The Salt and the Light
The world is a dark, dark place. It seems to be growing darker each day. Yet the Lord does not leave himself without a witness. The Lord has made his people salt and light by his grace. The purpose is so we will be salt and light in a dark and decaying culture.
We all know that darkness can not disturb darkness; only light can break and disturb the darkness. It’s light that exposes the darkness and changes things. And God’s people are called to be the light. We are called to be different, to be distinct, to be set apart as God’s holy people in the world. For it’s the church being different that makes a difference in the world.
So, how can we be different in a world of darkness?
The first thing we can do is be the holy people that Jesus calls us to be. Let’s hate the darkness and love the light. Let’s hate sin and love holiness. Let’s hate anything that doesn’t look like Jesus and love anything that looks like Jesus. Pursue anything that makes you treasure Jesus more. For holiness stands out in a world of darkness.
Jesus challenges us clearly in the Sermon on the Mount if we lose our saltiness as God’s people then we begin to lose our usefulness in the world. If the church becomes so adulterated by the world, what are we good for anymore? As John Stott says, “For effectiveness, the Christian must retain his Christlikeness, as salt must retain its saltiness."
If you had to describe what characterizes our world, what would be the first thing to come to mind? I think you could easily say that our world is marked by fear, grumbling, complaining, worry, hate, loneliness but the church should be different! The church should be filled with joy.
The Psalmist in Ps. 126 describes the people of God in this way “our mouths are filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.” What happens when we are filled with joy and laughter? The Psalmist says that the nations take notice. The nations see that the Lord has been good to his people.
I’m not talking about shallow happiness. I’m not saying things are always easy. Things are not always buttercups, butterflies, and Butterfingers for God’s people. Many times it is depression or anxiety. There are diagnoses of cancer and lost jobs for God’s people that are extremely hard. What I am saying is that there is a solid, eternal, unshakeable joy because we have seen Jesus who shatters our darkness. The glory of Jesus shines through and overcomes our darkest days.
Humility is a forgotten virtue in our world but it should mark the people of God. It should characterize all of us who believe in the gospel. If we’ve seen our true darkness and the depths of our brokenness and yet have found our enoughness in Jesus, we should be different. If our sin has been exposed by the light of Jesus and instead of shunning us or running away from us, he runs to us and lavishes us with his grace, then when should be different.
There’s no room for swagger in the saved saint. There is no room for pride in the people of God. Jesus' disciples should be the lowliest, the humblest of all because without the light shining on us we would still be sitting in the darkness.
Jesus’ disciples should be the holiest, the happiest, the humblest people in their city. For when our city sees these things in us, they are seeing Jesus. When they are attracted by our Christlikeness, they are ultimately attracted to Jesus, the Light of the World!