Home Pastor's Corner . Salt and light

. Salt and light

Logos Community Church is not a Post Graduate institute for the learned and the mature, but for the humble and broken hearted who are together seeking for more of Christ. In short, we are simply beggars telling other beggars where to beg. With Paul our desire is to know Christ and to make Him known. So week after week we will gather on Sundays and in small groups during the week to learn more about Him, but it does not fit our aim, which is not to only know God. Our aim is to make Him known. Jesus had something to say about this to us who feel the desire to make Him known in Polokwane.

In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus used two simple images to speak about His people, the salt of the earth and the light of the world. "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost it's taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world . A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Firstly, we are the salt of the earth.

"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet”. (Matthew 5:13)

Salt was of extreme value in the time of Christ. we have all heard the saying 'that man is not worth his salt', but how many of us actually know what it means. It is a statement that dates back to the Roman era when at times Roman soldiers were actually paid in salt. The Romans held that after the Sun, salt was the next most valuable source for them. The most basic value and use of salt which Jesus had in mind here firstly seems to be the seasoning flavour it provides for food, and secondly the preserving qualities of salt.  Nowadays we get all kinds of flavoured salt, which I enjoy, especially because I like to cook. Think of all the braai salts we get today. I will not even venture into naming some. Salt is as old as the earth, and remains the universally popular seasoning. Even the Law of Moses commanded the use of salt on their offerings (Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19).

Jesus says that if you are a disciple of his, you are the salt of the earth. In a recent sermon we were reminded that we are a sweet smelling sacrifice of Christ to God. To some people we are the smell of death, and to others the fragrance of life. However as far as salt is concerned, we ought to bring flavour to a world that desperately needs flavour. The world is not bland, like some foods without salt. The world has a sour, even a rotten taste to it when God’s people are not what they need to be. Our words and actions should affect the world around us for good.

Jesus expressed concern that this might not take place. What if the salt has lost its flavour? If salt did not make our food more palatable, we wouldn’t use it any longer. I do not want to go into the chemical process of salt losing its saltiness; I will leave that for you to study. The issue here is simply this. As a believer your life needs to be of such that when people look at you and listen to you, they have a taste of Christ.

But then also, the other possibility is that Jesus has the preserving nature of salt in mind. As God's children and as temples of His Holy Spirit as we saw last week, it is Christians who prevent the faster decay of the earth. Just think if you pulled all Christians out of the world today, what will happen? Surely Satan will have free reign and the world will rot to the core at a faster rate than ever before.

Secondly, we are the light of the world.

He said the same thing of Himself (John 8:12; 9:5). The apostle Paul said that we should be imitators of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) As He was a light shining in a dark world (John 1:4-5; 3:19), we need to be.

“Our words and actions should affect the world around us for good.”

Two illustrations are used to emphasise the need for a light to be visible. A city in the valley can be hard to see, but if it is on a hill, it is noticeable. Similarly, when you light a lamp, you don’t hide it under a basket, but you set it in an optimal location to supply light throughout the house. Church family, we are a city which is to be set on a hill. The Lord just finished telling us that we are the light of the world. He is the one who has illuminated us (John 1:9; Hebrews 10:32). He expects that we shine in the proverbial house of the world, so that the light of the gospel may be shown throughout the house. This is evident by His charge: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16)

The idea is not for us to us to look good before men for our own benefit, but that we might bring glory to God as men consider our words and works. We are to conduct ourselves in a humble manner, exhibiting the character of God before the world. The desired result is that people in the world might glorify the Father; that is, might be obedient to the gospel, turning from sin and death to righteousness and life.

Will you take up the call of God to flavour the world with your obedience to the will of God?

Are you willing to be a city in plain view of the world? May we shine brightly for the Lord, and may many turn to Him because in and through us they have tasted, and in and through us they have seen the Glory of God in the face of Christ. True believers have to fulfil their identity.

As Christians we will have an indirect influence on society as salt and a direct influences as light, we have to be both subtle salt and conspicuous light. Christ and His saving power may not be a secret we hold to ourselves.

 

Oh, may the light of Christ keep shining through us.