Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sermon on the mount, said: “13 You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shines unto all that are in the house.
16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 (ASB))
As believers, Christ has called us to be “salt and light” in this world, but what does that entail? Perhaps an even more important question is: “How do we become salt and light?“. What are the prerequisites for becoming “salt and light“? Where does OUR “salt and light” come from? What is “salt“? What is “light“?
Let’s start by answering these questions in reverse order, because only by know where our true resources come from, are we then able to be what Christ calls us to be…“salt and light“.
We use light all the time to dispel darkness…the lights in our homes…the headlights on our vehicles…candles for light or romance, and what almost everyone has – flashlights. We take all of these for granted…until they don’t work.
Suppose you are trying to pick your way down a winding and rocky path at night, and someone offers you a small flashlight to help you see, but when you switch it on, all you get is a faint, unfocused bit of light… Can you see your path? There is SOME light, but it is not enough. But, suppose that another person offers you a 3-D-cell Maglight, with an LED bulb and fresh batteries? That Maglight even feels different than the wimpy wannabe flashlight. It is hefty and solid…a piece of precision-engineered and made equipment. It is “pro-grade“, and when you switch it on, darkness is dispelled and night turns into day. The Maglight can also be focused to light up an area or shine brightly on a small part of the path. The Maglight definitely gets the job done.
As important as light is to our physical well-being, it is our spiritual well-being that really is in view here. The path is our life, and if we try to light it with a false or wannabe light, we slip, trip, stumble and fall. We need the true light in our life to help us avoid the pitfalls of life. We need our path to be well-lit…
12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)
When Jesus said “I am the light of the world“, He was declaring Himself to be the only spiritual light we will ever need. If we have Him, we will have a clear view of our spiritual path.
When Jesus said “He who follows me will not walk in darkness“, He was declaring that not only is He the light, but He is also our guide. Why would we dare go into unfamiliar territory without a guide, but we try it on our own all the time.
When Jesus said “But will have the Light of life“, He was declaring that He will always be our spiritual light.
Does this make sense? What Jesus is declaring is that in order for US to be “light” in the world, we must have HIM as our “Light“. Only by shining forth His light, can we truly be “light“. He IS our Source…our “Maglight“, and His “batteries” never run down.
When we think of “salt“, we think of it as a flavoring-agent…a seasoning, but that is not what it meant in the historical context of our Lord’s command. Salt was a preservative, something that kept meats and fish from spoiling. There were no refrigerators or freezers…things we take for granted…two thousand years ago, so a person either had to buy their meat or fish fresh every day and consume it immediately, or they had to “salt” it to keep it from spoiling. The salt supressed the harmful bacteria that caused their food to spoil. That is the picture we are to see in our time.
I believe that we would pretty much all agree that there is a lot of spiritual “rottenness” in the world today. Many people do whatever they please without regard to the truth of God’s Word – the Bible. Unfortunately some of that “rottenness” has even infiltrated the church, something I have addressed in several of my posts.
“Salt” then is protection from spiritual rottenness. We must first become “salted“, before we can become “salt“. “Salt” is TRUTH…
Unfortunately for many of us, our “sources” of “salt” and “light” have been seriously flawed. Even churches and denominations which hold to the great creeds and confessions of faith have allowed their “salt” to be contaminated by false doctrines and their “lights” to be dimmed by misappropriated “theology“. They have taught the “doctrines of men” as the “precepts of God“, and those sitting in the pews have believed that those “rules for life” are making them “better Christians“.
If we are to become “salt and light“, we must first discover and tap into the true Source of “salt and light“, our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible. Only then can we help lead other hungry souls to the Source of salt and light.
If you still believe that you can get yourself “saved“, and that by “obeying the rules“, you can “merit” a right relationship with God, you will never be “salt and light“. All you will be is an evangelist for “doing it my way by works” religion. Go back and read “As Filthy Rags“, and then repent of your self-sufficiency to God. Take your “SELF” off of God’s throne, and invite Him to be the Lord of your life. Only then will you be ready to start becoming “salt and light“.
Becoming “salt and light”…
How do we become “salt and light“? We become “light” by having the “Light of the world” in us…by believing and trusting our Lord Jesus Christ as our only means of gaining God’s favor. We cannot do it on our own.
We become “salt” by reading and studying God’s Word, the Bible, because it is the only truth that sets men free. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
Many people study what others think God’s Word says, but only by studying it yourself, will you actually know what it DOES say. That is how so many of us have gotten ourselves in trouble with porn and sexual addictions…because we were fed false views of the Bible.
The Apostle Paul said: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Only by having the Light in us, may we also be “light” in the world, and only by know the truth, may we also be able to proclaim the truth…be “salt” in the world.
Being “salt and light”…
How can we BE “salt and light“? We have to start by living the “light” and the “salt(truth)” in our own lives. Sometimes the only way others get exposed to “salt and light” is through our living it. We are their only “Bible“.
Not everyone is called to be a pastor, teacher or missionary…in the formal sense, but we are ALL called to be missionaries in a less formal way. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). That is the Great Commission, and it applies to all believers.
We can follow our Lord’s command by loving our neighbor, doing acts of kindness, speaking words of comfort, and in myriad other ways. One of the ways that I have been enabled to proclaim the Good News is through this blog. This is God’s blog, and I am merely the scribe. It is HIS truth that I seek to proclaim.
I am blessed knowing that God’s truth, as expressed in this blog, IS going into all the world, by having a global readership. God’s Word is going to parts of the world I could never go to in person, and God has even brought readers from countries that are hostile to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)