The Tabernacle Scroll
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality) how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble and good deeds and recognize and honour and praise and glorify your Father in heaven” [Matt 5:13-16, Amp]
Jesus used the powerful metaphors of salt and light to describe the relationship that Christians should have in the world. Salt has the nature of preserving (that is, combating decay or deterioration). Light has the property of uncovering things that are obscured by darkness. Christians are called to be both in this wicked world. However, the manner in which we show ourselves as salt and light is of particular concern to our God, whom we know is a HOLY God.
In the previous issue, referring to David’s cry of “search me O God and know my heart”(Ps. 139), I commented on the need for us to ask God to make us more sensitive to sin. We are called to live holy lives in a corrupt and wicked world. James said that true religion consisted (amongst other things) in keeping ourselves “from being polluted by the world” (Jas. 1:27). Paul exhorted believers to “come out from them and be separate” (2 Cor. 6: 17). Neither of them was advocating a withdrawal from all contact with the world. But both were implying that we must not remain adaptable to just any kind of talk, or company, or behaviour. Our thoughts and attitudes are to be in stark contrast. We are to live in the world by the convictions that God has given us from His Word. It is our best defense against the mental pollution, filth, lewdness, immoral behaviour, lies, cheating and the like, that bombard us from every side. David declared, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word” (Ps. 119).
We do not act as the salt of the earth or shine as the light of the world by necessarily denouncing the sins of the world (though there is undoubtedly place for this). Our own holy lives should serve as sufficient rebuke. To this end, we must continually search our hearts. If we are to be salt and light we must resist having one set of behaviours for our ‘Christian’ family whilst another set for our ‘worldly’ friends (i.e., double standards). This is not easy without God’s enabling. But the choice to take the necessary action is, as always, ours!
www.kerysso.org-Preach The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues