Salt of the Earth
Matthew 5:13 ESV
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
Salt is used both as a preservative and as seasoning for the food that we eat, to give the food flavor and/or to enhance it, or to bring out the flavor that is already there.
It is also used metaphorically to signify purification. In a figurative sense, it can be translated to mean wisdom or prudence (forethought, carefulness, discretion, and good sense). If we preserve something, we maintain, uphold, keep (obey), continue in, protect (safeguard) and defend it.
In scripture, the Word of God is often symbolized by food or most specifically bread. Along that line of thinking, we are taught in scripture to preserve, maintain, uphold, continue in, sustain, and to safeguard our walks with the Lord and our testimonies for him and for and his word, as well as we are to keep (obey) and defend the Word of Truth. In this way, we are being the salt of the earth in attitude, thought, word and deed.
Therefore, we are to be the means of preserving righteousness, holiness, godliness, godly wisdom, and purity on this earth, and of preventing the growth of corruption, godlessness, and moral decay. And we do this by upholding God’s word, and by sharing it with others, but most of all by living what it teaches us that we must do as followers and believers in Jesus.
So, if we have lost our saltiness, i.e., if we are no longer preserving and defending God’s word, moral purity, righteousness, and holiness, but if we have caved to the ways of the world, and we are not much different than those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ, then we are no longer good for anything. We are useless for preserving righteousness on the earth.
And, sadly enough, this is where many are who profess faith in Jesus Christ. And then they wonder why things are as they are in our present world. It is because those who are supposed to be the salt of the earth have lost their saltiness via becoming like the world, and therefore they don’t stand out as holy and righteous, and they are not teaching others to be holy, either.
So, both the church and the world are on a massive moral and spiritual decline, and holy living is under attack even within the gatherings of the church, and this should not be! The church needs to get back its saltiness via repentance and renewed walks of faith in Christ Jesus in absolute purity, holiness, and righteousness so that she can be the salt of the earth.
Light of the World
Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
What is light? Light is Jesus Christ, it is moral purity, uprightness, and godliness. It is truth and righteousness. It is all that is holy and good. It is the gospel of our salvation, the one taught by Jesus and the New Testament apostles, not the cheapened gospel many are teaching today.
Light is the opposite of darkness, and darkness is all that is evil, wicked, immoral, corrupt, and decadent. Darkness is sin, and light is opposed to the darkness. Light also exposes the darkness for what it is, especially in light of all that is holy and righteous and just.
Light not only exposes the darkness for what it is, but it reveals truth, especially truth in opposition to the darkness. So, if we are the light of the world, one of the things we are doing is sharing the truth in opposition to the darkness and exposing the darkness for what it is in contrast to the light.
But we are the light of the world. So, we are to be truthful, holy, righteous, godly, moral, and upright. We are to represent Jesus Christ in all that we are, and do, and say. So, we are to live holy lives separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we can’t be the light if we are living immoral and sinful lifestyles, especially while professing faith in Jesus Christ. We can’t be the light of the world if we are just like the world, either. We have to stand out from the world and be different so that they can see the light in us.
So, we need our lives to be cleansed from all wickedness. We must be walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. And we must be sharing the truth of the gospel with others in both word and in deed. And we must be exposing the darkness in contrast to the light, too.
Know the Difference
Therefore, we need to know what the light is in contrast to the darkness, and we learn this through the study of God’s word (in context), through listening to the Spirit’s voice teaching us what we need to learn, and through obeying the word of God by putting it into practice in our daily lives.
For, the truth of the gospel is that we must forsake our former lives of living for sin and self, and we must now live our lives to God and to his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit living within us. Sin should no longer be our master, but Jesus should be our only Lord.
The gospel of Jesus Christ does NOT teach that we can continue living in sin, but it teaches that if we habitually, deliberately and premeditatedly live in sin, in immorality, lying, cheating, adultery, and idolatry, that we have no part of Jesus or his heaven, but we will die in our sins.
Following Jesus Christ means we no longer live like we did before we believed in Jesus, but now we obey him, and we walk in his ways and in his truth, and we live holy lives pleasing to God, which is our acceptable worship of him. We are no longer conformed to the ways of this world, but we are transformed of heart and mind, and we live in the ways of righteousness.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Praise the Lord
Lyrics by John Kempthorne (1775-1838),
Music by Lowell Mason (1841)
Based on Psalm 148:1-2
Praise the Lord! ye heav’ns adore him;
Praise him angels, in the height;
Sun and moon, rejoice before him;
Praise him, all ye stars of light.
Praise the Lord! for he has spoken;
Worlds his mighty voice obeyed;
Laws which never shall be broken
For their guidance he has made.
Praise the Lord! for he is glorious;
Never shall his promise fail;
God has made his saints victorious;
Sin and death shall not prevail.
Praise the God of our salvation!
Hosts on high his pow’r proclaim;
Heav’n, and earth, and all creation,
Laud and magnify his name.
Worship, honor, glory, blessing,
Lord, we offer unto thee;
Young and old, thy praise expressing,
In glad homage bend the knee.
All the saints in heav’n adore thee,
We would bow before thy throne;
As thine angels serve before thee,
So on earth thy will be done.
Hallelujah! Amen. Hallelujah!
Amen, Amen, Amen.
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