, comforts.

     3.   Reveals, heals, determines seasons.

     4.   Makes for health.

     5.   Spiritual light heals, civilizes, guides into Christ.

     6.   Magnifies Christ, glorifies God, guides to heaven.


  A. A personal duty.

     1.   "Let" - imperative duty.

     2.   "Your light" - refraction? (John 1:7-9; 8:12)

  B. Purpose.

     1.   It is in the nature of light to shine.

     2.   It is in the power of light to overcome darkness.

     3.   There is a need for such light in the world:  That others may
          see God in us and be led to glorify him.

     4.   Such light has power to magnify God.  (1 Peter 2:11,12.)

III.  HOW SHINE?  "So shine," by good works.

  A. Naturally.

     1.   Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:1; Acts 6:15; 4:19,20.

     2.   But not ostentatiously.  (Matthew 6:1-4.)

  B. Willingly and purposely.  (Philippians 2:14-16.)

     1.   Sacrificially - is expensive.  (Romans 12:1.)

     2.   "The zeal for thy house hath eaten me up."
          (Psalms 69:9; 119:139; John 2:17.)

     3.   John beheaded.  Jesus crucified.  Paul.  (2 Cor. 12:15.)

  C. Openly - conspicuously - freely.

     1.   "Before men" - "AS a city set on a hill."

       a. "A letter known and read of all men."  (2 Cor. 3:2)

       b. "The gospel according to you."

       c. "My Mother's Bible."

     2.   Not always easy.  Some "love darkness rather than light,
          because their works (deeds) are evil."

  D. Continuously - not fitfully, spasmodically, or periodically.

     1.   Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 15:58; "Daily;" "always

     2.   "Now" - "Today."  (2 Corinthians 6:2.)

     3.   Like a lighthouse: Sooner or later it will be the means of
          saving life, the reason for its existence.

  E. Brightly - Clearly - Like a star, reflecting true light.

     1.   Not timidly.

     2.   "The sun of righteousness, with healing..." (Malachi 4:2.)

     3.   His light is indispensable for the sinful world.

  F. Individually - Where we are. (Ephesians 4:16; Philippians 2:14-16.)

     1.   "Brighten the corner where you are."  (Business, home;

     2.   "Let down your bucket where you are."

     3.   "Acres of Diamonds." -- Cromwell.

  G. Through the church.  (Revelation 1:20; Ephesians 3:21.)

     1.   By doing good.

     2.   By assembling for teaching; worship; etc.


  A. Unbelief.  (Hebrews 3:12-19.)

     1.   Causes disobedience.  (Romans 2:6-10.)

     2.   It may be true that "No person believes perfectly, neither
          does any person doubt completely." --Charles L. Allen,
          Prayer, p. 112.

  B. Untruth - Ignorance, lack of knowledge, means dark shadows.

     1.   Ephesians 4:17-19:  "Hardening of their heart."

     2.   Shows up in various ways, such as "language of Ashdod,"

  C. Unconcern.

     1.   Negligence.  (Hebrews 2:1-3; Revelation 3:15,116.)

     2.   Periodical Christianity.  (Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 15:58.)

  D. Unchristian influence.

     1.   Pride, the basic human sin.  (Proverbs 16:18,19.)

     2.   Selfishness, the sin no one confesses.  (Matthew 25:41-46.)

     3.   Self-indulgence, sinful pleasure.  (Galatians 5:16-21;
          2 Timothy 3:4.)


I.   What if we fail?  (Ezekiel 3:18.)

II.  In heaven, "Night nor more."  (Revelation 22:5.)

III. When Christianity came the earth was in virtual absolute spiritual
     darkness:  "It was night."

  A. Jesus and his disciples caused a new day to dawn.

  B. Then the church, after a few decades, began to hide her lamp
     under the bushels of human authority, tradition, and there were
     one thousand years of night known as "the Dark Ages."

  C. Then Martin Luther and others began their search for the light of
     God in Christ, revealed in the Bible, and began to dispel the
     darkness which had become unbearable.

  D. That light was finally found, rescued from the human bushels,
     and exalted, in the early nineteenth century, by the pioneers of the
     true gospel as they searched for the ancient order in its divine
     purity, passed it on to the twentieth century, and is now a great
     blessing to our generation.

IV.  "Let your light so shine." --Jesus Christ.

  SONGS:  "Let the Lower Lights Be burning;"
          "Send the Light;"
          "Lead Kindly Light;" etc.

                                                      --Charles Crouch

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