Counter-Culture for the Common Good – Gospel in Life

Counter-Culture for the Common Good

Bijan Mirtolooi, Tim Keller |  April 3, 2016

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Matthew 5:11-16
RS 365-06


Please note that the audio sermon is given by Timothy Keller, while the video sermon is given by Bijan Mirtolooi.

Sermon Summary

The gospel fosters a unique community that draws both admiration and opposition. Drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, it’s clear that believers are called to be a beacon of light, showcasing virtuous actions that honor God. The role of community is vital in the gospel’s transformative power in personal lives and its wider impact on the world.

1. A community which evokes attraction

Light, symbolizing truth, is a central biblical concept, embodying both God’s revelation and the part of the Christian community in illuminating the world. The perils of self-centeredness are contrasted with the transformative power of God’s grace, which promotes a shift towards community and service. This community is essential for personal development, disseminating God’s truth, and actualizing the gospel through acts of justice, mercy, and selfless service.

2. A community which evokes animosity

Jesus uses metaphors of light and salt to depict the Christian’s role in society: light, both appealing and revealing, and salt, which enhances and preserves but can also sting. Christians are urged to exemplify these qualities, fostering forgiveness and grace in relationships, advocating justice and mercy in their communities, even if it invites persecution. By exemplifying these traits, Christians can attract others towards recognizing and glorifying God.

3. A community which is blessed

Christians are called to create a counter-culture for the common good, unafraid of criticism or insult due to their faith, yet not concealing it to evade animosity. The balance in this tension is found in comprehending the true meaning of “blessed,” as redefined by Jesus in the Beatitudes, where real success is selflessness and sacrificial love. Inspired by Jesus’ example of enduring persecution without self-pity and serving others selflessly, we can mold our community into the city God envisions.



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