Salt & Light
November 24, 2019
Main theme: Christians are to be distinct from but present in the world so as to reflect Christ and point others to Him.
I. You are salt!
- This an indicative. Idea: ‘This is who you are by virtue of your faith in me.’
- Salt and light serve as metaphors.
- In Jesus’ day salt served as a preservative.
- If left on a counter, meat spoils. With salt it does not.
- Believers are the salt of the earth.
- Illustration: Our speech matters. If we use the same type of speech as the world we nullify our witness.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” — Colossians 4:6
- Believers face temptations to compromise. When we compromise, we lose our “saltiness.” We can’t just go along with the world.
If Christians become assimilated to non-Christians and contaminated by the impurities of the world, they lose their influence…the Sermon on the Mount is built on the assumption that Christians are different, and it issues a call to be different. Probably the greatest tragedy of the church throughout its long and chequered history has been its constant tendency to conform to the prevailing culture instead of developing a Christian counter-culture. — John Stott
- We want to humbly and clearly take a stand for righteousness,
The glory of the gospel is that when the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. — Martyn Lloyd-Jones
- We will never influence the world by being like it.
- To be salt is counter-cultural.
- We are in the world by not of the world.
- Jesus tells us we are salt. May God help us to bear His influence in the world around us.
II. You are light
- The moon is a reflector of the sun’s light.
- When we spend time with Christ, we are going to reflect his influence on us.
- Jesus is the light of the world. The world is dark (see John 3:19).
- Christians are called and equipped to be the light of the world.
- As disciples, we can’t retreat from the world. People need to see the good works we do, so that they can see the God who is at work in us.
- Fellowship is a gift from God. However, if all we have are circles of fellowship with believers, we neglect the call to shine the light of Christ.
III. Application: How can we effectively be salt and light?
- Keep our eyes on Jesus.
- Serve others with joy. When we selflessly serve others, we are salt and light.
- Reject sinful speech. When we turn away from harsh, sarcastic, cutting speech —we reflect the light of Christ in this world.
- Pursue contentment.
- Husbands and wives, love one another. When husbands and wives truly love another biblically, they radiate Christ.
- Children, honor your fathers and mothers. As we honor our parents, God is glorified.
- Exercise biblical discernment in media choices.
Questions For Discussion / Application:
- Re-read the text, Matthew 5:13-16. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- What does the metaphor “the salt of the earth” mean?
- In what ways can and should believers be “salt” in the world today? How does God call the church to be distinct from the world around us?
- “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” — Colossians 4:6
- What are the characteristics/qualities of speech that is “seasoned with salt”?
- What forms of sinful speech do we as Christians sometimes tolerate?
- If and when Christians speak in a way that honors the Lord, what impact can that have for the gospel?
- Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12). In Matt. 5:13, Jesus refers to believers, to disciples, to the church as “the light of the world.” What does this metaphor communicate about our role and responsibility as Christians? What are the implications for how we live day in and day out?
- We are some ways you seek to connect with unbelievers around you so as to be “light” and represent Christ?
- Consider going through the application points in the Sermon Recap above. Which one of those do you most desire to grow in?