By Pastor Israel

Text:Matthew 5:13-16

For the past few weeks we have been discussing ‘Our position in Christ’ which is our theme for this month. The possessive word ‘our’ refers to those in Christ, that is, Christians who have been washed clean in the precious blood of Christ. The aim of our discussions on this theme is for us to know who we are in Christ and be ready to live up to His expectations of us.

Already we have discussed our position as ‘the adopted children of God’; our position as ‘being dead to sin and risen with Christ’; and our position as ‘people made to sit in heavenly places with Christ.’ Today we want to discuss our position as ‘the salt and light of the world’ just as our Saviour Jesus Christ described us (Matt. 5:13-16). And this is the topic for our discussion in this message.

Let us begin by looking at what these two words ‘salt’ and ‘light’ stand for, and the qualities they possess that our Master wants us to have. Let us begin with salt. Salt as we know is a seasoning ingredient that makes food tasty. It is also a preservative that keeps food items from going rotten or free from contamination. It means then, that as the salt of the world we are meant to bring joy and sweetness to the world and not sadness, by being agents of encouragement to the down-trodden and the discouraged through what we say or do.

We are to uplift and not put down others. Apostle Paul wrote: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Eph.4:29, 31-32 NKJV). Christians are to replicate their Master Jesus in doing good as the bible says about Him that He went about doing good healing all manners of sicknesses (Matt. 4:23).

Let us consider the other quality of the salt as a preservative. A preservative prevents things from getting rotten or contaminated. By preaching the good news of the gospel of Christ to the world, and living it out, Christians can keep the moral tone of the world pure and uncorrupted. Through this we will be able frustrate the evil influences of the wicked one. Paul wrote: “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rm. 8:19 NKJV).

Who are these sons of God and what does the world expect from them? The sons of God are the Christians who are born of the Spirit. The world is waiting for them to usher in the kingdom of God which is the kingdom of joy, peace and righteousness into the world. We are the ones who can purify this world that is wallowing in sin by the gospel of Christ.

Jesus also called us Christians the light of the world. Light is the opposite of darkness. It represents all the good virtues that God desires of us – holiness, truthfulness, righteousness and godliness, while darkness stands for everything evil. Light will always drives away darkness. This was the reason Jesus the Light of the world came to bring His light to our world which is covered with darkness so that people may no longer walk in darkness but in the light of God.

Jesus lives in the hearts of true Christians and His light lives in them. This light is expected to radiate through them to the world. This happens when we live in holiness and righteousness. Paul wrote: “Do all things without disputing that you may become blameless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as light in the world” (Phil. 2:14-15 NKJV).

Light is always visible for people to see unless it is hidden somehow. This was the reason Jesus likened Christians to a city built on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matt. 5:14). He told His followers not to hide their light but allow it to continue to shine so that “people may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16 NKJV).

In the same way He told them they should not allow the salt in them to lose its flavour or saltiness because when this happens, it would no longer be useful but to be thrown away and trampled underfoot. Thus, we have to take extra precautions to make our light continue to shine and make our salt to retain its saltiness. This we can do by abstaining from every form of evil (1 Th. 5:22), but this will not happen unless the Holy Spirit lives in us. We must allow Him to dwell richly in us by seeking His anointing continually.

The question I will want us to ask ourselves today is: Can people see Christ in me in my actions, utterance, and general demeanour? Apostle Paul wrote: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.

Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts” (Rm. 13:11-14 NKJV).

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