Riverside Community Church

Salt and Light

Matthew 5:13-16

The very words of Christ are going to be spoken aloud today, as if Christ Himself is here with us (and He is here). You will hear these potent and precious and powerful words from Christ today, receive these words, let them awaken, come alive, in you, today.

-let’s say together our pledge and prayer as we hear Christ’s words.

My Pledge * My Prayer. 

I am a Christian. I follow Christ.

Christ is my Saviour and my teacher.

I will hear Christ’s Words today. 

I will believe Christ’s Words today.

I will obey Christ’s Words today.

Come O Christ and awaken your words in me.

Matthew 5:13-16 NIV

Christ said -QUOTE:

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.”

-pretty straightforward and easy to understand, yes?

-it’s actually very simplistic if you read it fast enough and just get to the next verse quickly.

But, hold on there, slow down as you read Christ’s words, slow down as you hear these metaphoric words and realize that God has placed great importance on these very lyrics, it is, after all, Christ’s primary sermon. Further, GOD wants to tell you something very important about YOU.

I’m ready to hear, Lord. Christ said:

--“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.”

These are metaphors, you aren’t a chunk of rock salt and I am certainly not a light bulb. Nay, nay. These are metaphors whose meanings are symbolic. 

-you are the salt of the earth, 

-you, Christian as Jesus Salt, bring soul flavour to those all around you. 

-you, Christian, bring spiritual goodness and savouriness to people surrounding you, and to lives all about you.

-you, my dear Christian, in your sphere of influence can bring a wonderful taste of God to others. 

-you can bring this -it’s not automatic or without work.

-being salt-like HOW?? 

-is reflected in our love for others, in our kindness in words and deeds, 

-is reflected in our attitudes of faith and trusting God in hard times,

-good saltiness is revealed in our attitudes of thankfulness and praise

-In the wonderful flavour of contentment and gratitude to God we find the salt-like Christian, flavouring their sphere of others.

Note: the more we abide in Christ, the closer we walk daily with God, the better we are at imitating Christ 🡪the better OUR SALT is!!

-Captain Obvious says if salt isn’t salty, it’s useless, oh wait, that’s what Jesus said -if we’re not salty, -we’re a disappointment and unusable.

As a kid growing up, I hated onions. My Mom used onions in everything, she would even put raw onion on a sandwich. My Grandmother was worse. My brother and I both hated onions.

One day I begged my mother not to put onions in the hamburger patties she was making for the family. ‘you won’t like it.’ She said, to which I replied ‘yes, I will’.

She made everybody’s burgers with onions, salt, pepper, other seasonings except mine (did I say NO SALT in mine?). 50 years later I found out that she just didn’t just omit the onions in my burger but all the seasoning including ‘no salt’.

Supper came and this 8-year-old eagerly awaited the ‘no-dumb-onion’ burger. I dug in. It was as bland and tasteless as chewing on a piece of cardboard. ‘Mom, what’s wrong with this burger?’ I blurted out. She replied with a smirk, ‘no onions’ and under her breath she thought, no salt.

You are the salt of the earth, be salty enough, exude the full wonderful flavour of following Jesus Christ closely. 

Be stable, consistent & indispensable as salt.

-have you ever noticed that Christ said earth for salt but world for light? Christ used two different words to metaphorically describe where this attribute, this symbolic calling of ours occurs.

Salt of the Earth -Earth: physical, touchable dirt. Whether it’s a handful of dirt, a farm field of dirt or this whole globe we live on, -its just dirt.

-you can inherit dirt, build your treasures on it, Christ brought peace to earth and was buried in it, we dwell on the earth-dirt and will be buried in it.

-this orb of dirt started in darkness and God has made it His footstool. There is great distress on earth-dirt and much distress is coming.

-here is the main thought of earth -dirt -it shall all pass away, it is temporary, transient it is, and some day gone, all gone!

So, while earth remains, Christians are salt, (I would say add the onions but Jesus uses the best word here) you are the salt of this temporary earth.

You are the light of the world.”

&world here in Greek is **lsquo;kosmos’ literally meaning ‘this arrangement’ -do you see this arrangement🡪 all of creation, stars, planets, earth, people, including each of us. 

Remember, God so loved the ‘world’ ‘kosmos’ including you.

And we are the light of this world, obviously we are not physical lights like light sabers from Star Wars. No, not physical lights but spiritual lights.

Spiritual lights that can be seen by others in our good deeds, our Godly deeds. I love to tell you that you are the light of this world because I know it’s true and it amazes me. I’m light, and by God’s good grace He continues to use me.

I struggled to understand that ‘I am the light of the world’ because I thought Jesus was the light of the world! How do I understand these 2 opposite descriptions of who is Light?

John 8:12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. 

-when Simeon took the 8-day old Jesus in his arms he called Him ‘a light for revelation to the Gentiles. 🡪 you and me. And Christ was that light.

-John called our Christ ‘the light of all mankind’. Later, John says that Christ was the ‘true light’ and finally the Apostle writes that ‘light has come into the world, (Kosmos) but men loved darkness rather than light’. 

Christ was the Light. The OT prophesied that ‘a great light was coming’. And Christ, that great light came. No doubt.

But now we start to see a further explanation in:

John 9:5

While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

   While -is definitive. While Christ is here, He is the Light.

   Meaning He is not always here like the people were seeing Him back then.

He further explains in John 12:35;

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. 

Meaning I am leaving soon, THIS light is leaving.

Indeed, the Light would be leaving, He would be nailed to a cross, mocked as a King and killed unjustly. Well, He was a King and He had a Kingdom which was called in Col. 1:12 ‘the Kingdom of Light’. The followers of the King, the Light, were not subjects of the crown but rather children of the King and hence children of light.

Jesus said in John 12:36

Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” 

Do you believe in Christ as your Saviour and is He the King and Lord in your Life? if so, then you are in God’s Kingdom of light and hence Jesus Christ looks directly at you today and says: ‘you are the light of the world’. I left this to you, now, be a light.

You’re the light of the world now:

So, shine, shine bright, shine as bright as you can.

Lay down any sin that dulls your light, forsake it completely and shine.

Lay aside a weakness that dims your light, let your light shine.

Christ has passed the torch to you, don’t stop but sprint, run the torch.

Let your light shine through good deeds and that will cause people to see in their spiritual darkness, Christ.

Whatever lies before you be determined now to shine then.

Whatever lies behind you be determined to shine today and always.

Be the light, be the light intended by Christ.

Don’t stay in the darkness but believe in Christ and enter His family, His kingdom of light. Pick up the torch today.

If you have fallen and darkness now shrouds your light, come back to Christ, come out of the darkness and into His glorious light.

How Do I do this, be the light of the world?

Hear the call to be a light in the world.

Determine to believe that this call to be a light is God’s call on you.

Obey the call, yield to the call, say yes to the call.

Then 2 things:

  • be as close to God as you can, read, pray, commit, submit.
  • Look for the good to do, good deeds, be open to God’s leading.

Carry your light, and run to the darkness,

Hold out your lamp for all to witness. Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn,

Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn.

Seek out the helpless, deceived and forlorn. Take your lamp, and go light your world.

Do your good deeds to others around.

But I can’t, I’m down and my hurting abounds.

All the more reason to shine bright and strong,

Strength in weakness is God’s promise along.

Take your lamp and go light your world.

Help your brother and help your sister,

They may hold a lamp with little or no flame.

Help your neighbor and help your friend,

Hold out your lamp for all to perceive,

Good deeds done, makes our God seen.

So, let's raise our lamps and light up the darkness.

A request from Paul to you:

Ephesians 5:8

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.