Matthew 5:13–16 NIV
“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.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

By Pastor Chase Knudsen

Shine bright… everywhere we go. As long as Jesus is still head of the church (which He is), as long as the church is alive (which she is), as long as the Holy Spirit still moves in the church (which He does), lights will always shine and shine bright.

God continues to work in people’s life day in and day out. The question is are you contributing to darkness or light?

Most atheists are atheists for a particular reason or another – but do you want to know a very common reason shared among them?

They don’t believe it because we don’t believe it.

What do I mean by that?

They believe that our faith doesn’t genuinely affect us by the way we act. SO… most atheists are deterred from a faith in Christ because they feel if the people who claim to follow this Jesus guy don’t truly live like it, why should they?

See atheists believe in something, but nonbelievers don’t believe in anything. They’ll look at these Christians who aren’t applying their faith and think… see all the more reason to not believe, I’m not missing much. In fact, I’m not missing anything and I get to live however I want.

Why do you think most people we invite to church don’t go, we have the hardest time committing to it ourselves. So if we don’t make it a priority, why should they? Am I stepping on enough toes this today? Well here’s a statement that Jesus made that should send chills up our spines.

Matthew 5:13 NIV

“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.

Jesus is literally saying, Christians who claim to follow Christ may seem like they have a faith, but truly they haven’t accepted Him and submitted their lives to Christ. These people are not Christians, in fact Jesus gives an illustration that they are like salt that is no longer good, it just gets tossed on the street and trampled on. In reality Jesus is saying, these fake Christians have no place in the kingdom of God because they have not really committed their lives to love, serve and follow Himself.

Let’s backup…Matthew 5:1-12 consists of the Beatitudes, which for the most part, are encouraging and help us see that we can do a better job with our character, the inner part of ourselves. BUT starting now, Verse 13 and the rest of the sermon on the mount Jesus will mostly be addressing our conduct as Christians. Simply, Jesus will be addressing our actions and how we live. I told you to hold on and that we’re gonna continue to go on a journey! Let’s put it this way. If we reject the Beatitudes values as followers of Christ, we can become worthless, just like the salt that loses its saltiness.

Let me be clear – God does not see us as worthless, ever. He loves us because He created us. BUT we in a sense, can become worthless to the advancing of the kingdom, we are no help. Food that is not salted well should be thrown in the garbage. I’m a foodie, as I know a lot of you are too. Salt should compliment any food in cooking, not drown the flavor out. Salt can also disinfect. It hurts like a son of a gun, but it used to be used as a healing source. It also used to be currency.T he Romans would often use salt to give to their soldiers as a form of salary. Each soldier would receive a ration on payday. In fact, the world salary in an English translation literally means, “Salt Money”. Salt has many more purposes: Clean flower residue in a vase, keep wicker furniture looking new by brushing warm salt water on a piece of outdoor furniture, keep broom bristles longer by soaking it in a bucket of hoy, salty water for 20 minutes, dose your fireplace flames with salt if you want it to burn out slowly with less soot and cleanup, polish metals, relieve stings or insect bites, remove water marks from wood, apparently you can sprinkle it on an ant trail and keep them from crossing the line?

Anyway, point is salt has so many uses! It is a necessary commodity today as it always has been. This is Jesus’ point exactly. As His disciples we are a necessary commodity to the kingdom of God. God chose us before the world was even formed to be His hands and feet. To be His salt of the earth.

Matthew 5:14 NIV

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

In verse 14, Jesus uses another commodity as an example to His disciples. Light. By this point Jesus’ audience’s jaws are probably to the dirt. His audience was not the governors, officials, large box store or online retailers- they were the lowly, the outcasts. The people who society would often reject. And Jesus is telling them what they are worth. He is telling them (in their day) they are priceless, have value and CAN be used by the same God who created the universe. You see, two major commodities at that time were salt and light. They didn’t have LED flashlights back then. They used a clay jar, pot or dish filled with oil and a wick. It gave them the light they needed. You couldn’t have a mobil light without the clay object, oil, wick and flame.

Matthew 5:15–16 NIV

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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

If we are followers of Christ we need to not give ourselves the option of hiding our light. Jesus says that “we are the light of the world.” He wasn’t just talking to His disciples back then- this directly applies to us as well.

By Jesus saying all this it implies 3 things:

  • The world is in a state of darkness: a) Talk about the fall, sin. b) We are not aware of the dark, until the light shines. c) Illus. The light for the smoke detector in our room. Faint but very helpful.
  • Only a true follower of Christ can give helpful and true godly advice in this dark world. a) Even philosophers and great thinkers do not understand the real problem of man; they can’t tell us the cause of the present state of the world or what can be done. Only God’s Word does that.
  • The ordinary person who is following Christ knows and understands more about life, and holds answers, than the greatest expert who is not a Christian. That is good news for me because I don’t know about you, but I’m not a philosopher! I was a landscaper- I would’ve fit right in with Jesus’ crowd!​

There are a few parts to a lamp.

  • The wick and the oil work hand in hand.
  • Oil is like the Holy Spirit that we can be recharged by through prayer.
  • The wick is us- it needs to be trimmed in order to continue to be useful or it just smolders and does not light.
  • We must allow ourselves to be used and opened up by God to offer a light at all.
  • The wick is our character… the Beatitudes remind us of this character we are to have.
  • God provides the source of light.
  • We really don’t bring anything to the table by ourselves. We are just a vessel.

John 8:12 NIV

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 6:35 NIV

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 5:26 NIV

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

1 John 1:5 NIV

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Lights shine bright, everywhere we go! Because God is still at work among His people. The Holy Spirit is alive and moving in the church today. BUT… are you shining like a star? A lamp that isn’t hidden? Shining like a city on a hill? Or are you contributing to the darkness?

Do you know what it’s like for a person to experience light in a dark world? It is like a colour blind person seeing colours for the first time.

Please watch the video below.

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