Salt and Light – Part 3
August 8, 2021
Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MAT 5:13-16 The Message Bible)
A very important point to remember throughout our Christian Walk is that being what The Lord Jesus Christ calls “salt-seasoning” or “light-bearers” is the only chance there is to have a life filled with meaning, purpose, and happiness. There is no other way.
Here’s another interesting thing about salt: it’s also known for making other people’s lives more enriched by bringing Bible doctrine into a conversation. You’ll see it season what’s being discussed. It will liven the conversation and excite those involved in it. Think about that for a moment. Have you ever introduced a doctrinal idea into a conversation and experienced how it ignites the discussion? God’s Word has an uncanny ability to invigorate conversation and make the ideas being discussed more electrifying!
In the Old Testament, salt was also used for making a promise or a covenant with others in the ancient world. If you ate salt with someone, you made a covenant or promise with them, and this meant that you were safe as long as you both honored the promises that were made. Salt was a sign of friendship symbolizing the trust and the bond that comes from fellowshipping with others.
Salt was used in the Levitical offerings to represent the eternal security which is part of our covenant with God. Salt was used in the offerings to indicate that once you believe in Christ, you are in His Hands forever. He is the source of your protection and blessing. Look at LEV 2:13 (New International Reader’s Version): Put salt on all your grain offerings. Salt stands for the lasting covenant between you and your God. So do not leave it out of your grain offerings. Add salt to all your offerings.
Salt was also used as an illustration for believers bringing taste into situations that need us to represent Christ in Satan’s world. Look at (MAR 9:50 New Living Translation): “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.” These words teach us that Our Lord and Savior wants us to have godly characters. The term “qualities of salt” include the following: being holy, righteous, pure, and bringing peace in a world that is none of those things. Our Lord wants us to live peacefully with each other. Two clear commands — to be at peace and to have a godly influence on those around us — are of the utmost importance! Obedience to these two commands is greatly needed in the divided and worldly Cosmic System in which we find ourselves.
Salt is also analogous to the mature believer in the expression of divine viewpoint. This is commanded in COL 4:6 (New International Reader’s Version): “Let the words you speak always be full of grace. Learn how to make your words what people want to hear. Then you will know how to answer everyone.” The usage of salt in the ancient world gives us some insight about what Jesus meant by his analogy in MAT 5:13-16. One of the first things we think about is that salt adds flavor to food. Christians are told to add a Divine flavor to the world. However, this analogy has to be cautioned with the fact that the world expects us to be boring. Christians are often considered stuffy, restrictive – a rain storm on the world’s parade. The flavor the righteous add is real, but it is not what the world is looking for. The world is bent toward hedonism – finding whatever pleasure they can wherever they can. They want to be entertained or find excitement. They don’t expect or see the excitement and fascination in God’s Word and getting to know Him. They are dependent on something outward to bring meaning and joy to life. But the Christian doesn’t need to chase around after the things the world strives for. A truly godly individual can find great joy and beauty in just being still before God. We have an excitement about life that can continue despite difficult or trying outward circumstances.
Another aspect of salt, and probably the main emphasis in what Jesus was saying in MAT 5:13-16, is that it is a preservative. It prevents putrefaction. Remember that back in Old Testament times, there was no refrigeration and the most popular way to keep things from rotting was the use of salt. A piece of meat left out will soon begin to rot, but a piece of meat rubbed with salt will not. It’s this same quality that gives salt its medicinal value, even though it does sting when it’s put into a wound. Like salt rubbed on a wound, Christians may sting the world and prick its conscience. This is because worldly people are uncomfortable in the presence of holiness. The reason is that it brings to light what’s missing in their character.
Jesus also says that the truly righteous are “the light of the world” or “light-bearers.” This is much the same as being salt in many respects with just a different emphasis. Again, the emphasis is on being what you are. You ARE the light of the world. Salt has the more negative emphasis of preservation while light has the more positive emphasis of proclamation.
Light is often used as an analogy for the nature of God and the nature of a Christian. 1 JOH 1:5-7 (New International Reader’s Version) tells us: Here is the message we have heard from him and announce to you. God is light. There is no darkness in him at all. Suppose we say that we share life with God but still walk in the darkness. Then we are lying. We are not living out the truth. But suppose we walk in the light, just as he is in the light. Then we share life with one another. And the blood of Jesus, his Son, makes us pure from all sin. Look at what Jesus Christ said in JOH 8:12 (New International Reader’s Version): “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness. They will have that light. They will have life.”
We are the light of the world because God shines His light through those that have received it through belief in His Son. Christ is the True Light. We are only reflections of Him. As the moon reflects the sun, we reflect God’s Son, Jesus Christ, by what we say and do.
By being the light of the world we expose the sinfulness around us. Just as roaches that infest a building will scatter when the lights are turned on, so will evil scatter when a light is turned on it. We are also the light of the world because we have the light of God’s Word to share.
Look at what David said about the scriptures: Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way. It is like a light that guides me. (PSA 119:105 New International Reader’s Version) The Bible teaches us how to live godly lives and bring glory to His Name. We are light in a very positive sense when we guide people by that light to God. Light lets us see the truth. There is a danger then in hiding our lights. Jesus says that the truly righteous are salt and light. They do not have to become these things. They are them by virtue of being a true Christian. But there is a danger because our saltiness can be lost by contamination by the Cosmic System. If salt is mixed with impurities, it loses its desirable qualities. When that happened when Christ walked the earth, it became useless for its intended work and it was cast out into the street where it would become part of the road that people walked on.
As Christians we are salt. But the question is, “What is the strength of our saltiness?” Are we pure salt which can have a great effect on things – or have we become contaminated with impurities? Have we become like the world which we are supposed to be purifying? There is a danger of being influenced by the world and losing our ability to affect those around us, instead of influencing the world and changing the people with whom we interact.
You are the salt of the earth. Stay useful in the cause of Christ and don’t get mixed up with the world. And if there are worldly things you are mixed up in, repent and remove yourself from them. You are also the light of the world. You do not have to do anything for people to see it. Like a city on a hill, they will see it naturally without any effort on your part. But there is a danger if you become concerned about what people might think of you – and then hiding your light from them.
So, always remember to “let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (MATT 5:16 New International Reader’s Version) Don’t hide your light. Let people see who you are in Him. Let them see the good things you do – the things that are beautiful and attractive – so that they may give glory to God The Father. If you are living in true righteousness as expressed in the Beatitudes, then there is little danger of your arrogance getting in the way, because your goal and purpose in life is bringing honor to His Name and being a blessing to all. You are salt and you are light.
Don’t become contaminated and don’t hide your light, and you will bring glory to God.
Preserve That Which is Good and Let Your Light Shine!!!!