Saturday, February 8, 2014

Salt and Light

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men." —Matthew 5:13

Salt is used as a preservative. Could it be that this was what Jesus was referring to? Jesus was speaking these things to the crowd of Jews gathered around Him. They were supposed to be God's chosen people. They were to be the preservative to the nations around them, being separate and set apart from the world, witnessing for and representing God. But they had lost their saltiness. They had become good for nothing.

Consider Lot; had he been a little more salt (not in the same manner as his wife, mind you) and light, there might have been found at least 10 righteous people in the city and it might have been preserved.

And so Christians became the preservatives. With us in the world, we act as the preservatives that keep it from going bad entirely, but also that we keep it from being destroyed. Consider what Peter says in 2 Peter 3:9. The Lord is patient for the elect's sake. He puts up with the ungodly for the sake of the elect. But once all the elect have come to faith, what is there to preserve?

This passage continues, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." —Matthew 5:14-16

Everything we do in our life is supposed to be a light that witnesses to others. How are we doing on that front? When the world watches and listens to us, do we look and sound just like them, or are we set apart in such a way that we stand out as being different and having something better to offer than this world?

Our presence is preserving everything around us. Do we retain that saltiness, or have we become good for nothing?

This passage ends by warning us that "unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." —Matthew 5:20

Clearly there is a way we ought to be living and it ought to be different from the rest of the world. If there is no difference between them and us, then perhaps we might want to re-examine ourselves and what it is we claim to believe. We are the salt and light, so let us walk, talk, and live in such a manner that reflects this.