Bible Studies In The Christian Library
Matthew 5:13-16

INTRODUCTION: Four preachers were discussing the merits of various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James best because of its simple, beautiful English language. Another preferred the American Standard version because it is more literal and comes nearer the original Hebrew and Greek. Still another favored the New King James Version because of its up-to-date vocabulary. When the fourth preacher was asked his opinion, he replied, "I like my mother's translation best." The other three were a little puzzled. They were unaware that his mother had translated the Bible. "Yes, she did," he stated, "she translated the Bible into life. She lived what she read, and her's was the most convincing  translation I ever saw." This good mother had a fine Christian influence on her son. What about our influence?



A. What is influence?
1. Influence - "to affect or alter the conduct, thought, or character of another."

2. Can be either for the better or the worse.

3. Everyone has influence. 

a. Romans 14:7- "For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies  to himself."
B. We should be concerned about our influence for two reasons.
1. Because of the fate of our own souls.
a. Romans 14:12- "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."
2. Because of the fate of others.
a. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23- "to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. {23} Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you."


A. Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount.
1. Matthew 5:13-16- ""You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. {14} "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. {16} "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." 
B. We are to be an "example."
1. 1 Timothy 4:12- "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

2. Titus 2:7- "in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,"


A. We can wil souls to Christ thorugh a good influence.
1. 1 Corinthians 7:16- "For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?"

2. 1 Peter 2:11-12- "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, {12} having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation."

B. It can cause evil doers to be ashamed.
1. 1 Peter 3:15-16- "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; {16} having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed."
C. Some examples of a good influence.
1. Joshua
a. Joshua 24:23, 31- ""Now therefore," he said, "put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel.... Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the LORD which He had done for Israel."
2. Jesus had a great influence over John the Apostle.
a. John's original condition. 
(1) Luke 9:54- "And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?""
b. After Jesus influenced him.
(1). 1 John 4:6-11- "We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. {7} Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. {8} He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. {9} In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. {10} In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. {11} Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
3. The Thessalonian church
a. 1 Thessalonians 1:7, 8- "so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything."
4. The power of a good example lives on past death.
a. Hebrews 11:4- "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks."


A. It can lead people into sin.
1. Proverbs 22:24-25- "Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, {25} Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul."
B. Examples of bad influence.
1. Solomon
a. 1 Kings 11:3-4- "And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. {4} For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David."
2. Amaziah, King of Judah.
a. 2 Chronicles 22:3-4- "He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly. {4} Therefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction."
3. False teachers.
a. Galatians 5:7-9- "You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? {8} This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. {9} A little leaven leavens the whole lump."


A. We should understand God's attitude toward those who influence others to sin.
1. Matthew 18:6- ""But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
B. We should stay away from anything that will hurt our influence.
1. Romans 14:13-16- "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. {14} I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. {15} Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. {16} Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;"

2. 1 Thessalonians 5:22- "Abstain from every form of evil."

3. Many things are not wrong in themselves but may lead someone to sin.

CONCLUSION: Our influence as Christians cannot be overemphasized. We have an effect on others. The is illustrated by the poem "Touching Others."

The slightest breeze that ever blew
Some slender grass has wavered,
The smallest life I ever knew
Some other life has flavored.

We cannot live our lives alone
For other lives we touch
Are either strengthened by our own,
Or weakened just as much.

-Author Unknown

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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